When women stop menstruating permanently there are many changes derived from this new hormonal situation. Many of the consequences of this change have nutritional repercussions, so I want to talk about the diet to follow during menopause .
Mood and insomnia during menopause
It is common to suffer emotional distress during this period of a woman’s life. This can negatively affect the time we make decisions that affect our health care. In addition, this stage can be aggravated if you suffer from insomnia. Both situations, despite having no solution, can be addressed from a nutritional point of view. How? Eating foods that produce emotional well-being, relaxation and increase the production of serotonin. For example: dark chocolate, hot milk with cinnamon, banana or walnuts.
Lack of energy
Feeling tired is also common at this stage. That is why it is important to follow a well-planned diet, with small but constant intakes throughout the day. For example distributed in 5 or 6 or 7 meals. In addition, foods that can worsen the feeling of lack of energy such as sugars and stimulating drinks should be avoided. Sugars give energy quickly but produce an on-off effect that produces a subsequent sugar crash. Stimulant drinks such as coffee or tea should not be avoided but controlled, since they worsen rest and therefore cause us to be more tired and with more lack of energy.
Bone descaling when menstruation disappears
estrogens have a protective effect on bone tissue. When the woman’s body stops producing them, alterations in calcium regulation are triggered that end up leading to a loss of bone mass. At a nutritional level, we must avoid bone loss as much as possible with 3 main factors:
- Calcium intake through foods such as milk, yogurt, almonds, orange, broccoli, cabbage.
- Reducing the intake of salt as much as possible, which favors the elimination of calcium through the urine.
- Ensuring a good supply of exogenous vitamin D (food and / or supplementation) and endogenous (the body itself is manufactured with sun exposure).
- In addition to reducing descaling products such as sugar and carbonated drinks as much as possible.
After menopause, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Normally cholesterol tends to go up. We recommend following a heart-healthy diet by increasing your intake of healthy fats (extra virgin oil, nuts, avocado) and avoiding saturated fats (cheeses, cold cuts) and trans fats (processed foods such as chips, cereal bars and cookies) as much as possible. .
Weight gain and muscle mass loss during menopause
Weight gain and body fat redistribution
The change that stands out and bothers the most, physically speaking, at menopause is weight gain. At this stage of life, fat stops accumulating mainly in the hips and is located in greater quantity in the belly or abdomen. This is also one of the factors that increases cardiovascular risk, cholesterol and blood pressure. This means that we will probably have to watch what we eat more and perhaps have to follow a hypocaloric diet .
Loss of muscle mass
If gaining weight is not enough, this increase is also accompanied by a decrease in muscle. This change is inevitable but we must face it with a diet rich in lean proteins (rabbit, turkey, white fish) and with physical exercise of strength or toning.
Changes in food preferences
Finally, it is worth highlighting some common changes in the diet of women after menopause. Due to new food or dietary preferences and attempts to lose weight, many women begin to eat less. This is usually reflected in dinners, which end up turning into a yogurt or a salad or a piece of bread. This fact can worsen weight gain and muscle loss due to a lack of protein and cooked vegetables.
Retention of liquids
The hormonal changes that occur in menopause can cause fluid retention. This factor does not affect all women equally. In the same way that there are women who retain fluids with menstruation and others who do not, the same happens at this stage. changes in estrogen levels affect the body’s water balance. How to combat fluid retention? Consuming little salt, enhancing vegetables rich in fiber and antioxidants, drinking a high amount of water and doing physical exercise.
During menopause, combat fluid retention by consuming little salt, vegetables rich in fiber and antioxidants. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and exercise.
Weekly menu for menopause
|Monday||Eggs on the plate with tomato , onion, mushrooms. Whole wheat bread.||Spinach and arugula salad with canned sardines and chickpeas.|
|Tuesday||Quinoa with vegetables and tofu .||Pumpkin and sweet potato puree. Grilled sea bass.|
|Wednesday||Lettuce salad, pomegranate and cucumber. Baked chicken with 1 small potato.||Scrambled egg with shitake mushrooms and green asparagus. Bread.|
|Thursday||Aubergine and meat millefeuille minced beef. Boiled rice as a garnish.||Grilled endives with roasted vegetables. Whole wheat biscuits with fresh cheese.|
|Friday||Vegetarian lentils. Green salad.||Zucchini omelette. Bread.|
|Saturday||Swiss chard with potato. Baked sea bream with onion.||Lettuce, carrot, tomato and bean salad with desalted cod and boiled egg.|
|Sunday||Tomato and avocado salad . Clams a la marinera.||Chicken and vegetable noodle soup.|
If you need a personalized diet, I will be happy to help you in my dietician consultation in Barcelona or through my online nutritionist service.