Menopause Considerations to Spring Cleaning Your Diet

It is the time of year when people are busy with spring cleaning their home and yard.  Have you considered spring cleaning your diet?  Spring is a good time for starting a new or doing a reboot.  This week I want to share tips with you on how a few tweaks in your diet, may help relief some of your menopause symptoms.

A proper diet can decrease some menopausal symptoms and can prevent the weight gain associated with menopause. During menopause and the perimenopausal years, there are some dietary changes you can make that will help improve your quality of life. Some foods can actually decrease your menopausal symptoms!

Let’s take a look at a few good foods to eat during menopause:

  • Eat Plenty of Calcium. This means consuming 2-4 servings of calcium rich foods every day. You can find calcium in fish that contain bones (that are high in calcium), organic almond milk and Greek Yogurt, legumes, bok choy, and broccoli. During menopause, it is recommended that you take in about 1,200 milligrams per day.
  • Increase iron intake. Try to eat at least 3 servings of food that is high in iron. You can find iron in any type of grass-fed red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, leafy green vegetables, enriched grains, and nuts. Try to take in about 8 mg per day.
  • Get plenty of fruits and vegetables. Take in 1 ½ cup of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables per day.
  • Eat lots of fiber. Though whole grain breads are often recommended, these can be high in carbohydrates.  This can affect blood sugar, insulin and weight gain.  Instead, choose fresh whole fruits, and non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, celery, cauliflower.  A higher fiber diet helps support better hormone balance and can help keep your bowels regular.
  • Drink a lot of water. Try to get in at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Eliminate bad fats, replace with good fats. Fat should make up only about 25-35 percent of your daily caloric intake. Avoid processed foods that contain vegetable oils.  Instead choose healthier options such as organic cold-pressed extra virgin forms of olive oil and coconut oil.  Ghee is another healthy source of fat.
  • Decrease your salt and sugar intake. If you eat too much salt, you put yourself at risk for hypertension. If you eat too much sugar, you put yourself at risk for diabetes mellitus and hot flashes.
  • Decrease foods that are charbroiled, cured in salt, or smoked. This involves foods that are high in nitrates, which creates a cancer risk.
  • Keep your alcohol intake to one drink or less per day. Alcohol can contribute to a number of diseases that you don’t want to have in menopause and can make menopausal symptoms worse.

Eat whole, fresh organic foods as much as possible.  Avoid prepackaged foods.  If you do choose prepackaged, foods, be sure to read food labels in order to know what’s in the food you are eating. Look for low sodium, low sugar foods that are high in vitamins and iron.

Because many women gain weight during menopause, make food choices that don’t promote inflammation.  Inflammation in the body will make eat even harder for you to lose weight.

Foods to Help Symptoms of Menopause
Foods that help menopause are those that are high in plant estrogens, also called isoflavones. They can have a protective effect and help reduce your menopause symptoms.  My top picks here are organic flaxseed, chia seeds and always Mighty Maca.  These phytoestrogens can help to lower cholesterol and may decrease the incidence of night sweats and hot flashes. I am not a fan of soy products, like soymilk, and soy yogurt.

Foods to avoid in Menopause
There are some foods that may make hot flashes worse. These include those things that contain alcohol, caffeinated foods, sugar, and spicy foods.

Good luck with spring cleaning your diet!

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