Best Diet for Menopause: Preventing Symptoms and Weight Gain with Food

by Laura Ramirez on July 26, 2011

The best diet for menopause is healthy food. Although herbal remedies and hormone therapy (wither synthetic or bioidentical) can help relieve menopause symptoms, good dietary habits pave the way for an easier and more graceful mid life transition. Of course, creating good dietary habits can also mean better health overall and improved quality of life. As with any diet, there are food items to include and those that it is better to avoid.

First, the items to reduce or cut out completely. Unfortunately, that morning cup of java can aggravate hot flashes and cause toxins to build up in your body. It can also leach calcium from your bones. In addition, caffeine has been shown to prevent the liver from properly metabolizing fat and may actually prevent weight loss even when consuming an otherwise healthy diet. Another drink to cut is alcohol. Although red wine may be good for you, overall, it is unhealthy to consume alcohol every day because it raises blood sugar levels.

Food is medicine! The right diet will relieve symptoms, support the endocrine system and promote good health throughout the menopause. It will assist the body to adjust itself to change and keep the hormones more balanced.

Increase water intake and avoid addictive foods and drinks: to help stabilise blood sugar and avoid build-up of toxins. Alcohol, tea, coffee and chocolate contain stimulants which strain the adrenal glands. They can also contribute to hot flushes, tiredness, anxiety and panic attacks. Caffeine has a diuretic effect which flushes vital nutrients out of the body. Tannin binds important minerals such as calcium and prevents their absorption. Alcohol is a toxin which strains the liver, depletes the body of vitamins and minerals (especially zinc), and interferes with the metabolism of essential fatty acids which are needed to produce prostaglandins the chemicals which help to control moods, immune response and hot flushes. The body needs plenty of plain water to function smoothly.

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Of course the main purpose of feeding yourself the best diet for menopause is to regulate blood sugar levels. This is because insulin, which is produced by the pancreas when blood sugar is out of balance is the hormone that is responsible for age-related decline, weight gain and various diseases. When blood sugar is too low (as is the case when you fail to eat frequent small meals throughout the day), the body increases blood sugar levels and cortisol (produced by the adrenal glands), which damages the organs, veins and arteries over time. Rather than eating something healthy when their blood sugar is low, most people reach for sugar or simple carbs (donuts, chips, white bread, etc) which give them a quick burst of energy, but only makes the situation worse. When the adrenal glands are stressed chronically, they fail to function properly, setting off a host of chain reactions that cause the body to age much faster.

The best way to turn this situation around is to drink lots of fresh, clean water, eat healthy, frequent meals (consisting of lean protein and fresh, healthy vegies) throughout the day. Limit your consumption of carboyhydrates, especially after 3 pm. Stop eating completely at least 3 hours before going to bed.

Reducing dairy consumption also helps to balance hormones.ᅠ

Including essential oils (like omega-3 fatty acids) ᅠcan keep your skin and arteries and heart strong and healthy. These oils can be found in supplements, fish, seeds and nuts. Taking B-complex, calcium and magnesium is also important.ᅠ

How about you? What dietary measures have you found to be helpful in reducing menopause symptoms and increasing energy and your sense of feeling healthy.

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