Eating a balanced diet can help women overcome the postmenopausal difficulties. At the time of menopause, a woman’s body undergoes many changes. Having a well balanced diet helps in combating physical, mental and emotional upheavals. Foods rich in vitamin D, E and omega-3 fatty acids help in combating signs of aging. While those rich in calcium and vitamin B complex can help in strengthening the bones. Have a look on some of these.
Nuts are packed with a wide array of nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins and antioxidants that help in reducing hot flushes. Besides, nuts are very satisfying and only a handful of nuts can help you feel full, which also keeps postmenopausal weight gain at bay. These also help in reducing the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis. Almonds are high in flavonoids and vitamin E which help in producing powerful antioxidants. One quarter cup of almonds contain 45% of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E. Cashew nuts are high in magnesium. Magnesium along with calcium helps in reducing symptoms like irritability, mood swings, insomnia etc., which are quite common during postmenopausal time. One quarter cup of cashew nuts meets your 25% DV of magnesium. Eating a handful of nuts daily helps in reducing postmenopausal weight gain also. The RDA for vitamin E is 15 mg per day for a menopausal woman, and for magnesium, the recommended amount is 320 mg per day. Nuts help meet this requirement up to a great extent. Nuts can be eaten as a snack between the meals, and anybody can eat a handful of nuts as a midday snack.
Vegetables are powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients, which are plant estrogens. These plant estrogens easily bind with the estrogen receptors found in the body and then help in fighting hot flushes and sleeping disturbances. Vegetables rich in phytoestrogens are beans, potatoes, yams and carrots. The other good thing about vegetables is that they are very low on calories. So when you begin to feel that weight gain is becoming a problem for you, just switch to vegetables. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli are rich in vitamin E, mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, baked beans, turnips and broccoli are great source of calcium, green leafy vegetables and beans are full of vitamin B and chilies and lemon are full of vitamin C while spinach, fenugreek contain plenty of iron and other minerals. Eating three to five servings of vegetables is a great way to keep the mood swings at bay and feel strong and happy during the tumulus menopausal period. Eating raw vegetables in form of salads and soups is a great way to maintain weight and stay filled and healthy. 8 mgs of iron is Recommended Dietary Allowance for the older women.
Eating fruits which are high in potassium like bananas, melons and oranges help in regulating water retention in the body. Besides, the mineral Boron, found abundantly in fruits helps in holding onto estrogen in the body. Boron is also beneficial in keeping our bones strong by helping to decrease the excretion of calcium. Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and hence they help in combating all kind of deficiencies in the body. 3 to 5 fruits of different colors should be eaten on a daily basis.
Dairy products are a great source of calcium, protein, vitamin A and vitamin D. Calcium is important to keep the bones healthy while vitamin D is crucial in helping calcium get absorbed by the body. Taking three servings of low fat dairy products on a daily basis will help improve your bone health. 1200 mgs of calcium is Recommended Dietary Allowance for women aged 51 and older.
Eating lean meat during this period does wonders to a menopausal woman’s health because this contains an amino acid called tryptophan. This tryptophan is converted by brain into serotonin, a brain chemical which is required for relaxation and good sleep. Red meat is also full of vitamin B 12, which is a must for healthy metabolism and functioning of neurotransmitters. As we age our ability to absorb vitamin B 12 decreases, and hence deficiency of this vitamin is quite common in older women which further leads to depression. Hence, eating lean meats will ensure a steady supply of amino acids and vitamins which will make you feel good. Eating four ounces of roast lamb can provide almost 110% of your DV for tryptophan, while lean beef provides you more than 112% of DV for Tryptophan. Include one serving of lean meat daily in your diet.
Whole grains are very important during menopause. They contain fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and iron. Carbohydrates provide energy to sail throughout the day. They also contain serotonin which helps in controlling mood swings. Foods like whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, bagels and cereals are extremely helpful. It is important to aim for 4 – 5 servings of these foods throughout the day. A menopausal woman should get 20 grams of fiber per day.
Eggs and other poultry products are high in protein, vitamin B, D and iron. Eating poultry products will keep you full without giving you extra calories and hence extra weight. High protein intake will ensure strengthening of muscles, which tend to go weak during postmenopausal age. Eat one serving of poultry products daily.
Eating fish like Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon and Sardines with edible bones will help you get a power boost of protein, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids along with plenty of vitamin A and vitamin D. Fishes contains less calories and more nutrition, and hence are super food for postmenopausal women.
Seeds like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, canola seeds, etc are high in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Since omega 3 acids are found in a limited number of foods and human body cannot produce these on their own, hence eating small amounts of these seeds daily is mandatory. A tea spoon of flax or any of the seeds daily will go a long way in ensuring glowing skin and it will also keep the joint pain at bay.