Menopause is when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation ends. Menopause is a normal part of a woman's life; it is not a disease or a condition. Menopause happens because the woman's ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Symptoms vary from woman to woman. Common symptoms of menopause include; hot flashes, bloating and weight gain, mood changes, fatigue, stress, bone loss, vaginal dryness and itching, etc.
Adding the right foods to your diet as you approach menopause can actually reduce or prevent menopause symptoms.
1) Drink plenty of water daily to avoid water retention, dryness etc.
2) Include more of fruits and vegetables in diet which are high in fiber and antioxidants.
3) Include whole grains in diet like oats, brown rice, barley, etc that provide B vitamins. Whole grains also contain folic acid and fiber which helps lower risk for cardiovascular diseases, which rises after menopause.
4) Get enough calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K in diet for bones health. Sources: Low fat dairy products, yogurt, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, Foods and cereals fortified with vitamin D, fish, olive oil, flax seeds, etc.
5) Include Iron-rich foods like red meat, poultry, nuts, leafy green vegetables and eggs in diet. As menopausal women are at risk for anemia.
6) Increase your intake of phyto-oestrogen rich food. Sources: soya milk and soya flour, linseeds, tofu, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
7) Maintain weight. Tips: Have small frequent meals, don’t skip meals, drink plenty of water, eat in small plates, include whole grains, complex carbs, lean protein and low fat dairy products in diet, avoid fried and processed food, avoid junk food, limit salt and sugar intake, don’t smoke, avoid drinking alcohol.
8) Be physically active. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily.
9) Sleep well and avoid taking stress. Try Yoga.
10) Avoid alcohol, smoking, limit sugar and salt intake, avoid all fatty food and processed foods.