Eat your way to a more Manageable Menopause

Menopause is a natural and inevitable part of every woman’s life. It isn’t always an easy

transition but by adopting a healthy, balanced diet, we are better equipped to cope with


For menopausal and post-menopausal women there are aspects of the diet that are

especially important which can help lessen some of the menopausal symptoms caused

by reduced levels of estrogen as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular

disease and osteoporosis. Bone Health: Calcium and vitamin D are essential in helping maintain bone density and

preventing osteoporosis. Important sources of Calcium are dairy products (milk, yogurt,

cheese), Calcium fortified products such as bread, breakfast cereals and dairy

alternatives, leafy vegetables such as kale, sesame seeds, dried figs and fish eaten with

bones. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium from foods and is produced in our skin

when we are exposed to sunlight. Between April and September, you will usually get

sufficient amounts of vitamin D from exposure to sunlight through time spent outdoors

and from dietary sources. Between October and March, the sunlight is not strong

enough to produce vitamin D in our skin and we have to rely on dietary sources such as

oily fish, eggs, red meat and foods fortified with vitamin D by the manufacturer, such as

fat spreads, breakfast cereals and dairy products. Heart Health: Women who are post-menopausal have an increased risk of

cardiovascular disease caused by the reduction in estrogen. There are a number of

ways in which we can help to keep our heart healthy during before, during and after

menopause. Cutting down on saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats;

reducing salt intake; regularly consuming fish, including oily fish like salmon on

mackerel; eating high fiber and wholegrain foods such as pulses, wholegrain pasta and

cereals, as well as fruit and vegetables; and maintaining a healthy body weight can

benefit heart health. Weight gain: Many women gain weight during and after the menopause. This is mainly

driven by a change in hormones and other biological factors, however excessive weight

gain increases the risk of developing certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease,

cancer and type 2 diabetes.

As Post-menopausal women already have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease

due to reduced estrogen levels it’s even more important that a balanced, varied diet

and regular exercise is adopted to maintain a healthy weight, thus reducing the

associated risks.

Symptoms: Diet can make a big difference - there are foods that can trigger

menopause symptoms, and foods (and supplements) that may alleviate them. Keeping a

food diary lets you work out what triggers your symptoms. Use this information to tweak

your diet, reducing or cutting out those foods altogether if possible. Hydration is always

key, but even more so during menopause when excessive sweating brought on by hot

flashes and night sweats can leave you dehydrated, so aim for 8 – 12 glasses daily.

Eating a balanced diet not only helps with physical health, certain foods such as eggs,

nuts, pineapple, salmon and turkey can boost serotonin levels, which will in turn lift your

mood! Supplements: Isoflavones and lignans (both classified as phytoestrogens) are similar in

structure to estrogen and therefore may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of low

estrogen levels associated with the menopause. Dietary sources

of isoflavones include soyabeans, legumes, lentils and chickpeas and foods made from

these such as texturised vegetable protein, tofu and soya drinks. There is ongoing

research about the safety and efficacy of isolated soy isoflavone supplements. While the

initial results look promising, we currently recommend using natural soy foods rather

than supplements; my recommendation is organic soy beans in the most natural form.

Dietary sources of lignans include cereals, linseeds and fruit and vegetables. Flaxseed

(which are high in lignans) are important modulators of hormone metabolism and are

also high in omega3 fats, indietry fibre and may improve cholesterol. lower blood

pressure. Try grinding flaxseed daily in a coffee grinder at home and use 1 to 2

tablespoons a day.

Other supplements available include: - Dong quai. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is known both in China and the West

for its ability to support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. It

does not have estrogenic activity. This is one of the herbs for menopause that

should not be taken if a woman is experiencing heavy bleeding.

- Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa). One of the best-studied traditional herbs

for menopause, black cohosh is used to help alleviate some symptoms of

menopause and is considered an effective hot flash remedy. Black cohosh

seems to work by supporting and maintaining hormonal levels, which may lessen

the severity of hot flashes. Many women report that the herb works well but it

isn’t effective for everyone. While any therapy that influences hormonal actions

should be a concern, black cohosh does not appear to have estrogenic activity

and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast


- Evening primrose oil or black currant oil. These are sources of gamma-linolenic

acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can help influence prostaglandin synthesis

and help moderate menopausal symptoms.

- Spirulina. Extremely high in many nutrients it is also a powerful antioxidant and

has anti-inflammatory properties. It can lower “bad” LDL and triglyceride levels

and possibly protects “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation. It may even have

anti-cancer properties & reduce blood pressure.

- Matcha. High in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is

believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body. Great to add into your


- Multivitamins. As we age it is harder for the body to absorb nutrients. Medications

can further deplete our body of nutrients. A multivitamin can offset these


- B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the

building blocks of a healthy body, they have a direct impact on your energy

levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex helps prevent

infections and helps support or promote cell health.

- Echinacea. Many people use echinacea for infections such as the common cold.

They believe it stimulates the immune system. Personally I take this with coconut

water which has sodium, potassium and manganese to support your electrolytes.

- Vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions,

including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound

healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

- CoQ10 has been shown to help improve heart health and blood sugar regulation,

assist in the prevention and treatment of cancer and reduce the frequency of

migraines. It could also reduce the oxidative damage that leads to muscle

fatigue, skin damage and brain and lung diseases.

- Vitamin B12. This is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells

healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also

helps prevent a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia that makes

people tired and weak

- Probiotics. These are made up of good bacteria that helps keep your body

healthy and working well. This good bacteria helps you in many ways, including

fighting off bad bacteria. Probiotics are part of a larger picture concerning

bacteria and your body — your microbiome. The human microbiome is the

aggregate of all microbiota that reside on or within human tissues and biofluids

along with the corresponding anatomical sites in which they reside, including the

skin (ref Wikipedia) In short: Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other

microbes. The gut microbiome plays an important role in your health by helping

control digestion, benefiting your immune system and many other aspects of health. At Menopause Lifestyle Solution, we believe the best place to start managing your

menopause journey is through nutrition and exercise. For more information check out

our 90-Day-Plan.

86 views0 comments