Menopause is permanent stopping of ovarian function marking the end of reproductive phase in the women. It usually occurs in midlife and it is associated with many other changes in female body. Due to hormone production cessation, particularly estradiol and progesterone, symptoms and signs of menopause are mood swings, hot flashes, irregular menstrual periods, osteoporosis, decreased energy, weight gaining, etc.
In creating a diet for menopause there must be numerous factors taken into account. But generally it is recommended to have healthy nutrition in years prior to menopause. American Heart Association and American Cancer Society offer useful advices that should be considered.
NutritionHow to fight Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is bones disease, typical for menopause. Yogurt, milk, cheese, fish, broccoli, kale, soybean and spinach are all good sources of calcium thus helpful in fighting osteoporosis. Salt intake should be reduced, it increases the risk for osteoporosis since it promotes calcium excretion.How to get rid of hot flashes (sudden temporary body temperature increase). Hot flashes can be reduced by consumption of certain plants that have effects on the body similar to hormone estrogen. These plants, like black cohosh and soy isoflavones, have compounds known as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are beneficial for relieving menopause symptoms.How to stop weight gaining caused by hormone shifts. Generally low fat food, vegetables, fruits and cereals are recommended while sugar, bread, and simple carbs in general should be avoided.Food rich in tryptophan will bring you sleep quality improvement. Tryptophan helps production of serotonin that is vital for controlling the sleep cycle. Best sources of tryptohan are soy, salmon, chicken and turkey breast, shrimp, halibut, yellow fin tuna and snapper. Beef tender loin and lamb loin are rich in tryptophan but high in fat hence not perfect choice. Besides, carbohydrates raise level of serotonin. Tryptophan also has an influence on appetite and can help with reducing weight.Food for energy boost. Complex carbohydrates are essential for energy increase. B-complex vitamins that can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, cottage cheese, etc are great option too.How to improveme mood. Tryptophan, carbohydrates, phytoestrogens and everything that raises serotonin level is highly recommended. Women often have cravings for sweets but it must be remembered that only complex carbohydrates can eliminate this craving, mood swings and feeling of tiredness.All in all, during menopause, recommendation is to consume foods rich in minerals and vitamins and also phytoestrogens. Best choice is fish, green vegetables, all sorts of fruits, soy, seeds, whole grains and turkey and chicken breast. Regularly take vitamin supplements. Salt should be limited as well as coffee, soda, cigarettes and spicy food.