Menopause is a stage in every woman’s life when the ovaries cease to function; hence, she will no longer be able to bear a child. When a woman goes through menopause cannot be categorized at a specific age, since studies have shown that women as early as their 30s can experience menopausal symptoms and some as late as 60. Regardless the menopausal age, two things hold true: (1) menopause is a continuous process and every woman goes through this phase; but (2) its associated symptoms differ from one woman to another.
During perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause, the body’s estrogen and progesterone levels gradually fluctuate. When this happens, several symptoms manifest.
Symptoms of Menopause
Depression and anxiety
These symptoms vary from women to women, but suffice it to say that some will have it worse than others, so much so that it can hinder in their daily activities. Aside from hormone therapy, one of the most efficacious ways to help minimize menopause symptoms is a healthy menopause diet consisting of superfoods.
When thinking about the best diet for menopause, superfoods with hormone-balancing nutrients and minerals promote optimal nutrition.
For starters, here are some superfoods you can consume as part of a clean, natural diet to help combat menopause symptoms:
Nuts and seeds – nuts and seeds contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, a healthy fat, not to mention a host of other nutrients like zinc, potassium, and calcium. Of notable importance is polyunsaturated fatty acids that help in hormone production. Studies have proved that healthy fats in almonds and pumpkin seeds increase bone density, keep you feeling full, and improve sleep quality.
Cold-water fish – fish from cold waters are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat has shown to immensely help control numerous menopause symptoms especially hot flashes and depression. Omega-3 is good for the health, it protects against heart complications that is a common health condition during the menopausal period. Get your regular omega-3 fatty acid fix in cold-water fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, and more.
Chia seeds – these little seeds pack a punch of vitamins and minerals but its essential omega-3 fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates and fiber make it a leading superfood perfect for a menopause diet. Chia seeds help alleviate hot flashes, headaches, and vaginal dryness. Chia seeds being rich in fiber, with the ability to expand when mixed with liquid, give you that full feeling and help control your weight gain, which is a common dilemma of menopausal women. Chia also helps nourish your skin and is good for cardiovascular health.
Green leafy vegetables – cabbage, kale, spinach, broccoli, and other green and leafy vegetables contain phytoestrogens that help stabilize estrogen levels. In addition, these vegetables are very fibrous and contain a lot of vitamins C, K, and other minerals, which promote a healthier body.
Bee pollen – There are several specific nutrients required in order to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, and bee pollen has an abundance of these – omega-3, zinc, bioflavonoids, and phytoestrogens. Bee pollen has shown significant findings in research studies when it comes to assisting in hormone imbalance during menopause. The active compounds in bee pollen promote balance; further, it is also shown to regulate chemicals in the brain to aid in the prevention of anxiety and stress, which is also experienced during menopause.
Soy – Just like most of the superfoods in this list, soy contains specific nutrients that can address the primary cause of most symptoms in menopause. Soy is rich in isoflavones, a kind of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens elicit estrogen-like effects in the body, which in turn, help balance fluctuating hormones. Soy is also seen to lower cholesterol, reduce the frequency of hot flashes, and even aid in the reduction of premenstrual symptoms. Rich sources for soy include tofu, miso, and soy powder.
Water should also be constantly consumed during menopause. This is to keep yourself hydrated especially because you’ll lose a lot of water due to hot flashes and night sweats. It also helps control bloating, and it keeps you full, thus better control of your weight, which can be quite challenging during menopause.
Although menopause symptoms can be quite disruptive, experts agree that with the combined effort of the best diet, proper exercise, sufficient sleep, reduction of stress, and the right support group, menopause will be more manageable.