Nutrition and Menopause
Posted September 21, 2020
The Menopause Makeover
with Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Menopause has such a negative connotation. At a time of life when you should be enjoying yourself, you may feel physically uncomfortable with your body and the new changes in your health due in part to hormonal fluctuations but also age. We can engage, not be enraged, and find a way to be proactive and preventive. How do I know this? I had an early menopause, and as a registered dietitian, wife, mother, and Glamma, I put in the work to feel my best every day.
So, what am I suggesting? We need to control what we can with an eating plan. What, when, how much you eat, and drink can help with elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose. Consuming enough fiber can help to keep you regular and minimize bloating and indigestion. A sound eating plan can also fortify your support structure to optimize bone health. The foods you choose can optimize the health of your eyes and keep you moving and grooving.
Be Fit, Fed, and Fearless! