Menopause is one of those things women are taught to fear at a very young age. Wait until the hot flashes… However, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, hormone therapy has arrived to ease the side effects of menopause greatly. But what can you do on a day-to-day basis to make this part of the biological process just a little bit more bearable? The answer may lie within your diet.
Before talking about what foods and diet shifts will affect your symptoms, it’s important to understand what happens to our bodies when we enter menopause. As defined by WebMD, menopause is the phase in which your period ends, marking the end of your reproductive years. Symptoms that come along with this include trouble sleeping, the need to pee more often, sore breasts, and many others.
There may be some foods that you can indulge in (or steer clear of) that may help ease the tension of these annoying symptoms.
While in perimenopause, the time period that precedes menopause, your estrogen levels may fluctuate. You can receive phytoestrogens, a group of chemicals that weakly act as estrogen in your body, from certain foods. Foods that contain high levels of phytoestrogens include soybeans and flaxseeds.
Another hormone that menopause manipulates is your cortisol: your stress hormone. This is a part of your fight-or-flight response that can contribute to visceral fat if maintained at high levels. To combat this, it’s important to be mindful of drinks such as caffeine and alcohol that are known to raise your cortisol levels. Of course, you don’t have to cut these drinks cold turkey. Just minimizing your consumption of these substances can be extremely beneficial to your overall health, especially during menopause.
Healthline also recommends whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality proteins, and dairy products to reduce the effects of menopausal symptoms. Ingesting healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids from fish can also help.
At the end of the day, it is important to take care of your body, especially when it is going through a big change like menopause. Building and maintaining healthy habits and getting in touch with your body can only help you. It’s really a win-win situation. By changing simple habits in your day-to-day life, you may find you’re able to curb the symptoms of menopause.