Please enjoy this guest post by Angela Peck with common sense advice about relieving menopause symptoms with diet.
If you’re bothered with common menopause symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, and weight gain, then this period of your life can feel like you’re constantly fighting against your body—and your body is clearly winning. And certainly, some of these signs of “Meno-Pot-Belly” or “turning St. Catherine’s corner” (editor’s note: Angela tells me that this is an antiquated, vague term for going through menopause) are to be expected due to the changes that are going on internally, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be tolerated.
The one positive thing about menopause (if there is such a thing), is that you have a lot of different options when it comes to easing the symptoms that come along with it. One that is not talked about often but that can have a very positive effect on how easy this period of your life is, no pun intended, involves your diet. What are some changes that may help you better survive “the change”?
Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Dr. Elaine Magee suggests that one way to help manage bothersome menopausal symptoms is to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. This can be accomplished by cutting them up and eating them as snacks, adding them to your favorite dishes and casseroles, and using them as side dishes.
Juicing is another way to help ensure that you get the fruits and veggies your body needs to function as efficiently and effectively as it can during this time of change. Plus, getting an abundance of vitamins and minerals often comes with other benefits as well. For instance, one woman used juicing to help her reverse her skin condition, which is a bonus in anyone’s book.
Limit High Fat Foods
While you want to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to better survive menopause, at the same time you also want to decrease the amount of high fat foods you eat to further lessen its effects. How much? According to WebMD, “Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your daily calories.”
This mean choosing lean meats over meats that have visible fat on them and selecting lower fat options when it comes to dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. However, some good-for-you fats that actually offer a number of health benefits can be found in nuts, seeds, salmon, coconut oil, and seafood, so those are ones you’ll want to consider leaving in your diet.
Drink More Water
Because the decrease in estrogen during menopause generally results in drier-than-normal skin and a dry vaginal area, drinking enough water daily can help. It’s been found that water can actually help to lower the amount of bloating that can take place during changes in hormones. As a result, a little extra H20 offers a few different benefits in this stage of life.
Ultimately, you want to aim to consume at least eight glasses per day. If plain old water bores you, consider adding fruit slices or melon dices to it to give it some flavor without adding sugar or calories. Also, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic, so you’re best sticking with water when you can.
Menopause may be not unavoidable, but sometimes its symptoms are. Making these three dietary changes certainly can’t hurt. Who knows? They might even help.