Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life
Your food choices are important at any time in your life and so adopting a plant based diet during menopause may be the best bet. However, to also get the best from your body, you need to nutritionally support this change, to help re-balance any imbalances which occur during this time.
There is now increasing evidence that any gaps in our everyday nutrition are instrumental to the decline of the nation’s health and contribute to the lifestyle diseases, we see more of today such as:
- Obesity (1/3 of the adult population)
- Diabetes – type 2 (rates set to double again in the next 5 years)
- Thyroid issues
- Auto immune diseases such as ME / chronic fatigue
- Arthritis / osteoporosis
- Hormone imbalances such as PCOS, endometriosis, PMS
As you move into your perimenopause years, making significant changes to the foods you eat can go a long way in helping you with managing this time.
Focusing on your plant based diet for Menopause on a daily basis, cutting back on red meat and dairy produce (as they are high in saturated fat), is one of the easiest changes you can make.
Managing your Menopause weight with your plant based diet
The hormonal movements you experience through menopause will mean your body will deal with the foods you consume in a different way.
It is known that falling oestrogen levels can have an effect on your metabolism; slowing it down, and it also has an effect on the way in which your insulin deals with sugar in your body.
Eating in exactly the same way as you have done in your 20’s and 30’s will be enough of a change for you to start putting on weight.
Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are naturally low fat and low-calorie foods.
So, if you are struggling with your weight during the perimenopause, eating more vegetables and wholegrain will help to fill you up and keep you fuller for longer.
Focus on eating nutritious foods which would include, bananas, blueberries, dark leafy greens, soy, whole grains, yogurt as well as drinking plenty of water.
Minimising Menopause Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
Introducing more fibre into your diet and decreasing the fat you consume has been shown to help reduce hot flushes and night sweats.
This provides you with that ‘feeling full’ sensation that will help you curb your urges to binge eat or pursue the late-night snacks that will more than likely be high in sugar.
It will also help to regulate bowel action that can help prevent bloating and flatulence (2 menopause symptoms that are rarely acknowledged), as well as helping to lower cholesterol and help carry toxins out of the body.
Pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and (good quality, non-GMO) soy, all contain phytoestrogens which can also help reduce hot flushes and night sweats (Japanese women who consume soy attribute this to low levels of hot flushes).
Problems Sleeping with Menopause Symptoms
Protein takes a lot out of your digestive system, especially when it comes from animal products.
Because it takes longer (and more energy) to digest, eating a dinner high in protein can actually prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Meals that are typically made up of vegetables, legumes, and soy products, are all generally easier to digest than animal meat.
Earthy goods like avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, nut butters, and more are packed with vitamin B6, tryptophan, and magnesium, all of which contribute to a deep, full night’s rest.
While you can’t avoid the menopause, taking a more careful look at what you eat and making adjustments to eating a more plant based diet, can go a long way to you managing this part of your life journey in the best way you can.
Take note: Drink plenty of water
The less water you drink, the more your body will hold onto what you do take in.
If you suffer with retention, the response to this is often to cut down on the amount of fluid taken in which can just make matters worse.
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