Menopause - the term is associated to a huge change in a woman's body. It is the time that marks the end of her menstrual cycles and fertility. It is confirmed 12 months after the last period she has. This generally occurs around the age of 50, but owing to the modern lifestyle we have, menopause starts at the early age of 35 or 40. Cessation of menstruation is associated with complaints like hot flashes, weight gain, vaginal dryness, head ache, mood fluctuations, cold hands and feet, forgetfulness and inability to concentrate. These symptoms of the transition phase can last for several years. Basically, the fluctuation of hormones, particularly the decline in estrogen and progesterone, is the cause of most of the menopause complaints.
Declining estrogen levels also negatively impact the metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. These changes may also affect a woman's cholesterol levels and how the body digests carbs. Hence, it is suggested that keeping a check on diet may help a woman sail through menopause easily.
5 Foods To Fight Menopause Symptoms
Avoiding certain foods may help in coping up with some of the menopausal symptoms like weight gain and poor sleep, both of which are two of the main reasons for depression during the phase.
Fast Food And Processed Food
Due to the fluctuation mood, a woman during this phase craves for chips, cookies, chocolates and all other types of guilty pleasures. But these kinds of fast foods and processed foods should be avoided. They raise the blood sugar, cholesterol level, which according to experts is liked to higher incidence of hot flashes in women. A study by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry has shown that hot flashes are associated with a higher HOMA index, an estimate of insulin resistance, and to a lesser extent higher glucose. Hence one should go for healthier food options during this time.
Avoiding spicy food is recommended to women undergoing menopause. A study by researchers from Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, on 717 pre and postmenopausal women (aged between 45-55 years) from India showed that hot flashes is with higher anxiety and intake of spicy foods.
A study conducted by researchers from Mayo Clinic concluded that caffeine use is associated with greater vasomotor symptom that bothers postmenopausal woman. Vasomotor symptom is usually described as night sweats and flushes. Hence, consumption of peppermint tea, chamomile tea and others are recommended for women undergoing the phase.
Studies have shown alcohol also can trigger hot flashes in women going through menopause. It also works as a sleep disruptor. Hence, avoiding alcohol is recommended as women going through menopause have trouble in sleeping.
A Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has concluded that high dietary sodium intake is associated with low bone mass in postmenopausal women. Alongside, the decline in estrogen during menopause, increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. Hence keeping a check on sodium intake is recommended.
Hence, women undergoing the menopausal phase should include dairy products, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, good source of protein and foods high in phytoestrogens (like flaxseeds, nuts, whole grains, alfalfa) in their diet to fight the menopausal woes.
(Also Read: 5 Incredible Foods That Help You Sail Through Menopause with Ease)
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)