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Diet for Menopause, foods to combat it and not gain weight

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

Many aspects of women’s health are related to the hormonal changes that occur each month with menstruation. In each menstrual cycle, estrogens and progesterone intervene in periods and it is in menopause that these hormones are reduced.

Around fifty years of age, a reduction in circulating estrogens arrives. As sex hormones decrease, symptoms associated with menopause appear. In some women this process of menstruation withdrawal is gradual while in others it is sudden.

If you want to know how menopause affects women, what symptoms we will have, and how to combat them through an adapted diet, keep reading because we offer you all the information here.

What Happens at Menopause?

The decrease in the production of sex hormones causes the symptoms of menopause to appear such as mood swings, hot flashes and a drop in energy levels. In addition, they begin to undergo changes in the body and within the structures that are affected are the bone system and cardiovascular health as well as brain function, mainly memory.

In menopause there is a decrease in caloric expenditure at rest, that is, the metabolism slows down, which contributes to an increase in fat tissue and a decrease in muscle mass. If you want to know how to speed up the metabolism, click here .

The increase in abdominal fat that occurs in menopause due to the lack of estrogens, makes the body not fully productive by burning fat and tends to store them, this contributes to an increase in abdominal volume; something most women complain about.

In addition, this increase in body fat causes cholesterol and triglyceride levels to be altered, so we must monitor them to maintain our cardiovascular health. If you want to know how to lower cholesterol, click here .

This alteration of lipids can be the cause of multiple diseases. High triglycerides can bring us other health problems, if you want to know how to lower them click here.

The most common symptoms of menopause are weight gain, the accumulation of fat in the belly and hips, hot flashes, reduced libido (sexual appetite), emotional imbalance, excessive sweating (especially at night), insomnia, dryness in the skin, muscle loss and loss of strength, bone weakness.

How can diet help me during menopause?

Normally there is a change in nutritional preferences and menopausal women prefer to eat more fat than protein and foods rich in fiber , which we must correct to avoid the increase in abdominal volume that occurs due to the accumulation of fat.

With new nutritional guidelines focused on the well-being of women and avoiding the symptoms of menopause and pre-menopause, we are going to try to ensure that the symptoms have the least impact on the woman’s body.

In an attempt to take care of weight, women tend to eat little, especially at night, but we tend to snack between meals due to the hormonal alteration and mood changes produced at this stage.

This, together with the lower exercise load and age, make this change more pronounced, in addition to the decrease in estrogen production, this affects bone health because there are alterations in the homeostatic regulation of calcium favoring the loss of bone mass .

We can say that the decrease in sex hormones has both physical and psychological consequences in women, so we must take some guidelines to reduce the impact of these effects .

What should I eat at menopause?

The dietary recommendations are focused on changing certain nutritional habits to improve our condition, for this we must:

Increase the consumption of foods of plant origin due to its rich contribution in phytoestrogens, such as soy isoflavones. We must also increase the consumption of foods rich in soluble fiber that help regulate cholesterol. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, certain seeds such as chia, cereals such as oats. Here you can check foods rich in fiber .

On the other hand, we must ensure our body a correct supply of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, to take care of our bone health. For this you must increase the consumption of dairy products and their derivatives, blue fish , green leafy vegetables, broccoli.

We must not neglect the consumption of protein foods, but we must prefer vegetable protein over animal protein. Here you can see the foods rich in vegetable protein .

The meat we must choose the lean and fat-free parts. We can also substitute animal meat or reduce its consumption, opting for the best meat substitutes, which you can find here, which is known as vegetable meat .

What is the ideal diet for menopause?

The ideal diet for menopausal women should be a slightly hypocaloric diet, that is, we must reduce caloric consumption with respect to what we had been consuming previously, it must be a varied, balanced diet that is basically composed of seasonal natural products that favor a better situation of women.

It is essential that you get on as soon as possible, and if it is before menopause, better than better.

How should I eat when I go through menopause?

It is vital to avoid foods high in fat or simple sugars that help form and accumulate fat. To do this, we will avoid the sugars in products such as sweets or juices. We will start with a breakfast with a protein part, a dairy rich in skimmed calcium, and a whole fruit (not in juice because we eliminate the fiber and we will only have the sugars.

We must not abuse carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, cereals, pumpkin, beets, etc; let alone mix them since it increases the glycemic load and insulin production which will increase your appetite and gain weight.

The way the food is cooked is important since you will avoid an excessive consumption of fat if you consume natural products, grilled, baked or steamed without adding oil and fat. If you use olive oil and moderate the consumption of salt that makes you retain more fluids than usual. To season you can use vinegar, spices or lemon; the lemon will be your great ally to detoxify the body .

You can also make use of thermogenic foods that help burn fat from body deposits; since they accelerate the metabolism and the combustion of fats, you can find among them ginger, cayenne, pepper, chili peppers, cinnamon, guarana, etc.

It is important to avoid stimulating drinks such as coffee or tea, mate, or other stimulating drinks that, despite not containing calories, stimulate insulin production and increase storage.

Minerals, your allies

It is also important to increase the consumption of foods rich in calcium , such as canned sardines, wakame seaweed , poppy seeds, whole sesame, chia , green leafy vegetables and nuts; as well as increasing fiber consumption as indicated above, something that will make us regulate intestinal transit, which can be affected by the hormonal changes of menopause.

For calcium to be assimilated correctly we must increase and provide the body with foods rich in other minerals such as magnesium , among them we find fresh cheese, kombu and wakame seaweed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, wheat bran, sesame and pine nuts; among others.

Another very important mineral element for bone density is phosphorus , since together with calcium and magnesium it is responsible for maintaining optimal bone health. For this reason, you should include foods such as wheat germ, cured goat cheese, soy, or tahini in your diet.

The iron is also essential so we should also include iron – rich foods (cockles, clams, nori, liver, lentils, dried beans, etc. and other foods rich in boron such as broccoli, cabbage, peas, mushrooms, beans greens and lettuce.

Include more alkalizing foods in your diet that will balance your pH to avoid the loss of minerals avoiding acidic foods and consuming more alkaline foods such as potatoes, carrots, avocado, nuts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, algae, melon and watermelon avoiding, although not excluding acidic foods.

Top tips for your menopause diet

  • You must stay hydrated so it is advisable to drink around 2 liters of water a day . You can also ally yourself with a defatted cleansing broth. This will prevent the accumulation of xenoestrogens that increase retention.
  • Try exercising which will lead to a reduction in stress load and increase bone mineralization.
  • Improve your nutritional habits with the nutritional guideline that we have offered you, including fresh seasonal foods.
  • Do not have toxic habits such as alcohol or tobacco that seriously harm the health of the body.

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