No matter your age, menopause or not, the way you eat is always going to impact skin and overall health. With too much of this and not enough of that, the nutrients that are essential to your well-being are completely unbalanced. Back to menopause now, here are the actual nutrients that you need to focus on when deciding on a healthy diet during menopause.
The annoying menopause symptoms, as well as ways to prevent them, have become a topic of research. It has been proven that the frequency of their occurrence and their annoyance can be significantly reduced with a balanced diet that provides all necessary nutrients1.
Groups of nutrients that are particularly important for a healthy menopause diet:
- Vitamin D
- Folic acid
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Groups of nutrients that are particularly important for a healthy menopause diet are phytoestrogens, vitamin D, calcium, folic acid, polyphenols, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Phytoestrogens belong to the group of chemical compounds of plant origin. They can be divided into three groups: flavonoids, lignans and stilbenes. The main source of isoflavones (most popular flavonoids) are: soy and soy products, red clover, chickpeas and medicago. Lignans can be found in: flaxseed, cereals and berries. Stilbenes are found in: grapes, peanuts, cranberry and wine. Epidemiological research shows that diet based on soy and soy products lowers risk of breast cancer, incidence of menopausal symptoms, and osteoporosis1.
In the menopausal age, the density of bones decreases, which is why high intake of vitamin D is important1
Findings suggest that a high intake of dietary vitamin D and calcium may be modestly associated with a lower risk of early menopause. Vitamin D is obtained via cutaneous synthesis during solar UV-ray exposure, dietary and supplemental intakes. High consumption of dairy products and fish are recommended2. As you already know menopause contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Homocysteine is a compound that leads to coronary artery disease in high concentration. Therefore, it is important to lower it especially during menopause. Good news is that folic acid supplementation in women after menopause reduces the homocysteine level in the blood serum. So, eat products like leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, yeast, meat and whole grains which are main sources of folic acid1. Another important group of foods to eat during menopause are berry fruits. They contain many important dietary components: vitamins, minerals, folate, fiber and polyphenols. They can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognition decline; therefore, it is believed that they can be helpful during menopause3. Omega-3 fatty acids have a significant impact on many diseases, including cardiovascular and cancer diseases. So, it is beneficial to include them in your menopause diet. The source of omega-3 acids are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fats of marine fish and mammals1.
Legumes, leafy vegetables and berry fruits are products which you should add to your menopause diet. Don’t forget about good fats from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish which are also important1 ,3.
Key Elements to Remember about Menopause diet
Yes, there is a special menopause diet that you can adopt. There are simply 7 groups of nutrients that are essential to the well-being of your skin, and you’ll be happy to know that they are everywhere.
Sample, healthy diet recommended during menopause:
Breakfast:Oatmeal with low fat plain yoghurt and blueberries, green tea
Snack:Vegetable salad: spinach, tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, peanuts, sunflower seeds, vinaigrette (canola oil, lemon juice, basil), water
Lunch:Salmon, brown rice, green beans, water
Snack:Raspberry smoothie: milk, raspberries, flaxseed, vanilla
Dinner:Wholegrains bread sandwiches with mozzarella, tomato and basil, water
1. Brończyk-Puzoń A, Piecha D, Koszowska A, Kulik-Kupka K, Zubelewicz-Szkodzińska B. Rola wybranych składników odżywczych diety u kobiet w okresie naturalnej menopauzy – przegląd piśmiennictwa. Medycyna Ogólna I Nauki o Zdrowiu, 2016, Tom 22, Nr 2
2. Purdue-Smithe, A. C., Whitcomb, B. W., Szegda, K. L., Boutot, M. E., Manson, J. E., Hankinson, S. E., … Bertone-Johnson, E. R. (2017). Vitamin D and calcium intake and risk of early menopause. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ajcn145607.
3. Huntley, A. L. (2009). The health benefits of berry flavonoids for menopausal women: Cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognition. Maturitas, 63(4), 297–301.