A healthy diet for a menopausal woman means eating plenty of nourishing, whole foods, which should include a rainbow of fruit and vegetables; the more colour in your diet, the more vitamins and minerals you’ll benefit from. As well as this, try to focus on lean proteins, such as free-range and organic fish, eggs, chicken or pulses if you are vegan, complex carbs such as quinoa and sweet potatoes and good fats, which also include avocados, nuts and coconut oil.
“Certain plants, containing phyto-oestrogens, can help to support our bodies during this tricky period,” explains Angelique Panagos, a nutritional therapist and hormonal health expert. “These foods include flax and sesame seeds, white and black beans and pistachios, walnuts and peanuts.”
Panagos recommends you try to include a portion of these foods every day.
Many menopausal women are also low in iron, so it’s important to be tested if you think you may be at risk. “Good foods to add into your diet to boost iron levels include lean red meat, eggs, leafy greens, nuts and certain fortified foods,” says Panagos.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for many women during the menopause, as they help to maintain a healthy heart and flexible joints, thereby reducing the need for NSAIDS. They’ll also help to maintain youthful-looking skin. You can increase your dietary intake by eating oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. Flaxseeds are also a great source of omega-3s.
It’s also beneficial to eliminate certain inflammatory foods from the diet. Foods which spike our blood sugars should be reduced, including pastries, cakes, white bread and white pasta. Try to steer clear of refined sugar wherever you can because this not only inflames the body, but also spikes your sugars, leading to dreaded muffin tops around your waist over the long term.
“Other pointers to avoid weight gain include saying goodbye to alcohol, embracing exercise, and cutting back on overly processed and trans fatty foods,” adds Panagos “When we are going through the menopause, it can be easy to pile on the pounds; follow these simple steps and you’ll soon regain a healthy weight for you.”