Plenty of things change as women approach menopause. Fortunately, some undesirable consequences like bone loss and hot flashes may be reduced with a few diet changes.
Menopause is a difficult time for many women. It can be a little reassuring to know that the foods you put on your shopping list can make a difference, and can help restore some sense of normalcy to your life.
One of the negative aspects of menopause is a decline in bone mass. Bone loss occurs rapidly while going through and for five years after menopause. Total bone mass can decrease by 3-4 percent. Within a few years, bone loss slows down, and becomes similar to that experienced by men of that age.
One in three women will have some osteoporosis related to menopause, according to Dr. Andrew Weil. Women not on hormone replacement therapy are especially prone to this. Weil recommends food containing calcium, magnesium and vitamin K to prevent osteoporosis.
Good sources of calcium include black-eyed peas, blackstrap molasses, canned sardines, figs, and dark greens like broccoli, bok choy and collard greens. Dairy products are suggested for those who are not lactose intolerant.
In conjunction with calcium, magnesium should also be part of the diet. Magnesium can be found in almonds, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Women dealing with menopause should be eating foods rich in vitamin K. Most vegetables provide this vitamin. Green leafy vegetables are especially good choices.
Women's diets often don't provide enough iron, according to WebMD.com. The website recommends that women in menopause have at least three servings of food containing iron every day, aiming for 8 milligrams per day. Look for such foods as eggs, fish, leafy greens, lean red meat, nuts and poultry.
Eat foods high in fiber like fruit, vegetables and rice. Aim for 21 grams per day.
Drink eight glasses of water each day.
Menopause often is accompanied by an increased tendency to put on a few pounds.Try to maintain a healthy weight. If you think you need to drop a few pounds, do it by shrinking your portion sizes. Don't skip meals.