HEALTHY EATING FOR THE MENOPAUSE
Helping females feel fabulous through the decades.
Foods to enhance mood, gut health, improve your bones and help you stay in great shape. A varied diet with colour, texture, taste and flavour should be important in every diet, but as females move through the decades, investing some time and effort into how food can heal and support a strong, capable, body should be high on the ‘to do list’.
Don’t hold on to how you ‘used to be able to eat anything’ and not notice any health or physical changes. Let her go. Accept your body will change and even IMPROVE in your 50’s and beyond.
Your menopause can be the start of the best years in your life!
GUT FRIENDLY FOODS
Having healthy gut bacteria can help boost your energy levels, improve weight management and help with a strong immunity. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit with a variety of colour will mean you are getting good FIBRE which is important for your ‘friendly gut bacteria’.
PRE-BIOTIC FOODS. Help stimulate the growth of the good bacteria and vegetables such as: GARLIC, ONIONS, LEEK, ASPARAGUS, CHICORY, GINGER, CABBAGE, BEETROOT and fruits, BANANAS, BLUEBERRIES AND APPLES should be included over the spread of the week.
PRO-BIOTIC FOODS contain LIVE culture (bacteria and yeasts) and may help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. Foods such as Kefir, LIVE yoghurt, Kombucha, Sauerkraut and Kimchi are widely available in the UK.
Avoiding refined ‘white and beige foods’ that are often stripped of their fibre. White rice, pasta and bread can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar which can make mood swings worse.
Wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, pulses, beans, sweet potatoes and other vegetables such as dark leafy veg offer lots of fibre can help re-dress the balance if you eat processed foods now and again.
VITAMIN D. Available from oily fish, sunlight and supplements. Vitamin D helps slow down bone mineral loss and helps us absorb calcium to strengthen muscles, teeth and bones. Oily fish such as SALMON, HERRING, SARDINES AND MACKEREL are excellent choices. EGG YOLKS are also a great source. Lots of foods have ‘fortified Vitamin D’ which means it’s added to the product. Many foods in the supermarket are fortified such as, breads, yoghurts, breakfast cereal and certain alternative milks. Check the label. Certainly, getting your Vitamin D from its natural source is always better, but start ‘where you’re at’ and if you hardly eat any of the natural stuff. Look for the fortified versions.
FOOD ALONE DOESN’T USUALLY PROVIDE US WITH ENOUGH VITAMIN D, so exposing skin to sunlight is a natural top up. Living in the UK or with little sun for several months, will mean you may well be lacking and the NHS advice is to top up with a supplement. Taking 10mg per day. This can be just for a few winter months, but you can continue all year if you wish.
IRON Important for bone health and healthy blood cells. RED MEAT, LIVER and plant foods such as SPINACH, BROCCOLI, KALE, SWISS CHARD, CAVELO NERO. NUTS, SEEDS, SOY BEANS, CHICK PEAS, DRIED APRICOTS AND JACKET POTATOES.
CALCIUM for strength and hardness of bones. Dairy and leafy vegetables, as above examples. Soft fish bones found in tinned fish. Dried apricots and TOFU. Fortified foods contain Calcium, such as breakfast cereals and plant-based milks. Read the labels and do check what you’re eating.
ALCOHOL. Can affect your mood, sleep, weight and so is worth cutting down at this time. If you suffer from disturbed sleep and ‘hot flushes’, this can be a game changer. One small glass of wine is likely OK, but if you start to rely on it as a way to unwind and relax, it will likely be a harder habit to break.
Menopause symptoms have no cure. No super supplement that will magically help you sail through this time. You are unique and individual. Start with small changes within your diet that you can maintain. Keeping consistent with a variety of foods is good for your overall health too. It is relatively simple to implement a few changes in your daily meals immediately. Above all, know that this time is fleeting in the scheme of things. Take control where you can and invest in the best food you can afford.
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