The Menopause diet is conceptualized with the idea to provide better nutrition to the women who are in their menopause stage so as to supplement their special nutritional requirements. The Menopause diet plan is quite beneficial in the reduction of both physical and mental stress experienced by a woman in her menopausal phase.
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when her period comes to a halt and this stage brings with it many external and internal body changes. Usually, this stage comes between 45-55 years of age and marks the end of female fertility period. The production of eggs from the ovaries also comes to an end with descrease in estrogen and progesterone hormone secretion. The body of the woman responds to these changes and it generally results in the decrease of bone density and mass. Therefore, it is recommended to include calcium rich foods in the menopause diet so as to provide strength to the bones. Vitamin B12 and vitamin D rich foods are also highly recommended for a woman undergoing menopause.
Menopause Diet: Recommendations
Menopause is considered the time when the periods reach a stage of final completion. However, the menopausal symptoms can be seen several years prior to this and is known as peri-menopause. It is suggested by the health experts to start consuming the calcium rich foods in the peri-menopause stage itself so as to gain the right nutrition before the actual stage arrives.
Though all nutritional foods are necessary for women, the specific menopausal symptoms can be cured by following expert advice. Below are the suggested foods that should be consumed by every woman to ensure a healthy menopause:
- Calcium-rich foods – The calcium intake should be increased by the women in their menopausal stage in order to reduce the loss of bone mass and density. Low-fat dairy products, legumes, sardines, clams and broccoli are some of the tested foods rich in calcium. For a woman above 50, the minimum calcium requirement is 1200 mg per day.
- Iron-rich foods – Iron is also one of the most important nutrient for the women. For the adequate supply of this nutrient, at least three servings of foods rich in iron are essential. Lean meat, green leafy vegetables, eggs, seafood, poultry, grains and nuts are excellent sources of iron and should be consumed generously everyday.
- Fibrous foods – Foods containing lots of fiber are extremely beneficial for woman in menopause. Whole-wheat pasta and breads, rice, fruits and vegetables with skins are the best sources of dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed at least 2-3 times in a day to get enough nutrition.
- Fatty acids – EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are highly useful for making the woman’s body ready to respond menopause changes. These fatty acids are best found in fish, sesame seeds, dark-green vegetables, walnuts and vegetables oils.
Apart from highly recommended foods, there are a few restrictions also that should be followed for a stress-free menopausal life:
- Alcohol – The major symptoms of menopause is hot flushes and drinking alcohol makes this situation worse. Therefore it is suggested to limit the alcohol intake to only 3-5 drinks per week.
- Excess salt – Salt contains sodium that is not good if consumed in excess. It may increase blood pressure that may further make the menopause harder. Salt-cured foods and even processed foods should also be avoided as they may contain cancerous substances. During menopause, the woman’s body is vulnerable to diseases, hence a slight carelessness may prove fatal.
- Fatty foods – For women, the recommended daily intake of calories as per National Academy of Sciences is 2000 every day. 30% of this 2000 should come from fat out of which saturated fat should be 10% only. Excess of this may lead to high cholesterol problems and heart diseases. A healthy weight is also a must in menopause, hence, high-fat foods such as cheese, red meat, fried foods and full-cream milk should be limited in menopause diet.
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