In honor of World Menopause Day (a campaign from England which raises awareness of midlife women’s health), I would like to address a dozen nutrition tips to help nourish well during menopause. Nutrition becomes especially important for women after menopause due to the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and weight gain. Diet plays a major role in preventing these diseases. Other lifestyle factors such as sleep and exercise are also as vitally important.
The table below looks at the amounts of green leafy veggies and orange veggies women over 51 years should eat each week.
AMOUNT VEGGIES PER WEEK FOR WOMEN OVER 51 YEARS
Dark Greens . Orange Red. Beans . Starchy Veg . Other Veg.
|51+ yrs old||1 ½ cups||4 cups||1 cup||4 cups||3 ½ cups|
- Eating well means getting plenty of fruits and veggies. Mainly dark greens and orange veggies – at least 5.5 servings/week is recommended .
- Incorporate plenty of whole foods rich in vitamin C like bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, teas, potatoes, and yams.
- Eat foods with B vitamins for the nervous system like wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, and green leafy vegetables.
- Eating lean protein such as beans, nuts, seeds eggs, poultry and fish can provide solid nutrition.
- Incorporate heart healthy omega-3 fats from algae, flax, hemp, chia, and walnuts to help lower triglycerides, help stave depression, arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Limit sweets such as cakes, cookies and ice cream can help keep blood sugar even through out the day.
- Some triggers for hot flashes related to nutrition can be: coffee, spicy foods, alcohol, sugar, citrus fruits, large meals, and even intense exercise.
- Eat regular meals and get enough carbohydrates to keep the happy hormone serotonin well functioning.
- Drink plenty of fluids- 10C /day (This includes liquids such as soups and non beverage liquids.)
- Avoid caffeine in the after noons and evenings can greatly help with getting a good night’s sleep.
- Bones also thin as we age so getting foods rich in calcium is a must. Try daily servings of yogurts, kefir, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, broccoli, dark green leafy veggies and almonds.
- Get adequate vitamin D by getting into the sunshine and also taking a supplement during dark northern winter months.
As we age our muscle mass decreases. This muscle is what burns calories. Exercising every day which includes sessions of strength training can help preserve muscle and metabolically lean body mass. .
Having good sleep hygiene becomes more important in midlife when low levels of hormones can interrupt sleep as in 61% of women post menopause . A good nights rest can be enhanced by going to bed at the same time each night, having an hour wind down routine before bed- such as taking a hot shower, reading or relaxing. Many women find that hot flashes are particularly bad at night consequently wearing light layers of clothing can help.Hot flashes usually last a few — seemingly interminable — minutes. During this time, skin temperature can actually increase by up to 8 degrees F. Core body temperature stays the same or decreases.
Overall, menopause is a time when self care becomes even more important- nourish your body, move your body and rest your body as Jim Rohn’s says “Take care of your body- It’s The Only Place You Have To Live! ”