Diet for menopause
Diet is a key factor in managing the menopause, because as your natural oestrogen levels decline, you can start to experience some unpleasant symptoms such as bone weakness, low mood or anxiety, hot flushes and insomnia. There are a number of foods or groups of foods that may help to alleviate some of your symptoms. Read on for foods to help you through the menopause.
Phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens)
There are a group of foods that contain a fibre called lignin which is a major phytoestrogen. As lignin is broken down, it can produce an oestrogen-like effect on the body helping to naturally tackle some of the symptoms of the menopause. Included in this group of foods are chickpeas, kidney beans, chicory, celery and soy foods among many others.
Foods for good liver function
We know the liver is responsible for the re-distribution of oestrogen as it is circulated around the body. So paying attention to your liver function is important. Eating plenty of broccoli, spring onions, artichokes, asparagus, beetroot and fennel among other things will promote liver health. It will also help prevent liver disease as well as allow what oestrogen you do have in your system to be better circulated. There are many foods that make claims to support liver health, but when it comes to the menopause, avoiding coffee, alcohol and spicy foods will help to prevent unwanted hot flushes.
Calcium rich foods
One of the most concerning symptoms of the menopause is the development of osteoporosis, as oestrogen plays a big part in the maintenance of bone strength. Eating calcium (supplement or in the form of milk, yogurt, etc.), is essential to ensure you promote good bone health. Taking Vitamin D as a supplement or getting enough sunlight will aid hugely in the absorption of the calcium too.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as in linseeds and a smaller amount in nuts and other seeds, omega-3 fatty acids are important for lubricating the entire body – joints, skin and your vagina. If you don’t think you are getting enough, you can get supplements for this too!
OK, this isn’t a food, but it is cited as one of the most important things to help aid menopausal symptoms – drinking water helps to alleviate bloating and make sure your skin gets the moisture it needs which can also aid vaginal dryness. It also promotes good organ function including helping to flush toxins from your liver. Finally it can help you feel more alert and prevent overeating and weight gain. So we suggest you drink a good 8 glasses a day!
We have a team of menopause experts, to support you as you move through the stages of the menopause.