All of us women will one day face the much-feared Menopause…. That’s why it’s important to think about it from an early age, especially when we refer to food.
What we eat can help us to have a ‘quieter’ menopause, especially in relation to its occasionally inconvenient symptoms.
Women generally undergo menstrual regularity for most of their reproductive life.
After this period begins the irregularity of the menstrual cycle that will result in the permanent cessation of menstruation and the loss of ovarian follicular function, resulting in the end of reproductive capacity. This phase is called Menopause.
Women who stop their period before 40 years of life fall within the classification of early menopause.
The causes can be genetic, stress-related, autoimmune diseases, cancer treatment, infections.
Menopausal symptoms are usually: skin dryness, vaginal dryness, low libido, joint pain, depression, memory loss, tiredness, infertility, loss of muscle and bone mass, hot flashes and fluid retention.
The woman reaches the peak of bone mass around the age of 30, after which hormonal changes that precede menopause, or occur during it, begin to exert an important influence on the reduction of bone mineral density.
Symptoms happen with the decrease in hormones, but with a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, stress control and proper diet we can help with these symptoms.
Some foods are our allies at that moment:
– LINSEED: it is the best source of a substance similar to estrogen, called phytohormone (phytoestrogen), and omega 3, which helps to combat dryness of mucous membranes.
– TOFU, MISO: rich in calcium, prevent osteoporosis and also contain phytoestrogen. These foods are made from fermented soybeans that help in the replacement of oestrogen. All calcium-rich foods can help alleviate bone mass loss.
It is important to assess whether there was a case in the family who had oestrogen-related breast cancer before deciding if soya is suitable for you.
GERGELIM: also an excellent source of calcium and good fats.– LEGUMES: beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas also contain phytoestrogen.
– AVOCADO, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL AND OILSEEDS: rich in vitamin E which helps to improve dryness in the mucous membranes and decrease irritability and depression, as it acts on neurotransmitters.
– CITRUS in general (lemon, orange): are sources of vitamin C, which helps to reduce heat waves.
–DARK GREEN GREENS: rich in magnesium, a nutrient that helps to relax, improves irritability and is also critical for calcium absorption.
– LEAN MEATS, EGGS: important sources of protein, fundamental for skin support.
– FIBRE: can help not only in intestinal functioning, but also in the balance of the body as a whole. A healthy intestine is key to bio-absorption and bio-availability of nutrients.
– WATER: hydration is extremely important.
While some foods help at this stage, others can get in the way:
– CHOCOLATE, COFFEE: the excess of these foods that are rich in methylxanine can make the hormonal condition even worse.
– SALT, ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, CONDIMENTS, GINGER, PEPPER, INDUSTRIALISED FOODS: may make the body heat worse. Salt and alcoholic beverages also increase fluid retention, a symptom very common in women, especially in menopause.
– SUGAR AND WHITE FLOUR: an excess of these alters mood, increases irritability and promotes the accumulation of body fat.
Metabolism can change with age and with menopause, therefore physical activity is part of the treatment.
Find a nutritionist and get a lab test to have a tailored meal plan for you.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and vegetables; and at the same time low in bad fats and processed foods is the first step to alleviate the impact of this phase for women.