Through their lives, women’s bodies go through several changes. As girls enter puberty, they begin to put on weight and develop curves due to hormonal changes. When women become pregnant their body shape and size naturally changes. As she approaches middle age, a woman begins to undergo menopause, when her ovaries stop producing eggs. Due to this process, hormone production goes a little awry, causing problems like mood changes, hot flashes and possibly later complications like osteoporosis and heart disease.
Depending on the severity of the effects of menopause, a physician may or may not prescribe certain medicine. However, a woman approaching middle age can take a few steps herself to help her body deal with menopause including light exercise and adjusting her diet patterns. Here are some nutrition tips for a woman approaching middle age or going through menopause.
Get Enough Calcium
Since women become more vulnerable to osteoporosis after going through menopause, many experts recommend they up their intake of calcium to help bones remain healthy and strong. Include calcium rich foods like dairy products, legumes and broccoli in your diet and be sure to get enough sunlight for the vitamin D which will help your body absorb the calcium. Read more on a diet to deal with osteoporosis here.
Reduce High Fat Foods
Try reducing your consumption of fatty meats, ice cream, cheese and other fat rich foods. Older women are at a higher risk for heart disease, which is commonly caused by an individual being overweight. Cutting out fatty foods will help you retain a manageable weight.
Some doctors have also suggested that losing weight may reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
How About Some Fish?
Health.com recommends two servings of fish per week as they contain healthy fats as well as other nutrients. Additionally, research has suggested that fish oil can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Another common symptom during menopause is bloating which can make women feel very uncomfortable. Eat more fiber rich foods like whole grains and vegetables to aid your digestive system. Cut down on your sodium intake as excess salt can cause water retention and bloating. Additionally, cutting down on salt will also reduce the blood pressure.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Hydrating adequately is always a good idea, but especially recommended for women going through menopause; it’ll help with weight loss, help prevent bloating and also help you deal with hot flashes.
Stick with cool drinks over hot cups of coffee and tea as they can trigger and heighten hot flashes. Instead, opt for iced teas or cold water.