Menopause comes with plenty of unpleasant symptoms, from hot flashes and brain fog to insomnia and mood swings. But there are so many things you can do to help your body through this change, even years in advance. One of the best ways to take charge of your hormonal health is by adhering to this menopause diet. The foods we have listed are proven to help manage your menopause symptoms.
Typically, menopause occurs in your early 50s, menopause occurs when you’ve gone a full year without a period. (The exact time frame varies greatly, with an average range of 45-55).
Once you do hit menopause, you’ll be experiencing all-time low levels of all hormones can put you at risk for health conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease. That might sound scary, but “by making some changes to your eating habits, you might be able to ease a lot of the discomfort and keep your body healthier as you age,” says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Let’s explore the specific hormonal changes that occur during this time and the best foods for your menopausal diet.
The Best Foods For Menopause
The following are key nutrients that can help bring your body back into balance during the transition to menopause and specific foods that fall under each category.
Eating a high-fiber diet can help you with menopause-related digestion issues such as bloating or irregularity.
Getting enough fiber with every meal also helps you feel fuller longer, which can prevent unwanted menopausal weight gain.
It’s extremely common for women to gain weight in their menopausal years. Still, by incorporating more fiber into your diet (combined with cardio and plenty of strength training to keep muscle on your body and your metabolism working!), you can help manage your weight.
Foods high in fiber include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Steel-cut oats
Recipes to Try
Omega-3 fats are an essential part of any diet, but particularly during menopause, they can help stabilize mood swings and improve anxiety and depression. One of the best sources of omega-3s is oily fish, so you’ll notice they dominate the list below.
The following are omega-3-rich foods to eat more of:
- Grass-fed beef
- Flax seeds
Recipes to Try
Teriyaki Salmon Salad (Easy 15-Minute Recipe!)
One thing nearly every doctor can agree on is the importance of calcium as you age. Getting enough calcium during menopause helps you maintain strong bones and avoid osteoporosis. To stay healthy and prevent injury, you need to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet each day.
Below is a list of calcium-rich foods
- Greek yogurt
- Leafy greens
- Bok Choy
Recipes to Try
Be sure you also get enough Vitamin D while eating calcium-rich foods because Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium!
Getting enough vitamin D helps protect your bones and can also help with mood swings during menopause. Check out the list of foods rich in Vitamin D below or consider taking a Vitamin D supplement, especially in the winter or if you live in a cold, non-sunny climate.
Most doctors recommend 1,000 to 2,000 units of vitamin D a day if you’re taking it in supplement form.
Foods rich in Vitamin D include:
- Fortified Milk
Recipes to Try
Menopause Diet Summary
Knowledge is power, and knowing what foods can help your perimenopausal and menopausal years be better should leave you feeling empowered!
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