Nutrition and Menopause

Nutrition and Menopause

Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of variety is  critical for women nearing menopause. Many of the critical changes during menopause, Viz, weight gain and Osteoporosis, Can be managed by a healthy diet. Although nutrient recommendations are the same as for adults menopausal women need to reasses their food habits objectively.

A healthy diet for menopausal women should be low in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Menopausal women should avoid foods that are spicy, contain caffeine (tea, chocolates, coffee and colas) and alcoholic drinks.

In addition:
Eat plenty of calcium:
After 50, women need more calcium than women in 25-50 year age group. according to experts, menopause; woman may need as much calcium as adolescents girls to maintain bone strength. include plenty of low fat diary products (Milk, Cheese and yogurt), broccoli, cauliflower, tofu and green leafy vegetables in your diet.

Increase Phytoestrogen content of your diet:
Phytoestrogen are chemicals that can mimic the human hormone estrogen and can help reduce menopausal symptoms. Try adding foods rich in Phytoestrogen such as alfalfa sprouts, soy beans, chickpeas, lentil, tofu, miso, flax seed’s (linseeds) or spinach to your diet.

Take supplementary vitamins and minerals: Most experts recommend additional minerals and vitamins for women in menopausal years, to meet the increased need for calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12, it may be best to take supplements under the guidance of medical experts.

Go easy on the salt: A heavy salt intake can cause high blood pressure, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Add moderate salt while cooking, Avoid table salt, cut down on processed foods, including papads, pickles and chutneys.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India.She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore.Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

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