The uncomfortable symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman, but we hardly pass them by at this stage, which can start up to ten years before the end of menstruation. Nearly 80% of peri- and postmenopausal women report experiencing hot flashes and night sweats, with up to half having moderate to severe hot flashes. Other common symptoms include weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog and vaginal dryness, to name a few. And it’s not just the symptoms of menopause that women should be concerned about. As we age, our risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and dementia also increases.
But the good news is that lifestyle changes, especially in diet, they can play a significant role in reducing symptoms while supporting healthy aging. By making a few simple changes to what we put on our plate, we can begin to gain control over the symptoms and even lose some of those pesky pounds that have settled mostly around the belly (we know that well, don’t we?).
the nutritionist Clinical nutritionist Lázaro Medeiros, an expert in nutritional genomics, indicates these six specific foods that can play an important role in this symptom equation. But it is worth remembering that our diet as a whole must be as healthy as possible at this stage, as this will make all the difference in symptoms.
Cruciferous vegetables and green leaves
Increase your consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Studies show that they can also lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by supporting healthy levels of estrogen.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are potent nutritional anti-inflammatory drugs. As the cardioprotective benefits of the hormone estrogen are lost during menopause, caring for heart health is essential. Especially since cardiovascular disease is, by a wide margin, the leading cause of death among women. Berries are also full of antioxidants that support a healthy stress response, an essential tool for dealing with insomnia, a common symptom of menopause.
The omega-three fatty acids, abundant in salmon, are known for their anti-inflammatory ability. Omega-three fatty acids are associated with improved triglycerides and lower blood pressure—further supporting women’s heart health. Studies even show that they help to improve depression and anxiety, potentially acting to improve the mood of mature women.
In addition to being a source of vegetable protein, soy acts as a light phytoestrogen in the body. Phytoestrogens in the body can help support hormonal fluctuations in menopausal women by stimulating the response of estrogen receptor tissues. Women in Asian countries who eat a lot of soy have fewer hot flashes. Soy is also beneficial for bone health.
Chocolate above 70% cocoa is an excellent source of magnesium. A nutrient that women may not get enough of in their diet. Magnesium supports mood, sleep, bone health, bowel movements, among other functions. If you’re the type who thinks dark chocolate is bad (I’ve been one of them) know that it’s a matter of habit, with time we learn to like it (as well as drinking coffee without sweetening). But consume in moderation, it’s not to eat one bar a day, but two or three squares.
Olive oil and oilseeds
Oilseeds (walnuts, macadamia, chestnuts, etc.) are rich in minerals important for bone health (magnesium, chromium, manganese, copper and selenium), several antioxidant compounds that help maintain brain health and contribute to health during this period of hormonal transition. Extra virgin olive oil has two main compounds (oleuropein and oleocanthal) that have anti-inflammatory action, increase nitric oxide levels (providing more energy, cardiovascular health and vitality) and have analgesic properties.