A UK nutritionist has revealed the top five diet changes women should make in their 30s and 40s to manage menopausal symptoms.
The menopause involves a reduction in the body’s oestrogen levels, and can result in 150 different symptoms, lasting between one and 10 years.
Changes in your diet, such as increasing leafy greens and cutting down on coffee can manage some of the worst peri-menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and bone health.
A nutritionist has shared her top five dietary tips to manage menopause symptoms, including increasing dairy and Omega-3 intake
The nutritionist’s first tip was to increase your Omega-3 intake. The nutrient can be found in milled flaxseeds, walnuts and oily fish, including salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Omega-3 is proven to reduce hot flushes and improve mental wellbeing and maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.
She also recommended eating more green leafy vegetables as they are rich in magnesium, which is needed for over 600 processes in the body and improves energy, sleep and muscle and nerve relaxation.
Magnesium can also be found in flaxseeds, almonds, fish and meat.
The nutritionist recommended increasing your intake of leafy greens to raise magnesium levels, she also suggested eating more Omega-3 rich foods such as flaxseeds
Top five diet tips to manage the menopause
1. Increase 0mega-3 intake, by eating more milled flaxseeds, oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel and sardines) and walnuts
2. Add more green leafy vegetables to your diet to improve magnesium levels
3. Increase dairy to keep up your calcium levels
4. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and sugar
5. Increase lignans, a natural plant chemical with similar effects as oestrogen
The nutritionist’s third tip was to load up on dairy to maintain bone health. Dairy is rich is calcium, which is necessary as oestrogen levels decrease during the peri-menopause and can cause lower bone mineral density.
Calcium can also be found in calcium set tofu, tahini, green peas and nuts and seeds. Vitamin D and Vitamin K also support bone health.
She also recommended cutting down on caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Substances like alcohol can cause blood vessels to dilate and can increase hot flushes.
Her final tip was to increase the amount of lignan you eat. The natural plant chemical mimics the effects of oestrogen, and therefore helps manage peri-menopausal symptoms.
Lignan can be found in soy products such as tofu and soy yoghurt, the health food brand Linwoods also sells a seed mix packed with lignans called Menoligna.
Lignan is a little known natural plant chemic that has similar effects as oestrogen and can be found in soy products and Linwoods Menoligna
Linwood’s partnered with a UK nutritionist to emphasise the importance of diet for managing menopausal symptoms.
October is national menopause awareness month, and the company wanted to highlight the topic, as menopause is still a ‘taboo subject.’
The menopause is technically just one day that signifies a year without a period, however peri-menopause refers to the run up to this time and comes with a host of symptoms.
The peri-menopause can be a ‘challenging time’ and normally begins between 40-65, but it’s unpredictable nature means women aren’t sure when it’s going to start ‘creeping up.’
Some people can experience symptoms earlier than 45 due to genetics, cancer treatments or hysterectomies.
The drop in oestrogen that causes the menopause has a vast array of effects on the body, some of which are totally bizarre
The decline of oestrogen in the run up to the menopause causes a variety of symptoms that last on average seven years.
They are different for each person, and vary from month to month.
The 150 symptoms can include changes in weight distribution, stress, anxiety, low mood, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, impaired sleep, impaired memory or concentration, lower bone mineral density and reduced energy levels.
Although diet alone cannot manage the symptoms, having good nutrition and habits before the menopause can make it more manageable.
What are the 40 most common symptoms of menopause?
1 – Irregular periods
2 – Hot flushes
3 – Night sweats
4 – Vaginal dryness
5 – Discomfort during sex
6 – Decreased sex drive
7 – Mood swings
8 – Anxiety
9 – Panic attacks
10 – Depression
11 – Sleep disturbances
12 – Fatigue
13 – Difficulty concentrating
14 – Forgetfulness
15 – Headaches
16 – Involuntary urinating when exerting
17 – Needing to urinate frequently
18 – Needing to urinate in the night
19 – Painful urination
20 – Hair loss, thinning
21 – Weight gain
22 – Joint pain, muscle aches
23 – Breast tenderness, soreness
24 – Mouth dryness
25 – Digestive problems
26 – Osteoporosis
27 – Increase in aches and pains
28 – Body odour
29 – Gum problems
30 – Burning mouth syndrome
31 – Brittle nails
32 – Facial hair growth
33 – Dry skin
34 – Dry eyes
35 – Tingling sensation in the extremities
36 – Electric shock sensations
37 – Dizzy attacks
38 – Frequent allergies
39 – Irregular heartbeat
40 – Lack of motivation