As women begin their early years of menopausal transition, they may notice some physical and internal changes in their bodies. In fact, the majority of middle-aged women would often complain about recurring hot flashes, extreme irritability, and weight gain. Some may even become more self-conscious because of their skin and hair changes.
So, what does cause these changes during perimenopause? These symptoms can all be rooted in hormonal imbalance, which has been scientifically proven to ignite all menopausal problems. After decades of being active estrogen and progesterone producers, your ovaries gradually decline hormone production, thereby distressing your body's physiological functions.
The key to having a healthy condition is your diet. What you eat can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thus, women need to monitor their food intake as they enter the menopausal transition. Get to know the best sources of nutrients to be included and those foods that must be avoided in every woman's menopausal diet.
What Should be Included in Your Menopausal Diet?
Your diet can affect your menopausal journey. Below are seven of the best food and beverages that every woman should include in her menopausal diet.
1. Dairy products
Women, especially during perimenopause, must be conscious of how much calcium they have in their diet. Studies show that women are at risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause. A lack of estrogen during the menopausal transition can adversely affect your body's calcium absorption. To prevent calcium depletion, menopausal women must amplify calcium intake by including dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter, in their everyday diet.
2. Fatty fishes
Eating fatty fishes has been proven beneficial to women going through menopause. Research also shows how oily fish can lead to a later onset of menopause and its symptoms. According to various researchers, this delay can be associated with the antioxidants found in fatty fishes that can protect your reproductive cells against oxidative damage.
Oily fishes such as sardines, salmon and mackerel, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids known for relieving menopausal issues such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and hair loss.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help regulate your body temperature to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. Your mane also needs these fatty acids to stimulate hair follicle growth. Fatty acids may also decrease your hair's sensitivity against ultraviolet rays, making it less susceptible to strand breakage.
Other studies have also seen omega-3's potential in mitigating mood disorders and depression. According to Harvard Health Publishing, fatty acids from oily fish can easily interact with brain molecules associated with mood, which can help prevent menopausal depression.
3. Soy products
Various body organs need sufficient estrogens to function properly. For instance, estrogens can influence how long do hair follicles stay in the anagen or growth phase. When you lack estrogens, these follicles will most likely be forced to shift in the telogen or resting stage.
Estrogens also play a vital role in preventing digestive disorders, such as constipation, peptic ulcer, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), since your gastrointestinal tract also has estrogen receptors.
Therefore, it is essential to have a daily load of phytoestrogens. These plant nutrients have estrogen-like properties that can mimic various estrogenic functions. Organs may detect and respond positively to phytoestrogens, thereby mitigating the effects of estrogen deficiency during perimenopause.
Phytoestrogens can be found in various plant sources. For instance, isoflavones are estrogenic phytochemicals that you can quickly get from soy products, such as soybeans, soy milk, tofu, and miso. According to studies, isoflavones are sufficient to reduce hot flash episodes, mood swings, and fatigue problems. The antioxidant properties of isoflavones can also help middle-aged women to curb age-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and osteoporosis.
Menopause does not only bring physical changes, but it can also affect how your body works internally. For women in their 40s and 50s, cardiovascular health is not something to be taken lightly. Middle-aged women become more susceptible to heart ailments, especially if their ovaries aren't very active in estrogen production. Research shows that estrogens are essential in keeping your artery walls dilated enough for the blood to flow freely. These female sex hormones also help increase your body's good cholesterol, which also removes the bad cholesterol. Thus, when estrogen levels decrease during the menopausal transition, it can increase the chances of bad cholesterol build-up, thereby jeopardizing your cardiovascular health.
Eating an egg in a day can go a long way in preventing heart diseases. Eggs are known to lessen your cholesterol levels. Harvard Health Publishing has also stated that eggs don't escalate your risk of heart attacks. These animal products are also loaded with protein, which you need to stimulate and strengthen hair growth to avoid menopausal hair loss.
5. Cruciferous vegetables
You don't have to go vegan to ensure your menopausal diet to be at its best. Even just by adding vegetables to every meal, you can go a long way in reducing menopausal symptoms. Recent studies show how cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage can stabilize your estrogen levels.
Most people may not like broccoli for its bitter taste, but this dark green is a potent source of calcium, fiber, magnesium, and folic acid, all of which are needed by menopausal women. Eating broccoli can also lower the risk of developing breast cancer. On the other hand, cauliflowers have phytochemicals called glucosinolates, preventing oxidative stress from causing menopausal skin and hair problems. However, eating raw cauliflowers can pose a threat to your hormonal levels. Researchers have found that cauliflowers have goitrogens that can impede your thyroid hormone production. Therefore, don't forget to cook cauliflowers properly before consuming them.
Every woman must watch out for her diet, mainly during her 40s and 50s because they become more vulnerable to various age-related and menopausal-induced diseases. However, you don't have to sacrifice your snack time so that you can keep yourself healthy. For instance, you can munch some nuts or seeds whenever you're in the mood for some grub. In fact, most legumes are rich sources of phytoestrogens, which can be very beneficial for women going through menopause. Specifically, flax seeds and sesame seeds are your go-to sources of lignans, phytonutrients with estrogenic properties. Hence, never worry about eating nuts and seeds during your break time or any time of the day.
As necessary as this essential can be, proper hydration must be strictly observed in every menopausal woman's diet. Drinking water diligently has been proven to alleviate the most common menopausal symptoms.
First, drinking cold water can help you normalize your body temperature during a hot flash episode. It will also calm you down, thereby reducing your palpitations.
Second, women who often experience night sweats often lose too much water through sweating, leaving their hair and skin dry the next day. Thus, it is of utmost necessity to replenish your body with water to prevent dehydration even during your sleep.
Third, a lack of estrogen can make your gastrointestinal system more sensitive. Adding dehydration to hormonal imbalance can trigger digestive and bowel movement issues. Therefore, menopausal women must amplify their water consumption to prevent digestive problems from occurring and recurring.
In conclusion, women must ensure that they are well-hydrated, especially during the early and later stages of menopause. By drinking water, you can neutralize even the most common menopausal symptoms.
Say No: Foods and Beverages That Must Be Avoided During Menopause
As your age increases, your body becomes more vulnerable to various age-related illnesses. Middle-aged women must particularly be careful with their diet since a combination of aging and lack of estrogens can pose a threat to their health.
Excessive sugar consumption is a big no-no for women in their menopausal stage. Yes, you may eat something sugary to ease your mood swings, but it's not an excuse to consume sweets excessively. Cognitive function is especially at risk, especially for those with high sugar intake. Studies show the negative impact of high blood sugar levels on one's brain health.
Too much sugar in your bloodstream can also worsen menopausal discomforts, such as hot flashes. You also get the same results by eating spicy foods, for it can also trigger flushing, sweating, and palpitating. Therefore, keep sugary and spicy foods out of your reach as much as possible.
A Healthy Diet is The Solution to Enjoying Your Menopausal Journey.
You can blame your hormones as much as you want, but it is never too late to change your old habits. If you want to avoid skin aging and hair loss problems, you need to change your lifestyle. By improving your diet as early as you can, you can salvage yourself from the adverse effects of menopause.
Keep Your Locks Ageless Even After Menopause.
A healthy diet isn't enough to keep your tresses strong and bouncy even after your menopause journey. What you need for your hair is a boost from the best hair growth products. Prevent postmenopausal alopecia by using only the best and all-natural shampoo and conditioner for your hair.