Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Best & Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

INSOMNIA AND HEADACHES

Studies suggest that eating carbs can increase the release of tryptophan, an  amino acid that helps the brain manufacture serotonin, which helps people fall asleep.

SAY YES TO:

  • Eating a piece of toasted whole grain bread or a small portion of  another  carbohydrate before going to bed.
  • Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, soy, cod, egg whites  and warm  milk.
  • Also, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and  tuna, play a role in sleep induction.
  • And don’t forget cherries. They contain melatonin, a substance found in  the body, which helps regulate sleep.

SAY NO TO:

  • Large meals.  When you eat a large meal, digestion brings blood into the  abdomen, raises body temperature and tells the hypothalamus in the brain to  send a signal that causes hot flashes. Eating smaller meals can help reduce  the number of hot flashes.
  • Caffeine.   Coffee, tea, colas and dark chocolate contain caffeine. They  may trigger  hot flashes and affect your sleep. So drink water and avoid caffeine,  especially in the late afternoon and at night.
  • Alcohol.   Alcohol can increase the hot flashes and affect sleep, mood  and weight.  eavy use can lead to osteoporosis because alcohol prevents  cells from  building new bone. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a  day.

BLOATING

During the menopause transition, another common midlife symptom is bloating,  which may be due to hormone fluctuations, overproduction of estradiol and  conversion of androgen (a so-called “male” hormone) to estrogen through a  process called aromatization, which increases with age and body weight.

SAY YES TO:

  • Foods and herbs that have diuretic properties, such as celery seeds,  parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, asparagus, artichokes, melon and  watercress.  And drink plenty of water and herbal teas.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary and high-sodium foods such as frozen dinners and  canned soups. Read the sugar and sodium content on food labels, and reduce  the amount of sugar and salt you add to foods and beverages.

MOOD SWINGS

Many women during the menopause transition report a decreased sense of  well-being due to irritability and mood swings. Good nutrition plays a major  role in moods. So it is important to understand which foods stabilize our moods and which ones to avoid.

SAY YES TO:

  • Omega-3  fatty acids in foods such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
  • Eating vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and beets, which  are rich in B vitamins. Green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high  in folic acid, a member of the B-complex group that may also help stabilize  mood because it’s needed to make serotonin. Don’t forget that spinach and  other dark, leafy greens can be used raw in salads and sandwiches as  well.
  • Chicken and turkey, which are rich in vitamin B, a player in the  production of serotonin in the body.

SAY NO TO:

  • Sugary foods, which cause a rise in blood sugar and may increase mood  disturbances.

DECREASED SEX DRIVE

For some women, menopause and its associated decline in “sex” hormones can  lead to a decline in sex. A lower level of estrogen is the main culprit and that  can lower libido and cause vaginal dryness. Recent information suggests that food  can spice up your love life.

SAY YES TO:

  • Granola,  oatmeal, nuts, dairy, green vegetables, garlic, soybeans and  chickpeas.   These foods contain L-arginine, which is thought to be helpful  in improving sexual function.
  • Avocados contain potassium, which regulates thyroid hormones and may  enhance female libido.
  • Chocolate intake releases serotonin in the brain, producing feelings of  pleasure similar to having sex. But indulge in moderation for its benefit,  and try  eating it as a prelude to lovemaking.
  • Asparagus  is a vegetable to consider due to its vitamin E content.
  • Fresh fruits. Feast on fresh fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates  and grapes, which are delicious and rich in antioxidants.

SAY NO TO:

  • Chile peppers. Eating chili peppers in excessive amounts can lead to  hot flashes.   This will not help you set the mood. However, when enjoyed in  a flavorful  recipe, these feisty peppers can also help trigger the release  of natural endorphins, creating a high that is not unlike  lovemaking.

Source: Red Hot Mamas via Ode Magazine

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