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How to eat to relieve symptoms

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Menopausal nutrition – It may not be top of your list of things to figure out this week if you haven’t reached that stage in life yet, but even for the spring chickens among us, how much of a priority it really is. You may be surprised at how high

It’s easy to think of menopause, and even peri-menopause, as a distant future concern, but the sooner you make the necessary dietary adjustments (the opposite of deficiency, by the way), the better. . “Ideally, we want women to make sure they are well prepared in advance rather than waiting for symptoms to affect their health,” says registered dietitian and co-author of The Emma Bardwell said. The Menopause Solution: Control Your Hormones Before They Take Over You (Vermillion, £14.99). “Pre-warning is definitely pre-preparation.”

The average age of menopause is 51, and menopause begins in the 40s. It lasts four to seven years and can include symptoms ranging from mood changes to sleep problems to joint pain. All of this can be alleviated by organizing your dietary intake. The question is whether it is possible.

How can I nourish my body during menopause?

Half the battle is knowing where to direct your menopausal nutrition efforts in a world where everyone seems like an expert. For Birdwell, those areas are protein, blood sugar, fiber, and calcium. “In a nutshell, all women over the age of 40 need to be serious about eating for heart, brain and bone health.

nourish the heart

Get plenty of healthy unsaturated fats from foods like fatty fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Also pay attention to dietary fiber. According to the British Dietetic Association, an adult in the UK is only getting 60% of her recommended 30g per day. Increasing it helps manage weight (which is important during menopause) and builds diversity in the gut microbiome. Consider adding grains, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and fruit,” says Bardwell.

strengthen bones

Calcium is key to bone health, and it becomes more critical as we age. “After age 50, we lose 1 percent of bone mass each year, so we need to do everything we can to reduce bone mass and increase bone strength by then,” says Bardwell. It needs vitamin D and calcium. According to Bardwell, before age 50 he gets 700 mg of calcium a day, and after that he almost doubles to 1200 mg of calcium: dairy products, sardines, kale, broccoli, dried figs, tofu with calcium. , from foods such as fortified plant milks.

fuel your brain

“For the brain to function well, it needs energy from calories, but it also needs enough nutrients to fuel the production of ‘happy’ signaling substances such as dopamine and serotonin,” says Bardwell. says. Omega-3s, especially the DHA and EPA found in omega-3s, are also important. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce depressive symptoms in women transitioning to menopause, so aim for two servings of fatty fish per week.

you don’t like fish? When it comes to supplements, the best choices are those made with fish oil, but for vegetables and vegans, algae-based supplements. It is an inactive form of ALA that must be converted to , and this conversion is very inefficient,” explains Bardwell.

Why is protein important during menopause?

A 2021 study found that post-menopausal women had 9% less muscle mass and post-menopausal women had 10% less muscle mass compared to pre-menopausal women. That’s thanks to a phenomenon called sarcopenia, which is why protein is important when we talk about menopausal nutrition. This reduces your ability to store glucose, making it easier for your body to store carbohydrates and sugars as fat,” says Rachel Clarkson, a licensed specialist registered dietitian. “Try to eat good quality protein with every meal.” Research supports this, and suggests that increasing protein intake by 20% in older adults may help preserve muscle mass and reduce the risk of frailty32. % is known to decrease.

Bardwell agrees, pointing out other symptoms that protein can alleviate. “It’s necessary for energy production, sleep, and mood. It’s also great for suppressing appetite, making you feel full, and stabilizing blood sugar levels. It checks a lot of boxes. Bardwell suggests that perimenopausal women should consume 1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 1.2 to 2 g if very active. “So, a woman weighing 70 kg needs about 70 to 100 g of protein per day. Ideal.” Think of a palm-sized portion at each meal. Chicken breast, mackerel fillet, half a cup of lentils, three eggs, or half a block of tofu.

What is the best diet for menopause?

You don’t have to eat all of turmeric, but studies have found that taking curcumin (found in turmeric) and vitamin E can significantly reduce hot flashes, but eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help you. “Before menopause, a woman’s body produces estrogen and progesterone, which have protective effects on women’s health,” says Clarkson. “But after menopause, levels of these hormones drop dramatically, increasing the risk of disease. Vitamin E, vitamin A, carotenoids.

Post-menopause puts stress on the body, stress causes inflammation, and chronic inflammation leads to diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Cereals, olive oil, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, fish and seafood, moderate dairy products and small amounts of meat. “It’s not a cliché, it’s a way of eating that you can adjust according to your tastes, budget and preferences,” he says Bardwell. One study found that high intakes of fatty fish and fresh legumes delayed natural menopause, while refined carbohydrates accelerated menopause.

