Menopause and diet

The menopause usually happens between the ages of 45-55 years.

Changes that occur during the menopause

  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in cholesterol levels
  • A weakening of the bones

Why?

Causes due to falling oestrogen levels

Early symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Hot flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • More frequent headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Irregular or heavy periods

Paying attention to what you eat can help ease some of the menopausal symptoms. Here are some things you can you do?

Hot Flushes

Avoiding caffeinated drinks, hot drinks, spicy food and alcohol may help reduce night sweats and poor sleep.

It has been suggested that soya-based foods make up for some of the naturally lost oestrogen in the body. Soya contains isoflavones and phytoestrogen (plant oestrogen). More research is neededbut many women report a small benefit especially in the reduction of hot flushes.

Good sources of soya include:

  • Tofu
  • Miso (soya paste)
  • Soya milk (Calcium enriched)
  • Soya dessert (calcium enriched)
  • Bread fortified with soya and linseeds.

Soya products are also low in saturated fat

Bone health

Ensure you are taking 1200mg calcium per day. This is 3-4 portions per day.

One portion of calcium (containing 200-300mg) is:

  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml soya milk (calcium enriched)
  • 30g hard cheese
  • 60g cottage cheese
  • 15g cheese spread
  • 150g yoghurt
  • 60g sardines or pilchards
  • 60g bread
  • 100g nut
  • 100g green vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli
  • 100g baked beans or kidney beans
  • 60g dried fruit such as apricots, figs
  • 10g sesame seeds
  • 10g Tahini paste (made from sesame seeds)

Take vitamin D 10ug from autumn to winter or over 65years take 10ug all year round

Healthy Weight

Maintain a healthy weight, if you are overweight, try to lose 5-10% of your initial weight

Healthy Heart

  • Cut down on saturated fat and total fat intake
  • Include 2 portions of fish per week (1 should be oily fish)
  • Have 5 portions of fruit and veg per day
  • Cut down on salt
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol

To find out more about how diet can help overcome menopausal symptoms, book an appointment with me.

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