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Menopause

At Nutrition for Women, we believe in the power of good nutrition and exercise for women during every stage of life. Menopause can be a challenging time, but with the right guidance and support, you can maintain your health and vitality. Let us help you navigate this chapter and provide you with the tools you need to succeed.

Menopause is a transformative phase in a woman's life that holds both physical and psychological changes. Nutrition can play a pivotal role in managing those changes and provide women with the tools to navigate this transition successfully. The hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause, particularly the decline in oestrogen levels, are responsible for body changes. Oestrogen is involved in maintaining body weight, fat distribution, and insulin sensitivity. As oestrogen levels decline during menopause, several metabolic changes become prominent:

Fat distribution 

A shift in fat distribution so that more fat is stored around the stomach area increases the risk of metabolic disorders. 


Muscle mass 

Oestrogen loss may lead to a decrease in lean body mass, and muscle protein synthesis. Maintaining muscle mass becomes crucial during menopause and that can be done by strength training.
 

Changes in Lipid Profile

Hormonal changes during menopause can influence lipid metabolism, leading to alterations in the lipid profile. There may be an increase in total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and triglycerides, along with a decrease in HDL (high-density lipoprotein). These changes contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Changes in Appetite Regulation

Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can influence appetite regulation and satiety signals. You might feel hungrier some days, where on others, not hungry at all. 
 

Bone Health

Oestrogen also plays a crucial role in bone health. The decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can lead to a loss of bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
 

Metabolic rate

The loss of oestrogen does not lead to a reduction in metabolic rate. However, the timing of menopause often coincides with reaching a body weight that is causing metabolic dysfunction. Every individual has a level of body fat at which metabolic dysfunction starts to occur, resulting in food intake being more likely to be stored as fat, rather than being made available for energy production. The consequence is sometimes weight gain, or it might become a constant struggle to avoid it. Excess body fat makes menopausal symptoms worse. Therefore, one of the key aspects of nutritional management during menopause is reducing body fat. This is not easy, but establishing dietary and exercise habits to support a lower body weight will ease menopause symptoms and improve general health and wellbeing. 

Nutrition

What are some of the key components of a diet that will support you through menopause?


Nutritional strategies are not an alternative to hormone or non-hormonal medical treatment for menopausal symptoms but may complement treatment for those taking medication or provide some relief for those who have chosen not to take medication.


Calcium and Vitamin D

Menopausal women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis due to reduced oestrogen levels. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, in leafy greens, dairy and fish, is crucial for maintaining bone health and preventing fractures.


Protein Intake

Including sufficient protein in your diet becomes important to preserve lean body mass and support muscle function. Sources of lean protein, such as poultry, fish, legumes, and dairy, should be incorporated daily into meals.


Fibre-Rich Foods

A diet rich in fiber can aid in managing weight and preventing constipation, which is a common issue during menopause. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are excellent sources of dietary fibre.


Healthy Fats

Choosing healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, can help manage cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.
 

Hydration

Staying adequately hydrated is essential for various bodily functions. Water helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall well-being.

Healthy Food

Symptoms of menopause - what can you eat to help ?


Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a common and often bothersome symptom during menopause. While nutrition alone may not eliminate hot flashes entirely, some dietary choices may help manage their frequency and intensity.

 

Soy Isoflavone - Foods rich in soy isoflavones, such as tofu, edamame, and soy milk, contain phytoestrogens that may have a mild estrogenic effect, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

 

Flaxseeds - Flaxseeds are a good source of lignans, another type of phytoestrogen. Including ground flaxseeds in the diet may have a positive impact on hot flashes.

 

Limiting Trigger Foods - Spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol are known to trigger hot flashes in some women. Limiting the consumption of these substances may help manage the frequency of hot flashes.

 

Sleep Problems

Menopausal women often experience disruptions in sleep patterns. Good nutrition can promote better sleep.

 

Magnesium-Rich Foods - Magnesium is a mineral that supports relaxation and may aid in better sleep. Foods high in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

 

Tryptophan-Rich Foods - Tryptophan is an amino acid precursor to serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that regulate sleep. Foods like turkey, dairy products, and nuts are good sources of tryptophan.

 

Avoiding Stimulants Before Bed - Limiting caffeine intake in the hours leading up to bedtime and avoiding heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime can contribute to better sleep.

 

Decrease in Sexual Function

Hormonal changes during menopause can impact sexual function. Nutrition to support overall sexual health and well-being are

Foods Rich in Zinc - Zinc is important for the production of sex hormones. Foods like lean meats, pumpkin seeds, oysters are rich in zinc and can support sexual health.
 

Healthy Fats - Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, support cardiovascular health, which is essential for overall sexual function.

 

Maintaining a Healthy Weight - a balanced diet and regular physical activity can positively influence body image and sexual confidence.

 

Changes in Fat Mass distribution

Adopting a balanced diet that includes a mix of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help regulate calorie intake and support weight management. Combining a healthy diet with regular physical activity is key to managing weight and promoting overall metabolic health.

Protein Intake

Including sufficient protein in the diet becomes important to preserve lean body mass and support muscle function. Sources of lean protein, such as poultry, fish, legumes, and dairy, should be incorporated into meals.

Fibre-Rich Foods

A diet rich in fiber can aid in managing weight and preventing constipation, which is a common issue during menopause. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are excellent sources of dietary fibre.

Healthy Fats

Choosing healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, can help manage cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.

Hydration

Staying adequately hydrated is essential for various bodily functions. Water helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall well-being.

 

Getting Started

Want to talk?

If you're ready to improve your nutrition and overall health but you're not sure where to start, book a free discovery call with us. During this call, we can discuss your needs and goals and help you decide on the best course of action. Don't let the first step hold you back, let's take it together!

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