This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms
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The hormonal changes brought on by the menopause can be tough for sufferers to deal with, especially the dreaded symptoms that come with it. In fact, these symptoms alone are perhaps the main reason many women dread the inevitable change.
But there are a few menopause-friendly foods expert nutritionist Lovneet Batra recommends to try as part of her dietary guidelines, that could be beneficial for a woman’s health during this challenging phase.
Almonds are rich in valuable nutrients for the body.
A single serving makes for a nutritious and filling snack, and Batra recommends eating them everyday for nutritional support during menopause.
“They are are a great source of healthy fat, which helps counter the drying effects of low estrogen levels,” she told Doctor NDTV.
“They are also high in magnesium, vitamin E complex, and riboflavin, which is essential to vascular integrity.”
They also contain calcium and phosphorus, which is good for improving bone health and can protect you from fractures.
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Flaxseed is often used to improve digestive health or relieve constipation.
Batra suggests they could also help with soothing other symptoms of the menopause.
“These high concentration of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) can relieve inflammation, fluid retention, depression, and irritability,” she noted.
“This little superfood with a nutty flavour is also a rich source of plant lignans.
“Those can modulate the metabolism and use of estrogen, and are therefore helpful for minimising menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, and vaginal dryness.”
3. Soy nuggets
Soy is good for cardiovascular health, skin, hair and even bone, and Batra says it has “proven to be a valuable asset for menopausal women.”
“Soy is a phytoestrogen—plant-based compound acting as weak estrogens in the body—which are linked to reduced menopause symptoms and healthier bones,” she said.
They also have great protein content and are full of polyunsaturated fats, along with omega-3 fatty acids.
Rich in fibre, folate and potassium, lentils are a great superfood to add to a daily diet.
They are also a source of energising iron and vitamin B1, helping maintain a steady heartbeat and managing blood pressure and cholesterol.
“Lentils, the superfood, attributes its richness to a nutrient known as isoflavone that aids in the regulation of hormones and can even help with menopause symptoms,” Batra explained.
Spirulina is a powerful antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Batra revealed it is packed with large amounts of gamma-linolenic, which is another fatty acid that is converted into prostaglandins, the precursors to hormones.
“It has successfully helped with menopause,” she stated.
“It is a good source of protein, which is essential for vegetarians and vegans, as well as iron, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and chlorophyll.”
Batra added that not only will these five superfoods help provide the energy needed to get through the menopausal change, but some of them may also help in “easing the symptoms”.
One of the symptoms of the menopause is weight gain and on average, a woman will put on 5lbs during the menopause, and notice this gain mostly around their middle.
Data collected by Stella, an app for menopause relief, found that there have been 1,720 searches in the past 12 months surrounding menopause weight gain.
Stella CEO and Co-founder Andrea Berchowitz said: “Menopause can be a challenging time for many women and they often take to search engines to find relief and an understanding of what their bodies are going through.
“We wanted to see the most asked questions regarding menopause and help answer them, to show women that they’re not alone, and help is always at hand.”
“Your body produces fewer hormones during menopause, and lower oestrogen levels mean your body stores more fat and redistributes it differently – mainly around the stomach area,” a Stella expert added.
“Muscle mass also decreases as we age, which is why many women put on weight as they age and during menopause.”
They advised making a conscious effort to increase certain foods in order to avoid gaining those unwanted extra pounds.
“To help, try increasing your intake non-starchy carbs, healthy fats, water, and herbal teas and look for food high in protein and fibre,” they pointed out.
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