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La dieta para la menopausia debería incluir grasas saludables, como pescado azul, aceite de oliva y frutos secos

Menopause: Strategies for a healthy diet in this new stage of life

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Menopause is a natural process in women’s lives that marks the end of the reproductive stage. During this period, the body undergoes significant hormonal changes that can have an impact on health and well-being. One of the ways to mitigate the symptoms of menopause and maintain good health is through a proper and balanced menopause diet. 

During menopause, hormone levels, such as oestrogen and progesterone, decrease significantly. These hormonal changes can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain and bone loss. A proper diet can help mitigate these symptoms and promote a better quality of life during menopause.

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Changes in the body during the menopause

During menopause, the body undergoes a number of changes that can affect women’s health and well-being.

One of these changes has to do with a decrease in oestrogen production. What happens is that the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, a key hormone in the menstrual cycle and reproductive health. This decrease in oestrogen levels can have effects on the body, such as skin changes, vaginal dryness and decreased bone density.

Related to the above, another change that occurs in a woman’s body during menopause is that it increases the risk of age-related diseases. The decrease in oestrogen levels during menopause can increase the risk of developing age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. The good news is that a proper diet can help reduce this risk and promote better long-term health.

Finally, the importance of changes in metabolism should be emphasised. These changes can lead to weight gain and difficulties in maintaining a healthy weight. Again, a balanced and appropriate diet can help to control metabolism and prevent weight gain during this stage.

Tips on adapting your diet for the menopause

A healthy, balanced diet can help mitigate menopausal symptoms and promote better overall health.

Here are some tips to help you adapt your diet during this stage:

Increasing calcium and vitamin D intake for bone health

During menopause, women are at increased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. Therefore, it is important to increase consumption of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat dairy products, canned fish with soft bones, and green leafy vegetables. In addition, it is important to ensure that you get enough vitamin D, either through sun exposure or fortified foods.

An anti-inflammatory diet for menopause should include plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods to combat cellular ageing

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect cells from oxidative damage and ageing. During menopause, it is beneficial to increase consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as berries, grapes, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes. These foods can help prevent cell damage and promote better overall health.

Reduce consumption of processed foods and sugars for weight control

As we have seen, many women experience weight gain or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight at this stage. To control weight, it is important to reduce consumption of processed foods, such as fried and packaged foods, which are often high in calories and unhealthy fats. In addition, it is necessary to limit the intake of added sugars, such as those found in sugary drinks and sweet foods.

Include more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular and brain health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseeds and walnuts. These fatty acids are beneficial for cardiovascular and brain health, which is especially important during menopause. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce inflammation, improve heart health and cognitive function.

Maintaining adequate hydration

The hormonal changes brought about by the menopause can cause dryness of the mucous membranes, including the skin. Precisely because of this, it is necessary to maintain adequate hydration during this period to counteract these effects. In fact, proper hydration can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause, such as vaginal dryness, dry skin and hot flushes. 

 Anti-inflammatory diet for menopause: recommendations

During menopause, many women experience uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are related to the hormonal changes that occur in the body during this stage of life. In addition, inflammation in the body may also play an important role in the severity of menopausal symptoms.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet during menopause can help you deal with these symptoms. In case you don’t know, an anti-inflammatory diet is one that focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and promoting optimal health.

Reducing inflammation in the body can have multiple benefits for women in menopause. It can help relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and mood swings. In addition, an anti-inflammatory diet can promote bone, cardiovascular and brain health, which are common areas of concern during menopause.

Foods recommended in an anti-inflammatory diet for menopause

To follow an anti-inflammatory diet during menopause, it is recommended to include the following foods:

  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables: these foods help fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. Berries, oranges, spinach and broccoli are some of these foods.
  • Healthy fats (Omega-3): Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. They can be found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as in flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Lean protein sources: opt for lean meats such as chicken and fish, as well as legumes such as lentils and chickpeas.
  • Whole grains and dietary fibre: Whole grains and fibre-rich foods help regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Examples include brown rice, quinoa and oats.
  • Foods rich in phytoestrogens: phytoestrogens are plant compounds that can help balance hormone levels during menopause. Foods such as soy, flax and sesame are rich in phytoestrogens.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices and herbs: incorporate spices and herbs such as turmeric, ginger and garlic into your meals for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods you should avoid

To reduce inflammation in the body during menopause, it is advisable to avoid the following foods:

  • Refined sugars and processed foods: these foods can increase inflammation in the body and worsen menopausal symptoms.
  • Saturated and trans fats: Saturated and trans fats can contribute to inflammation and increase the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Red and processed meats: these types of meat may contain inflammatory compounds and it is recommended to limit their consumption.
  • Alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine can negatively affect hormone balance and increase inflammation in the body.

 Importance of physical activity

In addition to eating well, it is important to stay active. During menopause, physical exercise can complement a proper diet and help reduce symptoms. Regular exercise can help control weight, promote cardiovascular health and improve mood. In addition, physical activity can help maintain muscle and bone mass, which are areas of concern during menopause.

On the other hand, it is important to tailor the type of exercise to individual needs and seek guidance from a health professional before starting any exercise programme during menopause. It is recommended to combine aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming, with strength exercises, such as weight training or pilates, for optimal benefits.

Exercise is the perfect complement to a menopausal diet

 Adapting your diet during menopause will help you feel better

Don’t forget that eating well, preferably following an anti-inflammatory diet, can be beneficial in reducing menopausal symptoms and promoting overall good health. By eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding foods that can increase inflammation, you can help control menopausal symptoms and promote a smoother transition to menopause.

In addition, combining a proper diet with regular exercise, stress management and adequate rest can provide additional benefits.

In any case, remember to consult a health professional before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.

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