Besides constant fatigue, embarrassing hot flashes, and unbearable headaches, menopause causes weight gain. Many women put on weight during menopause because as we age our metabolism slows usually as the waistline expands. But what you eat can make a big difference in finding relief from your menopausal symptoms.
This bean is found in everything from margarine to cereals. Soy is thought to relieve hot flashes, although this is not proven. Soy helps to lower bad cholesterol, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Drink soy milk, add soy to salads or prepare it in stir-fry dishes.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are one of the best items to add to any diet. For menopausal symptoms, they offer a range of benefits, which include phytoestrogens and boron, a commonly overlooked essential mineral. Phytoestrogens, compounds that mimic estrogen, can help to diminish discomforts caused by lowered estrogen levels during menopause such as hot flashes. Good sources of phytoestrogens include: oranges, grapefruit, plums, apples, beets, cabbage, sweet potatoes and wheat. Boron increases the body's ability to produce estrogen while helping to maintain strong bones by decreasing the amount of calcium expelled from our body on a daily basis.
Beans offer an array of health benefits. They help slow down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, which can help curb your appetite. Also, they offer a good source of fiber, phytoestrogens, minerals, and vitamins, including calcium, folic acid, and vitamin B6. Add them into your diet in a bean soup or try a bean dip with chips.
It's important to get the right fats. For menopausal women, the right fats - the ones that protect against cancer and heart disease - are essential. Switch to olive oil and canola oil and limit foods with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.
Used for hundreds of years, flaxseed is abundant in lignans, a type of phytoestrogens, with 75 to 8000 times as much as other plant sources. Also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, it may help to prevent blood clots which can lead to heart attacks. As a meal option, add ground flaxseed to cereals or salads.
Changing your diet not only has a world of benefit for your body image, but will help keep menopausal symptoms at bay. Click on the following link to find more information about weight gain treatments.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007