The Best Diet for Menopause

The Best Diet for Menopause

Menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries begin to produce less estrogen. As estrogen levels in the body fall, the woman stops ovulating (producing an egg). The hormone changes that occur during menopause can cause a number of physical symptoms, including hot flashes and a decreased sex drive. Women who have gone through menopause may also be more susceptible to osteoporosis, since higher estrogen levels help maintain bone health. A proper diet can help relieve symptoms of menopause and protect the body during this important stage of life.

Hormone Balance & Diet
Many of the problems associated with menopause are caused by fluctuating hormone levels and a decreased level of estrogen. As a result, eating foods that help to perform the functions of some of these hormones can be helpful. Various soy products, such as tofu, soy milk or flour, and soy beans, are considered to be phytoestrogens. Although phytoestrogens are not as strong as estrogen, they perform many of the same functions and help to maintain a healthy body. For example, like estrogen, phytoestrogens are linked with high levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and can act as antioxidants.

According to Women's Health Concern, certain other foods, such as those containing Gamma Linolenic Acid, can also help promote a healthy hormone balance in the body. Gamma Linolenic Acid is primarily found in oils, including vegetable oil, blackcurrant seed oil, hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil.

Diet & Bone Health
Most post menopausal women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis due to the lower levels of estrogen, which helps to maintain bone growth and density. Fortunately, diet can help to make up for diminished estrogen levels if you increase your calcium intake.

Women's Health Concern recommends eating more milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, broccoli, nuts and seeds in order to help maintain bone density and strength. Phosphorus rich foods and vitamin D rich foods can also promote the absorption of calcium, so Women's Health Concern also recommends onions, garlic, peanuts, oily fish, brown rice, lentils, eggs, and meat.

Diet & Immune Function
Boosting immune function can also help prevent symptoms of menopause and post-menopause related illnesses. Women's Health Concern recommends zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B- complex.

You can take these vitamins as a supplement, but you can also find foods that contain the vitamins naturally. For example, lean red meat, and eggs are high in iron. Shellfish, corned beef, pumpkin seed, liver, chickpeas, and whole grain bread are high in Zinc. Raw cashews, soy products, sunflower seeds and liver can provide you with copper. Liver and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin C is found in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, lemons, and berries. Finally, avocados, spinach and nuts boast high amounts of vitamin E.