Is there a diet for menopause?
An important topic for most women around 50 - the menopause. During this time, oestrogen production decreases until the body eventually stops producing it altogether. On average, the time of the last menstrual period, also called the menopause, is around 50. The period after that is called the postmenopause.
The hormonal changes can lead to menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating and sleep disturbances. But mood swings, nervousness, headaches and constipation can also be immediate consequences. About one third of menopausal women are severely affected by these menopausal symptoms, one third suffer from moderate to mild symptoms and one third of women have no problems. Over time, the body adapts to the changes and the symptoms subside. In the long term, however, the hormonal changes increase the risk of osteoporosis as well as cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Many women complain of weight gain during and after the menopause. At the same time, the skin and the mucous membranes of the vagina, bladder and urinary tract can become drier.
To help prevent cardiovascular diseases it is recommended to cut out "empty" carbohydrates from white flour products and sweets. Women should instead focus on whole foods and the flavourful Mediterranean cuisine provide the body with many indispensable nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the heart and arteries. While most people might think of fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel, there are also lots of plant based sources such as chia seeds, nuts or oils such as walnut, olive, wheat germ or linseed.
As stated above, muscle mass declines with age so it is important to take care of the dietary protein intake to protect and maintain muscles during menopause.
Many women experience digestive problems during the menopause. The decrease in oestrogen can lead to sluggishness and constipation. Dietary fibre aids digestion. At least 30 grams of it a day is recommended - this is easily achieved by eating whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables.Those who do not tolerate muesli and raw vegetables so well should switch to cereal porridge and gently steamed foods. It is best not to eat raw foods such as fruit, salad or vegetables in the evening, so that the intestines can rest overnight. Fermented and probiotic foods such as yoghurt and vegetables pickled in lactic acid, such as pickled cucumber or sauerkraut, help with sluggish bowels.
Vitamins for menopause
Apart from eating a diet that contains all macronutrients (aka carbs, fats and especially proteins), supplementing with special vitamins might further help with menopause.
Menopausal women should keep an eye on their calcium needs. The lack of oestrogen leads to bone loss. However, this can be slowed down by plenty of exercise, preferably outdoors, and by sufficient calcium intake. The German Nutrition Society recommends a daily intake of 1,000 milligrams. A lot of calcium is found in hard cheese such as Emmental or mountain cheese with around 300 milligrams per slice. A natural yoghurt for breakfast, a few nuts in between and a small glass of milk before bedtime - this covers the daily calcium requirement.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, so it is important to combine these two. Like calcium, it is essential for bone health. The vitamin can help prevent osteoporosis, which occurs when bone density reduces, and the bones become brittle and more liable to break.
While in summer your body might be able to get enough Vitamin D due to sun exposure, in winter months (and if you spend a lot of time indoors) it is beneficial to supplement.
3. B Vitamins
Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin and biotin are important for the nervous system; B2 and pantothenic acid maintain mental performance. They prevent exhaustion, fatigue and mood swings and reduce the risk of depressive moods. Vitamins B6 and B12 also help regulate hormone balance and optimise metabolic functions.
In general, it is beneficial to focus on micronutrients that support healthy muscles, bones and skin.
Natural remedies for menopause: 3 tips
Isoflavones are secondary plant substances (phytohormones) that can mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body. They are contained in soy products, for example. Similar substances (lignans) are also found in domestic plants - for example in linseed, legumes, cereals, berries, pome fruits and salads.
Traditional medicinal plants such as sage are also thought to have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms. The essential oils in sage tea inhibit the nerve endings of the sweat glands, which thus produce less sweat. Hops, lady's mantle and black cohosh also contain phytohormones. They are considered proven natural remedies during menopause. To prevent hot flashes it is recommended to sage tea instead of coffee and avoid alcohol.
In addition to a balanced diet and a sufficient supply of important nutrients and vitamins via supplementary preparations, regular exercise also has a positive effect on the quality of life in menopause. Not only can the metabolic activity, which slows down due to the menopause, be improved. Coordination, strength and flexibility are also trained. If you exercise regularly, you also do something for your mental balance, reduce stress and improve your nervous resilience. In addition to yoga, Pilates and cardiovascular training, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and breathing training, meditation and Tai Chi have proven to be particularly effective in treating menopausal symptoms.
Superfoods for menopause
Adding functional superfoods into your diet can further help with menopausal symptoms. Have a look at the best superfood mixes for menopause and learn how they can support your body!
- Gut Feeling mix: Contains high amounts of dietary fibre as well as minerals to support a nourished gut microbiome and make your gut bacteria happy.
- Gut Restore mix: A complimentary digestive mix containing live bacteria cultures that diversify the gut microbiome. Use daily after meals to help with bloating or nausea and get your gut going!
- Plant Protein mix: Are you struggling to add enough protein to your (plantbased diet)? This vegan and fully natural protein mix can be easily added to shakes, smoothies, porridge or snacks!
- Moon Balance mix: Our favourite for women at any time of their cycle. This ayurvedic mix naturally contains calcium und adaptogenic plants such as shatavari and maca to help the body adapt to change and stress more easily
- Magic Mushroom mix: Stop the chocolate guilt-trip! Instead of snacking on high-sugar chocolate bars, make your own healthy versions at home with this delicious raw cacao powder mix! It also contains adaptogens and functional mushrooms that help the body naturally to calm down and adapt to stress better.