The menopause is the natural end to a woman’s reproductive life, generally occurring between the ages of 45 and 54. It is characterised by uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, and mental health issues. The menopause is caused by hormonal changes, including a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, which is why many women tend to seek natural ways to balance their hormone levels and nutrients to reduce the severity of their symptoms.
How Can Nutrition Impact Menopausal Symptoms?
Nutrition can play a crucial role in managing menopausal symptoms and supporting overall well-being during this transitional period. A balanced diet can help alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, improve mood stability, support bone health, and manage weight fluctuations. A diet rich in nutrients can naturally supplement the vitamins and minerals the body lacks at this stage in a woman’s life.
That being said, sometimes nutrients cannot be properly absorbed through the diet, in which case women can turn to supplementation with pills, powders, capsules, and liquids.
Best Foods to Eat Through the Menopause
Including the following foods in your diet can help support your health and well-being during the menopause:
- Plant-Based Foods: Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your meals. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which can help regulate hormone levels and support overall health. These foods are also great for heart health, which is important for menopausal women as cardiovascular disease risk increases at this stage of life.
- Calcium-Rich Foods: As estrogen levels decline during the menopause, maintaining bone health becomes essential. Estrogen plays a role in supporting bone density, so when it decreases women can be more prone to osteoporosis and fractures. By including calcium-rich foods like dairy products and leafy green vegetables, women can support their bone health and slow bone loss. Moreover, dairy includes vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium, which also promote bone strength.
- Healthy Fats: Go for sources of healthy fats, like Omega 3s, found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon. These fats have been found to reduce night sweats, as well as contributing to hormone production, and alleviating symptoms like joint pain and mood swings.
- Soy Products: Soybeans and soy products contain compounds called phytoestrogens, which have estrogen-like effects in the body. Including soy foods like tofu, tempeh, and edamame may help manage menopausal symptoms by mimicking estrogen.
- Protein-Rich Foods: As estrogen decreases, as does the mass of your muscles and the strength of your bones. Ensure an adequate intake of protein from sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and plant-based protein alternatives. Protein supports muscle health, metabolism, and hormone production.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Limit caffeine and alcohol, as they can exacerbate symptoms like hot flashes and disrupt sleep.
It’s also crucial to lead an active lifestyle with plenty of physical activity and movement. This improves heart health and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Which Supplements should I take through the menopause?
While a balanced diet could provide some of the necessary nutrients, women may benefit from taking specific supplements during the menopause. It is always best to consult with professionals to determine if supplementation is necessary based on your individual needs.
In medical wellness clinics like Bodyline, blood tests and analysis are available to identify the specific nutrients, vitamins, and hormones that you need to supplement during your menopause journey. No two women are the same, which is why treatments targeting menopause symptoms shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all.
We test for estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, as well as vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, and magnesium. Only by a specialist menopause nurse analysing your blood results and medical history can you be sure how to correctly treat your menopausal symptoms with titrated prescriptions and supplements.
Common supplements for menopause include:
- Vitamin D: As sunlight exposure decreases and the risk of vitamin D deficiency increases, supplementation may be necessary to support bone health and immune function. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, also crucial in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium supplementation may also be necessary if there is not enough through diet alone.
- Magnesium: Magnesium plays a role in managing symptoms like muscle cramps, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. If magnesium levels are low, it is important to supplement this mineral, as it improves heart health, reduces blood pressure, decreases risk of diabetes, and helps to combat osteoporosis. Since these problems can be worsened throughout the menopause, magnesium is a great supplement to take throughout.
- Zinc: during the menopause, zinc supplementation helps alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Additionally, zinc is known for its immune-boosting properties. This is because zinc plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including hormone regulation, immune system function, and cell growth.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function and red blood cell production. It is also proven to help with cognitive ability, and for menopausal women suffering with brain fog and memory loss this can be a huge relief. Supplementation is necessary for individuals with low B12 levels but is also advised for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Vitamin B12 is available from Bodyline in the form of injections and sublingual sprays.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional, such as Bodyline menopause clinicians before starting any new supplements to ensure they are suitable for your specific needs and health condition.
Improving Your Nutrition with Bodyline’s M Plan
Bodyline’s M Plan is a comprehensive medical wellness program designed to support women during the menopause. In addition to providing personalized guidance and support, the M Plan offers nutrition-focused solutions to help manage menopausal symptoms.
By using the M Plan, you can:
- Receive expert guidance on nutrition and dietary choices during the menopause based on blood test results and analysis.
- Be fully supported through a personalised hormone replacement therapy treatment, with prescriptions titrated based on your needs and symptoms.
Remember, good nutrition can be essential for managing menopausal symptoms and supporting overall well-being. By adopting a balanced diet, considering appropriate supplementation, and seeking guidance from professionals like Bodyline, you can navigate the menopause with confidence and vitality.
If you’re looking for personalized support and guidance on taking supplements during the menopause, contact Bodyline today at 0800 995 6036 or visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive medical wellness programs.