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7 Healthy Foods for Women During Menopause – FeastMagazine

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With so much happening physically during menopause, staying fit and healthy is immensely important. Maintaining and managing a proper diet containing vital nutrients is one aspect to consider. Many women have asked me about an ideal diet to follow in menopause, which we will discuss in the article here. Before we list healthy foods when transitioning into menopause, I would like to introduce myself. 

Hello, this is Dr. Karen Pike. I am the creator of  SimplyMenopause.net, which aims to spread awareness among women worldwide which needs to be improved. That’s not my only job, though. I have long been associated with the medical field and worked as a board-certified ER. So let’s get started. 

Which Foods Should You Eat During Menopause? 

Regarding food to eat during menopause, here are some foods that have additional nutritional benefits and will benefit you immensely. 

  • Whole Grains

Most dieticians and health experts advise women to add whole grains to their diet, especially as they transition into menopause. Whole grains are nutritious because of their fiber and Vitamin B content. A study showed that a diet comprising whole grains may lessen the risks of heart ailments, premature death, and cancer. 

Another study conducted in 2021 showed that women with increased consumption of unprocessed foods, whole grains, and vegetables had less severe symptoms of menopause. If you are wondering about what whole grains to add to your diet, here is the list: When buying packaged foods, go for the ones with whole grains as the primary ingredient on their list. 

  • Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Oats/ Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Brown rice 
  • Barley
  • Khorasan wheat
  • Rye

You could add whole grains to your food in various ways. For instance, you may have oats with fruits for breakfast. You could also prepare a tasty sandwich with whole-grain bread. You may substitute white rice with brown rice and make soups or salads with rye or barley for lunch. 

  • Green Vegetables 

When listing vegetables to include during menopause, leafy greens come on top. Some preferred greens include kale, chard, collard, broccoli, spinach, etc. Other veggies you could add to your platter for nutrition include carrots, eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.

 If you have opted for a Mediterranean diet, which has many benefits like improving your cardiovascular health, increasing bone density, and much more, then including a colorful platter of vegetables is a mandate. The veggies that would go into a Mediterranean diet include broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and green beans. 

  • Beans and Lentils 

Beans and lentils contain fiber and protein and will benefit you in many ways when you add them to your diet, mainly while transitioning into menopause. What’s more, isoflavones, which belong to the group of phytoestrogens and have estrogen-like effects on your body? They will help maintain weight and sound heart health, increase iron content, and enhance appetite and sleep. Soybean is one of the most effective beans due to its phytoestrogen properties that are known to deal with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other menopausal symptoms quite well. Chickpeas, black beans, red lentils, French lentils, etc are also helpful. 

Like vegetables, including fruits in your diet, will also help to enhance your overall health immensely. The essential minerals in fruits, like vitamins, antioxidants, fibers, and minerals, make them useful in managing most menopausal symptoms. 

A 2020 study showed that women who included more vegetables and fruits in their diet had fewer menopausal symptoms than those who did not. Some fruits that keep you healthy include apples, grapes, raspberries, oranges, melons, figs, and peaches. Berries also have increased utility in menopause. 

An eight-week study conducted on 60 postmenopausal women showed women who consumed about 25 grams of strawberry powder (freeze-dried) each day had lower blood pressure levels. 

A colorful food platter with umpteen fruits and vegetables would be ideal. 

When choosing seeds for your diet in menopause, the ones to opt for include sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and ground flaxseeds. These seeds have phytoestrogenic properties, effectively managing most menopausal symptoms. ASeed cycling is quite common in menopause. For those unaware, I will explain it in detail to those unaware of seed cycling. 

Also called seed rotation, both perimenopausal and menopausal women can opt for it to balance the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. 

The four seeds that form an integral part of seed cycling are sesame, flaxseed, pumpkin, and sunflower, which are primarily preferred in their ground form. 

If you are menstruating, you could combine flaxseed and pumpkin seeds in the follicular phase, marked by a spike and decline in estrogen levels. In the luteal phase, when estrogen levels decline, you could blend sunflower and ground sesame seeds in a tablespoon. 

If your periods have stopped and you are in postmenopause, you could start seed cycling at any point. There isn’t any fixed period. You could begin by combining flaxseed and pumpkin seeds and then shift to sunflower and sesame seeds. 

When done right, seed cycling can help you in several ways. However, if you plan to opt for it, consult the doctor once and know its pros and cons. 

  • Fatty Fish 

A 2011 study showed that oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can help ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and low mood. Experts have mentioned the role of omega-3 fatty acids in regulating serotonin, the happy hormone, and increasing cognitive functions. Salmon is one fatty fish to consider; it has high omega-3 fatty acids and contains significant protein. 

When discussing protein, you should include foods containing this nutrient, like eggs, dairy products, and meat. When you have low estrogen levels in menopause, it results in a decline in your bone strength and muscle mass. That’s why taking care of your protein intake is essential. 

  • Dairy Products 

Emphasizing dairy products during menopause is of immense importance. Studies show that yogurt, cheese, and milk contain essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and potassium, which help boost bone health. A 2017 study showed that postmenopausal women who consumed more dairy products had greater bone density than individuals who consumed them in lessened amounts. 

Another 2023 study also showed that dairy products effectively promoted better sleep. If I were to talk about yogurt, in particular, I have to mention its ability to better gut health. Studies also showed how yogurt lowered blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. 

Conclusion

This is a small list of the many healthy foods to eat during menopause. There is more to the list. Ensure that your essential nutrient intake is taken care of well. I mentioned the foods to eat during menopause. However, there are some foods to avoid, like processed foods, such as fried foods, potato chips, and candy. Then there are caffeinated beverages, sugary drinks, salty foods, and alcohol, which you should avoid. To know more about the suitable foods to have and other aspects of menopause, you can read the articles written by me at Simply Menopause. 

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