When our body stops producing eggs, a series of essential changes begin, including the decrease in the creation of estrogen and progesterone, two crucial hormones for the menstrual cycle and reproduction. Its decline marks the beginning of menopause.
When the levels of these hormones are reduced, a series of physical changes known as the symptoms of menopause are initiated. These appear with different intensities depending on the woman. Still, despite how annoying they can be, some daily measures can help us relieve them. It is not necessary to resort to hormone replacement therapy, and you can count on some foods to reduce the symptoms of menopause and feel much better. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain what they are and why it is advisable to consume them.
Table of Contents
Why is it important to take care of your diet in menopause?
The lack of egg production and the decrease in the levels of estrogen and progesterone produce changes in our body that we cannot ignore and that characterize menopause. Some of the most common are:
- Changes in the menstrual cycle until the period is absent.
- Hot flashes and sweating due to decreased estrogen, which raises body temperature.
- Decrease in calcium levels and reduction in bone mass, a situation that can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Weight gain.
- Vaginal dryness and lack of sexual desire.
- Trouble falling asleep or resting properly, all due to reduced progesterone levels.
- Emotional changes, among which irritability, depression, or nervousness stand out.
The key to reducing the intensity of many of these manifestations lies in leading a healthy lifestyle and optimizing our diet. Some ingredients can promote the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that help counteract the symptoms of menopause, improve our health and make this stage much more bearable. For this reason, it is advisable to make changes in the diet, looking for the much-desired well-being.
Foods to avoid in menopause
Just as some nutrients are recommended, other ingredients can be harmful, increasing symptoms and discomfort. That is why it is advisable to avoid:
- Large meals can raise the body temperature significantly and cause pain and indigestion. Eat 5 or 6 meals a day in smaller portions is recommended.
- Saturated fats are present in fried foods, cold cuts, fatty meats, and whole dairy products. These increase weight gain cholesterol levels and promote fluid retention and discomfort.
- The sugar and fat in bakery products, sweets, cookies, etc., can affect general health and increase discomfort.
Foods with phytoestrogens to improve estrogen levels
Among the foods to reduce the symptoms of menopause, those that contain phytoestrogens occupy a leading place. These ingredients have chemical compounds of plant origin similar to the estrogens produced by the body. Therefore, they help make up for their absence, thus improving annoying symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating, and vaginal dryness. They also contribute to reducing the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL and increasing good cholesterol or HDL.
We can find phytoestrogens in ingredients like:
- Soy, especially in its presentation as a legume. It can also be included in the diet through options such as tofu or the vegetable drink made with it.
- Flax seeds also provide healthy fatty acids.
- Alfalfa sprouts, which are perfect in salads and sandwiches.
- Spinach also provides the body with fiber and iron.
- Other ingredients rich in phytoestrogens, although in smaller quantities, are watercress, apples, celery, and cabbage.
Calcium-rich foods to strengthen bones
In the list of foods to reduce the symptoms of menopause, ingredients rich in calcium can not miss, as these allow the bones are adequately strong, preventing bone loss and diseases related to it, as in the case of osteoporosis.
That is why it is convenient to add options such as:
- Dairy products and their derivatives should always be eaten skimmed or low in fat. As for the cheeses, it is advisable to opt for the fresh and light ones instead of those cured and rich in fat.
- Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, or soybeans.
- Fish and shellfish include sardines, anchovies, salmon, mussels, or octopus.
- Vegetables include broccoli, chard, spinach, cabbage, watercress, or onion.
Ingredients rich in vitamin D absorb more calcium.
Improving our calcium intake during menopause is essential to ensure strong bones. But for the correct absorption of calcium, vitamin D is necessary, so we must increase the products that contain this nutrient to guarantee our health.
The foods rich in vitamin D recommended are:
- Bluefish such as salmon, trout, sardines, or tuna.
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds.
- Vegetables like broccoli or kale.
- Milk and dairy derivatives should always be consumed in skimmed or low-fat presentations.
In addition, it is recommended to sunbathe daily in the hours of less incidence, that is, before 10.00 and after 16.30.
Fiber to prevent weight gain
Fiber is essential to guarantee an excellent intestinal transit, helping to facilitate bowel movements and reducing abdominal inflammation. Still, it also helps prevent cholesterol and high sugar by stimulating the elimination of fat and glucose from the body. All this favors us during menopause, but without a doubt, its most appreciated quality during this stage is its ability to help keep us satiated for longer, which reduces the possibility of snacking between meals or eating more than necessary, favoring the maintenance of a suitable weight during this stage.
The most recommended foods with fiber are:
- Whole grains such as whole wheat flour and rice, oats, corn, buckwheat, or millet.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, chard, or spinach.
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, or plums.
Vitamin C to make your skin look beautiful
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants that help slow the aging of cells, which is essential at this stage because the decrease in estrogen can accelerate the aging process. But also, the fruits rich in this ingredient can help to cool you during the hottest episodes, improving your general condition.
If you want a contribution of vitamin C, add to your diet:
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, or strawberries.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Legumes such as beans and peas.
- Meats like chicken, duck, and liver.
Magnesium to improve mood swings
Magnesium is a fundamental mineral to help combat mood swings during this stage, such as irritability or sadness, as well as helping us to reduce episodes of insomnia and rest better. All these benefits make ingredients rich in magnesium part of the food to reduce the symptoms of menopause, so it is advisable to incorporate into your diet:
- Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews.
- Sunflower, sesame, or quinoa seeds.
- Soy and its derivatives.
- Green leafy vegetables.
Other recommended nutrients
- Foods rich in zinc to improve your levels of sexual desire. This mineral is present in shellfish and crustaceans, red meat, and legumes such as lentils and beans.
- Ingredients with omega 3 to lower cholesterol and ensure the health of your heart. Oily fish, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils such as flax, canola, or soy contain this essential fatty acid.
- Foods with boron to favor the presence of estrogens, you find it in strawberries, tomatoes, asparagus, apples, and peaches.
Some Suggestions for Improving Menopause Symptoms
In addition to adding this great diversity of foods to your diet, it is convenient to take into account other suggestions to feel great during menopause:
- Do physical exercise frequently, and this helps to secrete endorphins that improve our mood and make us feel comfortable with ourselves.
- Quit tobacco, and this habit affects your skin your general health and accelerates the aging process.
- Avoid drinks rich in caffeine as they can increase irritability and make it challenging to rest.
- Consume alcohol very sensible way, as it can affect your sleep patterns, making them worse.
- Wear light clothing, preferably cotton, which will help you combat hot flashes.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Foods to reduce the symptoms of menopause, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.