Menopause diet: Best foods to reduce ‘severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms’

GP talks about the impact of the menopause on weight gain

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When it comes to menopause, many women experience painful and inconvenient symptoms. While your GP can help you manage severe symptoms with medication, many women have found changes to their diet to help soothe their symptoms. With this in mind, what are some of the best foods rich in phytoestrogen to help.

Oestrogen carries out a range of functions in the female body, including regulating the menstrual cycle and growth and development of breasts.

However, during menopause women’s oestrogen levels decline, which can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

A whole-foods diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality protein and dairy products may reduce menopause symptoms.

Phytoestrogens and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, may also help.

Foods rich in phytoestrogens include:

  • Flax seeds
  • Soybeans and edamame
  • Dried fruits
  • Sesame seeds
  • Garlic
  • Peaches
  • Berries
  • Wheat bran.

A study published in the National Library of Health looked at the best types of food for menopausal woman.

The study noted: “Epidemiological studies show that Asiatic women experience hot flashes less frequently than the Western women (20 percent versus 80 percent, respectively).

“Diet has been included among the different reasons proposed to explain such proven differences.

“Indeed, Asian diet is known to be rich in phytoestrogens and even though only few clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the role of these bioactive substances in regulating the menopause symptoms, most data from randomised studies indicate a significant drop in the severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms.”

Phytoestrogens have been shown to have both estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects.

This means that, while some phytoestrogens have oestrogen-like effects and increase oestrogen levels in your body, others block its effects and decrease oestrogen levels.

Because of their complex actions, phytoestrogens are one of the most controversial topics in nutrition and health.

While some researchers have raised concerns that a high intake of phytoestrogens may cause hormonal imbalance, most evidence has linked them to positive health effects.

In fact, multiple studies have associated phytoestrogen intake with decreased cholesterol levels, improved menopausal symptoms, and a lower risk of osteoporosis and certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Foods to avoid

  • Processed Foods
  • Spicy Foods
  • Fast Food
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Fatty Meats.

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