Menopause can be a challenging time for many women. Falling oestrogen levels can result in a variety of unwanted symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, dryness, mood changes, urinary tract infections and more. Eating well (and focusing on our mantra of always including a source of ‘protein, good fats and something fresh’ with each meal) can help to support your body and mind while adjusting to changing hormone levels.
Be sure to include these top five tips in your daily diet:
Healthy Hormones – support your hormone levels by increasing food that can bind with oestrogen receptors in the body. They act in a similar way to oestrogen and can help to keep hormonal symptoms in check. They are known as phyto-oestrogens and include foods such as linseeds, sunflower seeds, chick peas, alfalfa sprouts, hazelnuts, tempeh and miso. You can also consider supplements such as omega-3s, vitamin E and magnesium.
Bone Health – Calcium foods are essential at this time to support bone density. Try bumping up your intake of almonds, chia seeds, unhulled tahini, tinned salmon with the bones, sardines, dried figs and dairy products. Make sure you get your vitamin D levels tested and spend some time in the sun when possible.
Dryness – dry skin, hair and vagina can be uncomfortable and worrying for many women. Bump up foods containing good fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, hummus, olive oil and coconut oil to help lubricate and support healthy hormone levels. Enough water is also a must – aim to drink 30 ml per kg of body weight every day!
Hot Flushes – minimize foods that might trigger hot flushes such as coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, chocolate and hot drinks. Try to reducing hot flushes and excess sweating by drinking 2 cups of cold sage tea daily.
Stay Strong – menopause can cause loss of strength and muscle mass and an increase in fatty tissue. Stay strong and toned by including 2-3 x 30 minute sessions of resistance exercise every week such as yoga, pilates or weights. Ensure you are having good quality protein with every meal and most snacks. Try eggs, fish, nuts, tahini, lentils, quinoa, chicken and grilled meat.