Menopause Diet Recommendations

April 18, 2011

Food as Medicine

It's no secret that what you eat can and does have a profound effect upon the way you feel. More often than ever, people are changing their diets in order to deal with physiological issues that would, in past times, require heavy doses of chemical laden drugs. Now, armed with some basic understanding of food and the impact it makes on our lives, we are better able to control unpleasant symptoms and even heal diseases with food, vitamins and supplements. It's a much better way to live than having to trust in drugs for the answers.

Food for Menopause

This fact does not apply only to illnesses and diseases it is also very effective when it comes to handling the symptoms of menopause. There's no getting around it - women will go through menopause - whether it is brought on by surgery or naturally, it is an inescapable fact of life for the female of the species. Whatever menopause symptoms a woman is facing, good food strategies can be just the ticket to help make the menopausal years more comfortable. Not only can you ease symptoms, there is also the added bonus of building stronger bones and protecting the heart by using some of these strategies.

What is important to remember is that there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to eating plans and using food as a means of handling menopausal symptoms. What works for one may not work for another. Also, what works for you today may not work so well a few months from now. As long as you understand that this is a journey and nothing is carved in stone you will be flexible enough to make changes along the way that will benefit you for years to come.

Mom Was Right...

If your Mom was like many 40 or 50 years ago, you had the words "eat your vegetables" drummed into you. Well, Mom was right. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits, from fiber, vitamins and minerals to being naturally low in fat. There are added benefits for the menopausal woman: plant based foods have phytoestrogens in them and they help to protect the body's health and well-being. Similar in structure to estrogen (the hormone that declines in women when they enter menopause), obtaining these natural plant chemicals in food may act as weak estrogen in our bodies. In other words, phytoestrogens may trick your body into thinking it has more estrogen than it actual does. This alone has the potential to ease some of the discomforts of estrogen loss.

...Eat Your Fruit and Veggies

Along with estrogen, plant based foods also contain the mineral boron, which is like glue when it comes helping the body hold on to estrogen. So, the combination of phytoestrogens and boron works to keep the estrogen levels in your body sustained, even through the level is lower than it was when you were younger. Plums, strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and raspberries are just a few of the fruits that are great sources of phytoestrogens and boron. Couple them with these veggies for a balance in your diet: beets, cabbage, carrots lettuce, bell peppers, asparagus, sweet potatoes and turnips. Of course there are many more, so do your research and enjoy a wide variety of healthy, wonderful fruits and vegetables that will help you through the menopausal years.

Powerhouse in a Tiny Container

Many people have an aversion to beans, probably because they can be a source of gas and bloating. But, did you know they are one of the most nutritionally efficient natural foods available? There are many health benefits loaded into these little powerhouses and they even slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream which means they have the ability to curb your appetite. They're full of fiber and they contain phytoestrogens. Vitamins and minerals abound in them, including calcium, folic acid and vitamin B-6. And, to top it off, they're a great source of protein.

Just by adding more boron rich fruits and vegetables to your diet and adding some great bean dishes (like chili, three-bean salads, bean soups and casseroles) you can boost your intake of phytoestrogens and ease some of the symptoms of menopause while you trim fat from your diet and become healthier. Not a bad deal.

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