What to Eat to Ease Menopause Symptoms
by Tracey Pollack
Hot flashes, weight gain and night sweats, oh my! While menopause may be a normal part of a woman’s life, the changes with your body and mood may feel anything but normal. Blame it on fluctuating hormones that start when the menstrual cycle stops and your estrogen levels fall, some time in your 40s or early 50s. This sets your hormones out of control, which affects your overall health and happiness. If this inevitable change of life is eating away at yours, studies show that eating these good-for-you foods can you help you start feeling and living better.
The essential fatty acids found in salmon are more essential now than ever. Research has found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna may help reduce night sweats, depression and anxiety, all while protecting your heart and reducing your breast cancer risk. Another reason to get hooked on salmon is its abundance of vitamin D, which is needed for healthy bones and protection from chronic diseases during menopause and after.
If the weight gain caused by menopause is weighing on your mind, eating some healthy whole grains can stop the scale from creeping up. Whole-grain foods are full of fiber, which fills you up and leaves you satisfied, so you’re less likely to pack on the pounds. But that’s far from the whole story because whole-grain foods are also full of B vitamins and nutrients that help boost your energy while lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There’s a whole spectrum of whole-grain options, from whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals to healthy grains like barley, brown rice and quinoa, so help yourself to these filling foods.
What’s the scoop on yogurt and menopause? During menopause, the sudden loss of estrogen can weaken your bones and put you at risk for osteoporosis. But dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which work together to strengthen your bones and prevent the bone loss that often happens during menopause. While yogurt is a tasty “grab-and-go” fave, you’ll also find its bone-boosting benefits in leafy greens, tofu, sardines and calcium-fortified foods.
Not in the mood for another mood swing or sleepless night? You can be thankful for turkey. See, turkey is stuffed with tryptophan, an amino acid that signals your brain to release a burst of feel-good serotonin, which is a chemical that helps boost your mood, improve your sleep and make you feel better about yourself.
If you’re dealing with menopause symptoms, it’s worth knowing the facts about flax. These mini yet mighty seeds may help to reduce hot flashes and night sweats—two of the most stubborn symptoms of menopause. That’s because flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens, which can help mimic the effects of estrogen in your body and decrease menopausal symptoms. So while flaxseeds may be tiny, their benefits are anything but!
By simply making these tasty changes to your diet, you may that find that it’s much easier to handle this change of life.