Menopause is considered the third milestone in the life of women, the first and second being puberty, and pregnancy, respectively. And I personally feel that menopause is the most difficult of all!
If you are passing through this phase, you will surely understand why I call it the most difficult phase.
The fall in the levels of estrogens during menopause brings about a range of disturbing symptoms that often last for about 4 to 6 years. Some of these symptoms include hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, emotional instability, weight gain, and weak and porous bones.
And not to forget, the changing hormonal levels can also put you at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
If you have had enough of the troubling menopause symptoms and are looking for ways to avoid the health issues linked to this phase, read further to check the list of foods you must include in your diet.
The Best Foods To Ease Menopause
There are several benefits of eating a high-fiber diet, especially during the menopausal period. It would promote the functions of the digestive organs and provide relief from bloating and irregular bowel movements.
Making sure your diet comprises of fibers would also prevent weight gain during menopause that may occur due to the changing hormonal levels. Research studies have indicated that dietary fibers can create a sense of satiety in the stomach thereby reducing your calorie intake. This would enable you to prevent weight gain and inhibit the diseases linked to obesity such as diabetes, and hypertension.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Whole grains like oatmeal, barley, quinoa, and brown rice
Including healthy fats particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3 fats could offer great benefits to prevent menopausal symptoms. These foods can stabilize mood swings, prevent emotional instability, and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
Some of the best natural sources of omega-3s include:
- Olive oil
Getting enough calcium should be a priority during menopause as the bones in your body are likely to lose their density during this period. Research studies have shown that consuming calcium-rich foods could strengthen the bones, improve the bone mineral density and thus, prevent osteoporosis (A disorder caused due to the reduced density of bones). This would reduce your risk of fractures and body ache considerably.
Below is the list of foods rich in calcium:
- Greek yogurt
- Leafy greens
Calcium-rich foods would also make the bones stronger, improve muscle strength and thus, reduce back pain, and body aches that occur during this period.
You can also add collagen powder to your daily meals to prevent bone loss during the menopausal period. It would improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It is advisable to use collagen powder in combination with calcium and vitamin C supplements for better benefits.
Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D to protect your bones and skin and prevent emotional instability during menopause. You may also need to take Vitamin D supplements, especially if you live in an extremely cold, and non-sunny climate.
The best natural dietary sources of Vitamin D include:
- Fortified Milk
Foods containing phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are hormonal substances derived from plant sources that perform functions similar to the estrogens produced in your body. Phytoestrogens have the ability to bind to the estrogen receptors and replicate some of the effects of estrogens thereby preventing the symptoms caused due to the reduced production of this hormone during menopause.
Foods high in Phytoestrogens include:
- Whole grains
These foods would help you avoid hot flashes, irritability, bloating, and mood swings during menopause and also reduce the risk of diseases linked to the low estrogen levels like osteoporosis and heart attacks.
Herbal remedies to manage menopausal symptoms
You can derive greater benefits from using natural remedies that possess the potential to ease the menopausal symptoms. For example; research studies have shown that Maca, the Peruvian plant root, is widely recognized for its ability to correct hormonal imbalances. Maca can control menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, bloating, and mood swings by maintaining the balance in the body’s fluctuating chemistry.
Shatavari is another wonderful healing herb that can support the adrenal gland functions, pump your energy levels and nourish the nervous system. The cooling and soothing nature of this herb would provide relief from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, anxiety, and stress.
Some other herbs you can use during the menopausal period include:
- Black Cohosh
- Dong Quai
- Red raspberry leaf
Drink plenty of Water
Drink plenty of water every day during this phase to relieve vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and dry skin. It would keep the skin and mucous membranes well-hydrated and relieve these symptoms.
Drinking plenty of water can also decrease digestive troubles like bloating that occurs due to the hormonal changes.
Making minor changes in your diet and including essential nutrients in your meals offer a safe and effective way to control the symptoms of menopause. You can enjoy this milestone in your life and sail through it effortlessly by consuming the foods we discussed here. These tips would surely ease the menopausal period just like you managed puberty and pregnancy.