Menopause can be a lot to handle, especially in the winter months, with symptoms like dry skin, vaginal dryness, weight gain, night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue. That’s why it’s especially important to eat a balanced diet that will promote good health. The foods you eat will not only give you the stamina you need to push through menopause, but some foods can actually help relieve menopause symptoms.
Here are some of the best winter superfoods for menopause.
Some of the more bothersome symptoms associated with menopause result from a state of estrogen deficiency.
A diet rich in phytoestrogens can help with this, and soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils are some of the most potent sources. Legumes are also rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and fiber, and are 20 to 25 percent protein, making them a true superfood.
Flaxseed’s high concentration of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) can relieve inflammation, fluid retention, depression, and irritability.
This little superfood with a nutty flavor is also a rich source of plant lignans. Those can modulate the metabolism and use of estrogen, and are therefore helpful for minimizing menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, and vaginal dryness. Flaxseed can be purchased ground or whole and added to dishes like oatmeal and smoothies.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables like kale, collards, or other leafy greens. These greens are good sources of calcium and magnesium, both of which are beneficial for bone health.
Magnesium-rich foods can also help with migraines, depression, and anxiety.
Fish that thrive in cold waters – salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring, for instance – are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help relieve hot flashes and symptoms of depression in women over 40. Omega-3s also help protect against heart disease, an increasing concern for women as they reach menopause. Eat a serving of fish at least two times each week.
Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds are great as a snack or topping for your favorite salad. Plus, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, these tiny superfoods can help ease menopause symptoms and effects. They can help improve bone mineral density, thus fighting osteoporosis.
A study in the Journal of Analytical Bio-Science found a link between higher zinc intake and better sleep quality. Also, the magnesium in nuts and seeds may help stave off depressive symptoms.
Winter squash is rich in vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy skin, teeth, bones, and soft tissue. This superfood for menopause also has a high fiber content, which can help with constipation that may accompany the hormonal changes of menopause.
Winter squash is a versatile food that can be incorporated into many of the recipes you know and love. Add cubed squash to stews, grated squash to muffin mixes, and try mashed squash instead of mashed potatoes.
Estrogen deficiency during menopause often leads to bone loss and osteoporosis. Most women know the importance of calcium for bone health, but there are other nutrients essential for keeping bones strong, including boron. A mineral found in various fruits, vegetables, and nuts, boron helps protect bones by extending the half-life of vitamin D and estrogen. Just 85gram of prunes adds 3 to 4 milligrams of boron to your diet. Like other fruits, prunes also have the added benefit of helping reduce hot flashes.
The Role of Supplements
Sometimes it’s difficult to get enough nutrients through food. Quality supplements can sometimes bridge the gap. Although many supplements are touted as “natural,” it’s important to know that “natural” doesn’t automatically mean “safe.”
The Manna Menopause Support supplement can help to fill this gap and the product is made with only the best plant derived estrogens to help increase estrogens the natural way without any side effects.