By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: June 9, 2016
Contributed by Vaileria Dennis- Guest Contributor
Due to the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) many menopausal women turn to alternative treatments for their symptoms. All women wish they could sail through menopause happily, but hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain are the reality of menopause. There is a considerable body of research on the healthy foods to eat to treat menopause symptoms and evidence suggests diet can be a good alternative or addition to conventional menopause treatments. Here are 10 tips on what to eat and drink during menopause.
1. Black cohosh
Black cohosh was traditionally used by Native Americans in the treatment of female health problems. This perennial plant contains a number of beneficial compounds like triterpene glycosides, flavonoids and aromatic acids. Several studies have found that black cohosh is effective in treating hot flashes. Black cohosh may also prevent breast cancer according to research. However, women need to be careful when taking black cohosh because too much of this herb can cause nausea, vomiting and even liver damage.
Soy foods and supplements are popular natural remedies for menopause symptoms. Soy is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens like biochanin A, formononetin, genistein, and daidzein. Asian women consume great amounts of soy products and it is now widely known that Asian women have fewer menopausal complaints and are less likely to develop breast cancer. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that soy products improved blood lipid levels which might explain why it reduces the symptoms of menopause.
3. Red clover
Similarly to soy, red clover also exhibits some estrogen-like effects. Red clover may help reduce hot according to one study of 252 menopausal women. The women in this study were given different doses of clover extract or placebo. All of the women in the study reported reduced hot flashes although the higher clover extract group found relief much faster than the other two groups.
4. Alkaline water
A lot of menopausal women report acid reflux and indigestion as one of the symptoms that emerged during menopause. One study analyzed the different effect between tap and alkaline (pH 8.8) water on human pepsin activation. Unlike tap water, alkaline water was found to inactivate pepsin and is good at buffering acid. The study concluded that alkaline water was a good treatment for people suffering from acid reflux.
5. Gingko biloba
Although Gingko biloba is mostly known for its role in memory enhancement, Scientists believe that menopausal women will benefit from this Chinese herb to improve their mood rather than memory.
Flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, fiber, magnesium and selenium. Sprinkling flaxseeds over your meals will give you the same benefits as HRT according to one study that observed the differences between flaxseed intake and HRT. Flaxseeds were found to decrease bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and significantly improve mild menopausal symptoms making it one of the best healthy foods to eat to treat common menopause symptoms.
Eating a diet rich in protein is important if you want to maintain a healthy body composition after menopause. One study on 387 women ages 60-90 years old found that women who ate more protein had a lower BMI, a better muscle to fat body composition and better extremity functioning. On the other hand, women who reported eating far less than the recommended protein dose had more body fat and lower functioning levels. Foods rich in protein are poultry, eggs, fish, and beans.
8. Tomato juice
Tomato juice can help you sail through menopause happily according to a recent study published in the Nutritional Journal. Tomato juice contains many beneficial ingredients such as lycopene, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and esculeoside A. Tomato juice can offer a wide range of benefits to menopausal women which include improving cardiovascular health, reducing psychological disturbances, and preventing cancer and osteoporosis. In this study, tomato juice reduced anxiety and improved overall heart health.
Milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D, both important for bone health which we know is in danger during menopause. At least 1.200 mg of calcium is recommended daily to prevent bone loss caused by a decline in estrogen levels during menopause.
Eating more fruits is generally considered to help improve overall health, but recent studies found that blueberries, in particular, have some very potent health benefits. One study found that the anthocyanin-pyruvic acid adduct extract from blueberries prohibited cancer cell proliferation and acted as antiinvasive factor and chemoinhibitor.
These are some healthy foods to eat that can help you sail through menopause happily. Menopause does not have to be a period you have to spend tolerating symptoms and relying solely on HRT to treat these symptoms. Nature also has some of the best cures for common menopause symptoms that you can include in your daily diet.
Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert, having 10 years of experience in Beauty industry and providing healthy living tips. She is also passionate about fitness, women’s issues and more. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to learn about Food and Nutrition. She always excited to share her ideas related to beauty tips, healthy food recipes, and diet plans. Join Vaileria on Twitter, Facebook and G+