What’s The Best Diet For Menopause?
While the menopause can be a challenging time, with everyone having a different experience, there are ways you can minimise its impact on your wellbeing. Join Team AC as we take a look at menopause diet plans and how to help lose weight during menopause.
As with any changes to the body, the menopause is an entirely personal and individual experience.
However, for those who do struggle, the likes of hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, and joint pain are all too familiar. Maxine, our fabulous founder, knows this only too well and has discussed her own menopause experience in an open and honest chat.
And with that in mind, we wanted to share our menopause diet and wellbeing tips. This includes eating for menopause, as well as how you can lose weight during menopause.
Now we’ve got that cleared up, talk about the best diet for menopause tips!
Firstly, What is the Menopause?
Before we get into the details of the best type of nutrition for menopause, let’s talk through exactly what menopause is.
Well, according to the NHS website, the menopause is “when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. Sometimes they can stop suddenly. The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman's oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51”.
That said, in some cases, women can even experience the menopause earlier than this (before the age of 40). This is known as premature menopause.
These changes can start months, or even years, before your final period – and collectively they’re known as the perimenopause. Generally, these symptoms persist for around 4 years after you’ve started the menopause too.
For more general information about the menopause, head over to our collagen for menopause blog post.
What’s the best diet for menopause?
If the menopause is severely impacting your daily life, we really do empathise! It can be an extremely challenging time in a woman’s life and we’d always advise seeking your doctor’s opinion, first and foremost. They will be able discuss things with you like medication, diet and alternative therapies.
However, we also have some healthy menopause diet tips that could minimise the impact of some of those uncomfortable symptoms.
Menopause diet tip #1: Consume plenty of water, fruit and vegetables
So, this might be a really obvious healthy menopause diet tip, but it can still be a challenge for many people – whether they have the menopause or not!
As ever, drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables are an essential part of any menopause diet plan. The current recommendation is to get at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, which can be fresh, tinned, frozen, dried, or blended into delicious smoothie recipes. The important thing is getting that vitamin C in your system every day, which needs to be part of your diet for menopause fatigue!
In terms of water for your menopause diet plan, aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses per day – or between 1.5 to 2 litres. Water helps move fibre through your system keeping you hydrated and minimising the effect of hot flushes.
What’s more, not only is water essential for general menopause wellbeing, but it can also have an impact on your skin too. Dehydrated skin tends to show more fine lines, so drinking plenty of water can help your skin look plumper.
If you struggle to drink a lot of water (let’s face it, it’s not the most interesting drink!), herbal tea can be a great alternative between meals. Failing that, try adding a slice of lemon, ginger or our marine collagen supplement to not only jazz up your water but feel the benefits of this nutrition for menopause tip!
Menopause diet tip #2: Avoid caffeine and alcohol
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but caffeine and alcohol are not generally recommended for a healthy menopause diet plan! As much as sometimes you might feel like you need a glass of red wine or two, according to the British Dietetic Association, caffeine and alcohol can trigger hot flushes so you should try to moderate your intake.
Menopause diet tip #3: Watch your sodium intake
According to Healthline, high salt intake has been associated with lower bone density in postmenopausal women. Not only this, the decline in oestrogen you see with the menopause can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. So, reducing how much sodium you have in your menopause diet can help you lower the probability of this happening.
Menopause diet tip #4: Check the labels on food
Another good habit to pick up when eating for menopause is to diligently check the labels on your food. Even products that claim to be healthy lure you in with vibrant packaging and persuasive words, but they often rely on you not scrutinising the small print!
Many food products that you might assume are good for a menopause diet plan are actually over-processed and contain lots of added sugar. Use package label information to make wise and healthy choices for yourself - it’s a good habit to get into for everyone, not just those carefully planning their nutrition for menopause.
Menopause wellbeing: Top tips for self-care
Now we understand how to plan the best diet for menopause, let’s take a more general look at how you can better take care of yourself and minimise the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Menopause wellbeing tip #1: Exercise regularly
We know it’s not everyone’s favourite thing to do, but a 2019 study suggests that active women experience fewer menopausal symptoms.
Not only that, but those going through the menopause often report low mood, anxiety and sleep problems. Exercise is the most well-known, natural mood booster there is, and can improve your quality of sleep! And it doesn’t mean you have to start running marathons - relaxing forms of exercise such as Pilates and yoga are great because they are less impactful on your bones and joints and still help you lose weight during menopause!
Menopause wellbeing tip #2: Practise good sleep hygiene
Sleep disturbance can have a big impact on women going through the menopause. Just as good oral health hygiene is important, good sleep hygiene is too! So, make sure you have a regular sleep schedule, avoid heavy evening meals, and refrain from using a device an hour or so before you go to bed.
What’s more, if you pair this with a planned diet for menopause fatigue, you can enjoy even more energy-boosting benefits!
Menopause wellbeing tip #3: Try to avoid stress
While advising someone to avoid stress might sound simplistic (and sometimes impossible!), trying to remove yourself from those types of situations can be invaluable for menopause wellbeing. Anxiety can also be a big thing during menopause. Some women find meditation, mindfulness or even having a relaxing bath beneficial for soothing anxious thoughts.
Menopause wellbeing tip #4: Reach out to loved ones
When you go through the menopause, you’re not alone. Talk to friends – that’s what they’re there for! If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, then your GP is a great source of knowledge and support for menopause wellbeing. Your doctor might also be able to signpost you to other support services and groups.
There are some great online communities you can join too and a wealth of online resources available – so, you don’t even need to leave the sofa! MegsMenopause, founded by former 90s socialite Meg Matthews, is a great place to start. And of course, for our Absoluters, the private Absoluters Facebook group is an oasis of fun, chat, and support, too.
Ready to put your menopause diet plans to the test? Here at Absolute Collagen, we’re here to support and guide you through this difficult time of transition. Get in touch with us today or head over to our blog for more menopause advice!