Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life as her menstrual cycles come to an end. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years as a natural part of biological aging. Menopause is caused by the loss of ovarian follicular function and a decline in circulating blood estrogen levels.
It’s confirmed 12 months after your last period. However, the transition and symptoms associated with menopause can last for several years.
The menopausal and Pre menopausal phase of women is full of changes that occur in a woman's body:-
- a sudden drop in the hormone estrogen,
- hot flushes,
- mood swings,
- brain fog
- risk of reduced bone density, higher risk of osteoporosis, and bone fractures
- Increased risk of heart disease
- poor sleep.
- can lead to weight gain
But maintaining a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle during the perimenopausal and menopausal stages can actually help. A balanced diet can play a crucial role in managing symptoms and promoting overall well-being and women's health.
Here are some specific reasons why a healthy diet is important during perimenopause and menopause:
- Hormonal balance: Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, undergo significant fluctuations during menopause. A balanced diet with appropriate nutrients can support hormone regulation and may help alleviate some symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue.
MOMS TIP - Eating fruits and vegetables that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fruits, and antioxidants helps in reducing hot flashes.
- Bone health: Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining bone density. During menopause, the decline in estrogen levels can lead to a higher risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Consuming calcium and vitamin D-rich foods can help support bone health and reduce the risk of fractures.
MOMS TIP- One should eat a diet rich in Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Omega-3 for good bone health. Add green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach fish, and Phytoestrogens-nuts, seeds like flax seeds, sunflowers, and almonds to your diet for bone health.
- Heart health: After menopause, women have an increased risk of heart disease. Drops in the female hormone, estrogen, are associated with a rise in total cholesterol levels due to higher amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol, and another blood lipid (fat) known as triglyceride. Blood pressure generally goes up after menopause.
MOMS TIP - Try a Mediterranean diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low amounts of processed foods and refined carbohydrates, and avoid cigarette smoking and overuse of alcohol.
- Weight management: Hormonal changes during menopause can lead to weight gain and changes in body composition. Adopting a balanced diet and staying physically active can help manage weight and prevent obesity-related health issues.
MOMS TIP - have calcium-rich food like milk, yogurt, and kale to keep bones healthy. Exercise regularly, including Activities like walking, jogging, yoga, or strength training can be beneficial.
- Mental well-being: Menopause can be a challenging time emotionally, with mood swings, anxiety, and irritability being common. A diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants can support mental well-being and may help reduce the risk of depression and cognitive decline.
MOMS TIP - Adopt Regular sleep routines, maintain a stress-free environment Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
- Maintaining overall health: A nutritious diet can support the immune system, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and improve energy levels and vitality during this transitional phase of life.
A whole-food diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality protein, and dairy products may reduce menopause symptoms. Phytoestrogens and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, may also help. You may want to limit added sugars, processed carbs, alcohol, caffeine, and high-sodium or spicy foods as well.
FAQs - answered by Garima Anand(Certified nutritionist and fitness trainer))
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!