Similar to puberty, menopause is a natural phenomenon experienced by every woman. Menopause can be defined as the stage in a woman’s life in which the reproductive factor is completely declined, which means that a woman will no more have her monthly period. Most women during menopause experience dryness in the vagina, hot blood flashes, and disturbed sleep leading to depression and stress.
Menopause usually happens between the age of 50 and 60 years. However, in some cases it may even occur at an early age of 30 years. The phenomenon does not occur at once. It is a very slow process that takes a minimum time of 12 months. Since menopause is completely dependent on the hormones and brings a lot of changes in the body, women experience fatigue, irritation in vagina, mood swings, urinary issues, and hair fall. Complications in menopause can lead to serious cardiac ailments and osteoporosis.
Diet plays a major role in determining the severity of symptoms during menopause. To make menopause a pleasant experience, it is a must to follow a healthy and simple diet. Here are a few diet tips to have a healthy menopause:
Starchy Meal: It is good to have starchy food items such as rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread and potatoes as the main ingredient of your daily diet. Potatoes eaten along with the skin during menopause provides necessary starch and fiber.
Veggies and Fruits: It is good to have sumptuous amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet (at least five portions a day), as they are rich in natural vitamins, fiber and minerals.
Calcium rich food: During menopause, the bones lose their strength. Thus, calcium rich food such as milk, curds, cheese and butter should be consumed in good quantities. Calcium supplements can also be taken to achieve the required level of calcium.
High protein food: Food items such as fish, egg and pulses are great sources of proteins. It is vital to include a good amount of proteins in the diet to ensure that the resistance power of the body is good enough to battle with infections and illness.
Keep a tab on fats and sugars: It is good to avoid food items that are high in cholesterol and sugar. Natural sugars in fruits can be consumed, but strict attention needs to be paid while consuming food items with artificial sugar.
Break your meal: Instead of having a complete meal at once, break the huge meal into 4 or five smaller meals. This helps the body absorb more nutrients and balance the blood sugar level.
Include lot of fluids: a good amount of water and other fluids should be taken to ensure balance in the temperature and hydration of the body.
Avoid stimulants: Stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeine products prohibit the absorption of necessary nutrients and produce enormous heat in the body. Hence, such items should be avoided to the maximum extent
Control the salt intake: Excessive consumption of salt can lead to increase in blood pressure and can cause water retention in legs and other parts of the body. Hence, moderate level of salt should be eaten.
Avoid saturated fats: Saturated fats can lead to severe cardiac problems, lipid deposition and problems related to obesity. Hence, such food items should be completely avoided or reduced to minimum.
Avoid spices: Spices and hot food and drinks can elevate the severity of the symptoms of menopause. Hence, usage of spices should be completely avoided during menopause.
Strengthen the immune system: women are prone to more diseases during menopause due to the changes in the hormones in the body. Immune system should be increased by consuming food rich in Vitamin C, E, and D, Zinc and Manganese.
Increase iron content in food: Consume iron rich food such as greens, fish, eggs and dried fruits to maintain good iron level in the body. B-complex capsules can also be taken to ensure that there is enough iron in the body.
Antioxidants: Menopause can also lead to aged skin, wrinkles and dark complexion. Food items like papaya, watermelon, egg, radish and carrot with high level of antioxidants should be consumed.