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7 Healthy Things I Eat For Menopause (as a Nutritionist)

During menopause, your daily habits can have a huge impact on the onset and severity of your perimenopause or menopausal symptoms and experience. As a 50yr old mum of five who is in the thick of it, I can confidently say that taking care of yourself is key. That's why I've written this "healthy things menopause" series so that you can adopt healthy habits (with little effort) that can quite literally change your Life! Ready? Let's get stuck in to it...


5 Healthy Things I Eat For Menopause (as a Nutritionist)  |  Eat Nourish Glow
5 Healthy Things I Eat For Menopause (as a Nutritionist) | Eat Nourish Glow

How Can I Ease Menopause Naturally?


Today I am not going to deep dive into what menopause is, because let's be honest, if you know, you know. Instead I want provide you with some of the best all natural remedies for menopause from a Nutritionist's perspective and from a busy mum of five who is also going through "the change" herself. So, whether you choose to control menopause with or without medication, the following wholesome healthy foods and daily habits can soothe and make your experience with menopause a lot more manageable.


All Natural Menopause Remedies


We are what we eat, and this is especially true during "the change." As a Nutritionist, I can confidently say that incorporating certain wholefoods into your diet can work absolute wonders on easing your perimenopause and menopause symptoms.


Foods like leafy greens, are a naturally rich sources of calcium which can prevent bone loss, fruits such as berries are packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Fatty fish, like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can actually help ease your hot flashes. And let's not forget about non-GMO soy products, which contain phytoestrogens that can alleviate several menopausal symptoms.



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What Foods Are Good For Menopause?


During menopause, you want to become extra choosy and start consuming wholefoods that are naturally rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, such as dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Soy products that are rich in isoflavones can help reduce hot flashes, while flaxseeds support hormone balance, and whole fibre grains can work to reduce that unwanted belly fat.


In contrast, I recommended that you begin to avoid or limit your caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, and really spicy foods. These foods choices can exacerbate hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.


Drink 3 Litres of Water


Drinking more water during menopause is the one simple lifestyle change that can possibly improve brain function, make your skin, hair, and nails healthier, reduce urinary urgency and bladder irritation, relieve menopause nausea and hot flashes, reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches, and ease menopause cramps.


Is lemon water good for menopause? Yes! Citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, citrons, grapefruit, kumquats, ugli fruit) all help reduce overall menopause symptoms. So chop and pop the whole citrus (the pulp, pith, peel and all) and add it in your water bottle or glass.


Sip, sip, sip throughout the day (never chug a lot at once) and experiment with other supportive infused water recipes to hydrate. Browse my favourite recipes for this here.



GLOW WITH INFUSED WATER RECIPES


Calcium & Magnesium


During the perimenopause and menopause, you can help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by taking 1,300 mg of dietary calcium every day. This equals about three to four serves of dairy-based food. Magnesium is another mineral especially helpful at this time. You can get it from your food or supplement your dietary intake to help reduce common symptoms of menopause, such as difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, and heart disease risk.


Magnesium is needed to help regulate the flow of calcium in and out of your bones, which is important for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Try boosting your meals and recipes with the wholefoods sources found in raw almonds (peel on), dark leafy greens, lentils, organic raw cacao, and non-GMO soy tofu and products.


Lean Protein At Every Meal

As we age, our need to for protein increases. This macronutrient is essential to good health and can only be found in the foods we eat, whether animal-based or plantbased. The natural decline in estrogen from menopause is also linked to a decrease in your muscle mass and bone strength. For this reason, women going through menopause need to eat more protein. Ideally aim for between 50-90g from lean protein from animal and plantbased sources.


Some of my preferred ways to supplement with high protein foods is to eat nutrient-rich fish like salmon or lean, organic poultry several times a week. Other additions you can add into your salads, smoothies or your baking that are clean protein sources include beans, chickpeas, chia and pumpkin seeds, farm eggs, dairy Greek yoghurt (if you are not dairy-free), peas.


In addition, you can also use protein powders as well to help boost your protein intake, although I don't recommend relying solely on this alone. Protein powder provides a super quick and easy way to boost a wholefood smoothie with other ingredients that also support menopause. Always choose an organically sourced whey-based or vegan (brown rice pea-based) protein powder that only has a few raw ingredients. I recommend Aussie Bodies, Nourish or Raw Amazonia's range for this (no affiliation, just the ones I personally use).



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Magic of Maca Root Powder

Maca powder is naturally rich in calcium, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Its known as a superfood that can boost your libido, and it is one that I take every day in my coffee. The powdered root contains high levels of iron and iodine to promote healthy cells, and to help keep your metabolism ticking. It has been found to improve depression symptoms and hot flashes in postmenopausal women.


To experience the benefits, try 1-2 teaspoons of ground maca root powder daily for a month or two, and track how it makes you feel. I really notice a difference to my mood when I don't take it!


Omega-3 Rich Wholefoods

During menopause, women may experience a decrease in estrogen levels. Incorporating estrogen-enhancing foods into your diet can help boost estrogen levels. Some of these wholefoods include soybeans and edamame, flaxseeds, legumes, dried fruit, garlic, high fibre grains, sesame seeds, and cruciferous vegetables. In addition to these estrogen-boosting foods, the omega-3 fatty acids found in avocado, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, fish, and walnuts can be very beneficial for menopausal women.


Dietary Fibre At Every Meal

A dreaded symptom of menopause is weight gain, especially around the belly. Dietary fibre is the non-digestible parts of the plant foods you eat, and works to feed your gut microbe colonies, sweep your colon like a bottle brush, and helps to make bowel movements more easier. Fibre also helps with appetite regulation and increases the sensation of fullness while balancing your blood sugar levels.


When consumed regularly, fibre will reduce sugar and food cravings, and lowers your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. I recommend that you consume at least 40-80g of wholefood source, high fibre foods per day. Consider including beans, berries, chia seeds, lentils, raw oats, and psyllium husk to your recipes to bulk up the fibre content.


Estrogen Boosting Foods


Estrogen is the hormone responsible for sex characteristics and reproductive abilities in women. When you have low levels of estrogen (and progesterone), such as during menopause, it can negatively affect your mood, sexual desire, bone health, and more. The good news is that there are many foods that can help boost your natural estrogen levels during menopause.


B vitamin-rich foods are important in the creation and activation of estrogen in the body. Consuming rich sources such as as animal sources like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products as well as leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas can be very beneficial during menopause. Low levels of these vitamins can lead to reduced levels of estrogen.


Vitamin D functions as a hormone in the body, and plays a key role in estrogen synthesis. Getting enough of the “the sunshine vitamin” during menopause can help boost low estrogen levels. You can easily boost your levels by spending more time in sunlight each day, consuming fatty fish and seafood, mushrooms, egg yolks, or by taking a liquid vitamin D supplement under the tongue.


Overall, with the right diet and nutrition, you can feel confident and optimistic about managing your hormonal and bodily changes during menopause.


Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx

HEALTH & NUTRITION PRACTITIONER



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