Menopause may be a difficult time in many womens lives as they battle through all the symptoms and hormonal changes such as disruptive sleep, low energy, mood swings, and hot flashes, to name a few. Some women claim that it’s the beginning of a new and exciting life while they enter a whole new season. However, the reality is that some women experience discomfort through this time.
Some suggestions may help relieve symptoms and maintain optimal health as your body changes:
- Eat a healthy balanced diet to meet your nutritional needs and keep your energy levels up. Visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide or see a dietician for some nutritional guidance.
- After menopause your risk of heart disease increase, therefore it is important to follow a heart healthy diet. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol (Full cream dairy, Coconut, and animal products). Replace these with healthy mono-unsaturated fat (canola- and olive oils, nuts, avocado, etc).
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active every day. Physical activity also helps to keep bones strong and energy levels up, and to decrease risk of heart disease and other age-related complications. If you are not already active, then aim for a small amount of exercise every day. As you get used to moving more, you can quicken the pace and keep going a little longer.
- Meet your calcium and vitamin D needs. This is important to maintain healthy bones and prevent bone loss that can happen after menopause. Good food sources of calcium include dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese), fortified soy beverages, fortified juices, and fish canned with the bones. Good food sources of vitamin D include milk, fatty fish, and natural sunshine.
These lifestyle changes may help manage or reduce your menopause symptoms however, if your symptoms are severe or affecting your quality of life please contact your doctor.
Contributor: Melissa Ludick – FEMINA HEALTHS resident dietician.