What foods to avoid during menopause

Want to know what to avoid? Avoidance. “The keto and paleo diets mean many women avoid carbohydrates and grains,” says Bardwell. The feeling can all be attributed to a lack of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates are still riddled with controversy and are often shunned.

She cites the annoyingly pervasive idea that carbs make you bloated, inflamed, sluggish, and unable to lose fat. “This is not true. Carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram, fuel your muscles, pack in fiber and, if chosen wisely, are a great source of vitamins and minerals,” she says. increase. Above all, think of your brain! “It’s the hungriest organ in your body, it consumes about 20% of the energy it consumes in a day when at rest, and it loves carbohydrates. Studies show that our brain burns 400 calories a day.” It’s been suggested that you consume more glucose than calories, which helps explain why low-carb diets can make you sluggish, moody and giddy,” Bardwell explained. increase. As such, you are welcome to add high-quality complex carbohydrates, mostly plant-based, back into your diet.

Second, they tend to avoid dairy and gluten for which they don’t need medical attention. “Dairy products are a widely available and relatively inexpensive form of calcium and protein, and they also provide iodine, which is essential for thyroid health,” says Bardwell. , but it’s hard to find ones that contain iodine.

What Helps Menopause Brain Fog?

Brain fog, the inability to think clearly, is a common perimenopausal and menopausal problem, and hydration is one of the key ways to overcome it. “The mass of your brain is about three-quarters water, and any drop in that level can lead to sluggishness, fatigue, brain fog, trouble sleeping, and depressed mood,” Bardwell says. say. Use a jug or bottle to keep drinking throughout the day.

“Aerobic exercise is key to keeping the brain oxygenated and can actually stop the brain shrinkage that surprisingly everyone experiences as we age,” says Bardwell. Eat a rainbow and take in rich colors like dark purple berries. “It increases BDNF, which is like brain fertilizer. Herbs and spices, on the other hand, contain compounds that may slow down brain aging and improve blood flow.” Food also plays a role. “Protein-rich foods such as milk, fish, beans, eggs and meat have been shown to increase the happiness hormones, serotonin and dopamine,” says Clarkson. “These protein-rich foods also contain compounds such as L-arginine and carnitine that improve blood flow and improve libido.”

How can I stabilize blood sugar levels during menopause?

“When blood sugar peaks or troughs outside of the optimal range, the endocrine (hormonal) system is put on alert and focuses all its attention on trying to stabilize them. It means that hormones such as progesterone and testosterone have less time to regulate, which can lead to decreased libido, PMS-type symptoms, acne, mid-section fat, and increased appetite commonly reported in perimenopausal women. says Bardwell.

If you’re lethargic and low on energy, try to spread your protein intake throughout the day. Studies show that women are reverse-loaded and eat less protein for breakfast and lunch. “Let her start the day with a protein-based breakfast. Think eggs, scrambled tofu, or Greek yogurt,” she says Bardwell. “This gives you a sustained energy release and keeps you off the blood sugar roller coaster.” Avoid carbs that have been

But don’t go into full deprivation mode. “If you crave something sweet, tagging it at the end of your meal instead of eating it as a snack can help reduce spikes,” he says. “Exercise after meals can also help lower high blood sugar levels.” Finally, walk away from the blender. “Eat the fruit whole instead of juicing it, or add a little fat, serve bananas with pumpkin seed butter, and add eggs to avocado toast,” Bardwell suggests.

What Helps Menopausal Symptoms Naturally?

Perimenopause and menopause are associated with as many as 35 symptoms, and eating soy products can help, says Clarkson. “Foods such as tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame, and soy milk contain compounds called phytoestrogens, which mimic the hormone estrogen in the body and help alleviate symptoms,” she says.

Defeat the coffee beast. Also, reducing caffeine from coffee, black or green tea, or even chocolate six hours before bedtime can improve sleep duration and quality. Diet is your friend and Bardwell’ Motion is your lotion. You may feel pain and stiffness, but try to keep moving. She also recommends taking 400mg of magnesium bisglycinate and at least 10mcg of vitamin D daily.Remember that HRT can be very helpful for many conditions, including joint pain.

What’s best for menopause?

1. Do not add or subtract

“The peri-menopause period, when your body undergoes important adjustments, is not a time of deprivation,” says Bardwell. to nourish your body.

2. Think Bones, Muscles, and Brains

Get omega-3s for your brain and joints, protein for your muscles, and calcium and soy for your bones. Clarkson recommends complementing this by incorporating muscle-strengthening exercises two to three times a week.

3. Kindly, Firmly

This isn’t about flipping everything you know about nutrition, just a few tweaks. Avoid food.