How to Ease Menopause Symptoms Through Diet
Menopause is diagnosed when you haven't had your menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. The average age that menopause occurs is between 45 and 55, and it is due to a decline in reproductive hormones. Diet is an effective and healthy way to help manage menopause symptoms and improve overall well-being.
Keep Blood Sugar Levels Low
Low-glycemic foods that help stabilize blood sugar levels will also help improve menopause symptoms. Simple carbohydrates and high-sugar foods, such as sweets, can increase the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and irritability. Instead, stick to low-glycemic foods, which are primarily complex carbohydrates. These include whole grains such as oats and barley, beans, legumes, and potatoes.
While it is entirely normal, weight gain is common during menopause, and many women become frustrated with their changing metabolisms. Complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods can also help manage weight alongside a healthy, balanced diet.
The Power Couple: Calcium and Vitamin D
As we age, our bones lose density and become more fragile. The risk of osteoporosis increases in menopause. We know that calcium helps build strong bones, but vitamin D is also necessary to support calcium absorption in the bones. Without sufficient vitamin D, calcium from the diet goes to the bloodstream instead of the bones, which can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks.
Calcium is in many foods that are part of a healthy diet, such as dairy products. It is also added to many foods, such as dairy-free milk alternatives. However, vitamin D is a bit trickier to get from diet. You can get it naturally from the sun, but if you live in a country far from the equator, you're better off taking a supplement. Many drinks are now also fortified with vitamin D to help increase that daily intake.
Menopause is not something you can avoid, but it doesn't have to be scary or negative. Symptoms can be frustrating and impact your overall well-being, but the right foods can definitely help with menopause. By increasing calcium and vitamin D intake, eating a healthy diet that includes complex carbohydrates, and avoiding high-glycemic index foods, you can help ease some of these symptoms.