When coping with menopause, it can seem like there is so much information to process and so many changes to be aware of. While it can be overwhelming dealing with all of this information, it’s great to know that nutrition and food choices are an area that’s quite easy to manage.
When dealing with your health and nutrition during menopause, the principles of healthy eating and maintain an active lifestyle still apply. While there are some foods and vitamins you should be sourcing more off, and some you should be eating less, following a healthy diet with moderate exercise should be your ultimate goal. The basic principles are still the same – there’s just a few tweaks to make!
Here are 5 simple nutrition tips for coping with menopause
Increase your calcium intake
Calcium rich foods are essential during menopause, as our bodies tend to retain less calcium during this time. Calcium is important for bone health, and is quite easy to add into your diet. Dairy is the most well know form of calcium, but there are plenty of other ways to add more to your diet. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, along with other vegetables including broccoli, sweet potato and pumpkin are all full of calcium, and it helps that they taste great too!
Women coping with menopause are often deficient in Vitamin D, and this one of the harder vitamins to source from food. While you can get adequate Vitamin D from spending 15-20 minutes in the sun daily, there are some foods which are high in this vitamin. These include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna. Egg yolks are also high in vitamin D and easy to add to your daily menu. If you struggle to get the right amount of Vitamin D (a simple blood test from your GP can let you know) then a Vitamin D supplement can be an easier way.
Eat more soy
If you are experiencing hot flushes, night sweats or mood swings eating more soy based foods may help to relieve these symptoms. Depending on your tastes, this could be as simple as using soy milk or adding tofu to your diet. If you want to get more creative there are some great recipes out there that include soy (and you probably wouldn’t even know it). This soybean and carrot salad is a great recipe!
Limit sugar and processed food
This advice obviously should be applied to everyone, not just those of us coping with menopause, and it really does make a difference. High levels of refined sugars can mess with your hormones, and the less chemicals and unnatural foods that you are eating, the better you are going to feel. Try to stick to natural and organic products where possible and your health will thank you for it!
Eat more protein
Eating more protein (as part of a balanced diet) is great for muscle development and can assist in reducing body fat. While meat is the most obvious form of protein, other protein rich foods include eggs, yoghurt, seafood and beans and pulses. There are protein rich recipes to suit all tastes and for vegetarians and vegans too.
Remember, your nutrition during menopause doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Eat healthy, eat a balanced diet and remember to keep checking that you’re getting the right amount of the extra foods and vitamins mentioned above.