Menopause Treatment: Diet
Healthy lifestyle, including diet, is key in creating the physical balance necessary to cope with the hormonal changes associated with menopause. In addition to overall dietary balance, certain foods can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes. Soy, for example is a good source of isoflavones, whose chemical structure is very similar to estrogen and and thereby can have a similar effect in the body. Essential fatty acids, i.e. fatty acids that the body does not produce on its own, can also improve many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including depression.
Tips for a healthy diet during and after menopause
- Up leafy green vegetable consumption. Decreasing estrogen levels in the body can affect bowel function, leaving you bloated and constipated. The fiber from these vegetables can help keep things moving. After menopause risk for osteoporosis increases as well, and the calcium from green vegetables such as kale and spinach can help moderate this risk.
- Drink plenty of water. This is life-long advice, but especially key during menopause because of the fluids lost during night sweats and hot flashes. Drinking a glass of water during a hot flash may also help you feel cooler.
- Try drinking a glass of soy milk a day, or eat a handful of edamame. Though evidence on the efficacy of soy in treating hot flashes is mixed, it’s worth a try to see if it works for you.
- Dietary supplements can also have a calming effect on menopause symptoms, as well as prevent diseases whose risk increases after menopause. Read more about dietary supplements during midlife here.