No one wants to swell up like a balloon as a result of menopause. The good news is that you can reduce swelling and limit the problem by adapting your regimen.
Water is the largest component of the human body, comprising 60% to 70% of a healthy, young individual’s body weight. Independent of menopause, aging has strong effects on one’s fluid balance1. One of the problems that women have to face during menopause is body swelling. What modifications in one’s diet can reduce swelling?
A diet high in salt can cause body swelling2. In many countries, the average current daily salt intake is between 9 and 12g, whereas the World Health Organization recommends a maximum intake of 5g of salt per day3.
How to reduce salt intake?
Don’t add salt to meals during preparation. If you are worried about flavor, get creative!
- There are plenty of other delicious herbs and spices that can jazz up a meal.
- Don’t have a salt shaker on your table
- Limit your consumption of salty snacks (such as chips, crackers, pretzels, salted nuts, salted peanut butter).
- Choose products with lower sodium content (such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, unprocessed foods).
- Avoid sodium glutamate, a food additive used in many parts of the world and in many types of cuisine4.
How to increase potassium in your diet
A mineral that can help manage body swelling is potassium. It is an essential nutrient needed for the maintenance of one’s total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function. Therefore, in high intake, it can be helpful to reduce swelling during menopause. Potassium is commonly found in a variety of unrefined foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Increased potassium intake also reduces blood pressure in adults, therefore high potassium intake is beneficial for overall
Healthy foods high in Potassium: Legumes (such as soy, lentils, beans, peas), dried fruits (such as dried apricot, figs, raisins, dates), nuts and seeds, avocados
There is Potassium in so many different foods. Eating more of it is going to be the easiest thing, don’t you think?
Limit alcohol consumption to reduce swelling
Another dietary factor that can be crucial in reducing swelling is alcohol. It can cause your face to look bloated and puffy, while also bloating your belly. So, reducing alcohol consumption will certainly decrease body swelling during menopause. Limiting alcohol consumption will also help against weight gain. With around 7 calories per gram, alcohol contains almost the same number of calories as pure fat (pure fat contains 9 calories in one gram). It might come as a shock, but a glass of wine can have the same number of calories as four cookies. A pint of lager is often the calorific equivalent of a slice of pizza. Reducing alcohol intake will not only help reduce swelling but will also reduce your calorie intake and therefore help you maintain proper body weight5.
Drink a lot of water to reduce swelling
Last but not least, it is significant to drink two liters of still water per day. The reason is simple. When you drink an insufficient amount of fluids in a day, your body defends itself against dehydration by storing more water, which leads to body swelling. Therefore, always remember to drink a sufficient amount of water6.
Key elements to remember to reduce swelling during menopause
You can reduce body swelling by:
- Cutting salt from your diet.
- Increasing your intake of potassium.
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Drinking two liters of water per day.
1. Stachenfeld, N. S. (2014). Hormonal Changes During Menopause and the Impact on Fluid Regulation. Reproductive Sciences, 21(5), 555–561.
2. Toldrá F, Barat J. Strategies for Salt Reduction in Foods. Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, 2012, 4,19-25
3. Dötsch-Klerk, M., PMM Goossens, W., Meijer, G. W., & van het Hof, K. H. (2015). Reducing salt in food; setting product-specific criteria aiming at a salt intake of 5 g per day. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(7), 799–804.
6. Brończyk-Puzoń A, Piecha D, Nowak J, Koszowska A, Kulik-Kupka K, Dittfeld A, Zubelewicz-Szkodzińska B.Guidelines for dietary management of menopausal women with simple obesity. Prz Menopauzalny. 2015 Mar; 14(1): 48–52.