Making Menopause Easier With Diet
By Nmami Agarwal
Transitions are always a bit unsettling. But we, women, got used to it since we were little girls – all those physical and physiological changes. Did they stop your life? Did they leave you miserable? We guess not. They changed you in the most beautiful ways and you eased your way in and out of the transition with a good diet and your mom’s support. Then why dread menopause?
Today, we are listing down five ways in which your body informs you of menopause and how you can ease this transition with proper diet.
(1) Weight gain
Being women, this is our biggest fear. All those hormonal changes and stress eating make you an easy target to inches and pounds. Therefore, watch the amount of fat in your diet and cut back on sugar. Eat complex carbohydrates, such as brown grains, wholegrain pasta, bread and rice, etc. as they help balance blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
(2) Hot Flushes
Dropped level of oestrogen tricks our body’s temperature regulator, hypothalamus, into believing that the body is heating up. This leads to ‘menopausal sweating’. Hence, avoid anything that makes you feel hot. Some common stimulants of hot flushes are coffee, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods. Avoid these, especially at night.
(3) Bone Health
If you’re going through menopause, you should increase your intake of calcium to maintain bone health. Have two to three servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day. Also, don’t forget to take vitamin D and magnesium as they help in the absorption and metabolism of calcium.
The hormonal imbalance increases cravings for sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. Upon consumption, these food items increase blood glucose levels and we feel a strong surge of energy. However, a few hours later we experience a drastic drop in energy and tiredness. Hence, we need to fight these cravings by having fresh fruit and nuts instead of cakes, cookies, chocolates, etc.
(5) Skin Health
The most saddening signs of menopause are seen on our skin – it goes dull and starts losing its tautness. To counter that, load your diet with legumes, nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, that contain Vitamin E, zinc and calcium and help prevent dry skin. Additionally, they balance hormonal levels and ease the effects of the transitions.
A Bonus Tip: Keep your iron pumped up
Although women should never compromise on dietary iron ever in their lifetime, it becomes crucial during menopause. Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day, such as lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, etc.
Menopause, like its name, is just a pause. Don’t let it stop your life. Good nutrition can help prevent certain conditions and ease the rest of them. So, modify your diet accordingly and enjoys this transition.
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