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Eating During Menopause

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Menopause marks an important transition in the lives of all women, and brings many new challenges, including how to eat properly during this new stage of life.

Nutrition

Menopause can be accompanied by different symptoms related to hormonal changes in the body. Eating well will definitely reduce some of these symptoms, and will increase protection against osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Hot flashes

Keeping a detailed record of the time and circumstances of hot flashes will allow you to modify your eating habits. Stimulants like tea, coffee, cola, and chocolate may trigger hot flashes, so can excessive alcohol consumption, heavy meals, fatty, salty, or very spicy foods.

Perspiration

If you perspire a lot, don’t forget to increase your intake of liquids. Now is a good time to drink more water and milk, and discover new herbal teas. Try to eat soup, and other foods that contain a lot of water such as fruit and vegetables more often.

Fatigue

Fatigue can sometimes be a symptom of anemia, brought about by loss of iron due to more frequent menstrual flow sometimes seen in premenopausal years. Because it is difficult to get the daily recommended requirement of iron, and because it is found in varying quantities in many foods, it is important to eat a variety of foods rich in iron every day.

Sources of iron

  • Meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb)
  • Liver and other organ meats
  • Poultry and fish
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, baked beans, kidney beans, etc.
  • Whole grain cereals such as oatmeal, whole wheat, whole wheat squares, baby cereals and other fortified breakfast cereals
  • Whole grain bread
  • Cream of wheat enriched with iron

Preventing osteoporosis

You can help maintain bone density by, amongst other things, consuming a sufficient amount of milk products. The body assimilates the calcium in milk products well because milk contains two components that help calcium absorption: lactose and vitamin D. Remember that certain commercial yogurts are made with milk that has been fortified with vitamin D.

To ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D, two daily servings of milk are recommended by Canada’s Food Guide. Health Canada also recommends a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 µg (400 IU) for all adults over the age of 50.

Physical activity to the rescue

The practice of regular weight-bearing physical activity allows formation of a greater bone density. Also, physical activity helps tone muscles and promotes good balance and coordination which contributes to reducing the risk of falls.

To learn more about bone health and osteoporosis, read our Bone Health and Osteoporosis article.

Get your daily dose of Milk and Alternatives

Women aged 19-50: 2 servings per day
Women aged 51 and above: 3 servings per day

The word "daily" is very important. In fact, the human body absorbs occasional and massive doses of calcium poorly. Therefore, it is better to consume milk and its alternatives in sufficient quantities every day.

Good sources of calcium

Foods equal to one serving of Milk and Alternatives:

  • 250 mL (1 cup) of milk
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) of yogurt
  • 50 g (1 1/2 oz) of cheese such as Cheddar, Blue, Brick, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Swiss, etc.
  • 250 mL (1 cup) of Cottage cheese

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