Menopause weight gain: "You reap what you sow". To make menopause easier, you must reap solid nutrition and lifestyle habits now to have a better life in the future. Whether you are in puberty, pregnancy, or in your early 40s, knowing about menopause will make it simpler to deal with later in life.
Menopause is a natural process that occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55. During menopause, the estrogen level in our body decreases and affects the ovary’s functioning. Estrogen is a sex hormone that is essential for the development of the female reproductive system. It protects against free radicals and maintains the balance of good and bad cholesterol.
Menopause is associated with several unpleasant symptoms and an increased risk of certain illnesses, like low estrogen levels hurting your metabolism, eventually leading to weight gain. These changes may also have an impact on your cholesterol levels and how your body digests carbs however your diet plays a crucial role to lessen the consequences and smoothen the transition because what you eat certainly affects the menopausal stage.
Foods to avoid:
Avoiding certain foods may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and insomnia. Avoiding processed food items, added sugars, alcohol, caffeine, spicy dishes, and high-salt foods may help with menopausal symptoms.
Processed meals and added sugars have been shown to rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. The more processed a product, its influence on blood sugar is more noticeable. As a result, decreasing your intake of added sugars and processed foods like white bread and baked goods during menopause may help prevent hot flashes. Avoiding spicy food items is a popular tip for menopausal women. However, there is little significant research to back this up. As an individual, your sensitivity to spicy foods may vary, so use your best judgment when incorporating them into your diet and avoid them if they appear to worsen your symptoms. Additionally, the decrease in estrogen after menopause raises your chance of getting high blood pressure. Lowering your salt consumption may significantly help reduce this risk.
Foods to consume:
On the other hand, antioxidant-rich food such as fruits and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, tomato, and eggplants must be part of the diet. This will not only stabilize hormonal imbalances but also control the ageing process. During menopause, phytoestrogen food is the most important dietary item as it helps to produce estrogen hormones in your body. Such food items include white chickpeas, soya products, lentils, tofu, flax, and sesame seeds. Another food category that we need to include in our diet is high-fiber foods through a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in calcium, omega-3, iron, and magnesium also needs to be a part of your diet to make menopause a peaceful process. Nuts and seeds are the best way to include all these vitamins and minerals.
Along with dietary changes, complementary lifestyle changes are also important, beginning with less stress, more sleep, and adequate sleep. The ability to manage stress is the most important lifestyle modification that our bodies require during menopause. I agree that the early 40s and 50s are stressful years because our children are growing up, some are marrying, and others are moving abroad.
During menopause, our body is requesting us to take some time to look after ourselves. You have been working hard all this time, but now your body is demanding time to relax. There are a hundred things on our minds, but remember menopause is all about self-care.
(This article is attributed to Lavleen Kaur, Co-Founder & Head Dietitian, Diet Insight)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)