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Diet Tips for Menopause

April 29th, 2014

Diet Dos and Don’ts to help control menopause symptoms

Proper diet and nutrition is always important for your health, but during menopause it becomes even more important to eat right to help respond to the hormonal and metabolic changes occurring in your body. Obviously, a healthy diet is vital for fighting the sudden development of belly fat that often accompanies menopause. But did you realize that eating certain foods and avoiding others can actually help control numerous other common symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, skin and hair changes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia? Here are some tips to help with this process.

Do Try a Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet is high in olive oil, unprocessed grains, fruits and veggies, fish, and dairy. In other words, it has all the good stuff you need without the high levels of sodium, sugar, and fat found in processed foods. Not only is this diet great for weight control, it can also help reduce hot flashes and night sweats by 20 percent, according to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Don’t Forget Healthy Fats

While a low fat diet is a good idea in general, you don’t want to cut out fats completely. Healthy fats such as Omega-3 acids are needed to promote healthy skin and hair and relieve vaginal dryness. They can even improve your mood according to some studies. Look for Omega-3s in foods like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and salmon.

Do Balance Protein, Carbs, and Veggies

Overloading on carbs is one of those bad habits you may have been able to get away with in your 20s and 30s but not in your menopausal years. Changes in your metabolism post menopause will quickly turn carbs into belly fat. Try to get a balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables in your diet. One good rule of thumb is to eat a full cup of vegetables for every cup of grains or pasta. If you feel hungry, eat more protein to fill up without gaining weight. Protein also helps maintain muscle to further improve your metabolism.

Don’t Overindulge in Sugar

Sugary foods are not only bad for your waistline, they can also contribute to mood swings. Prevent sugar rushes and crashes by enjoying sweets sparingly.

Do Eat Chocolate

One sweet treat that is actually good for you is dark chocolate. Eating about an ounce of chocolate can help reset your cortisol levels to improve your mood.

Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

While the occasional glass of wine may have some health benefits, in general alcohol has a negative effect on many menopause symptoms. It can slow your metabolism by 70 percent, which causes weight gain. It can also increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes sleep issues, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Do Avoid Hot Flash Triggers

If you notice that you tend to have a hot flash after partaking of alcohol, caffeinated beverages or spicy foods, you may want to cut these triggers out of your diet. Every woman is different so be on the lookout for your particular triggers.

Need Help?

Renew Woman™ offers nutritional guidance from certified professionals to help support your menopause treatment and help you enjoy the maximum possible relief from your symptoms.

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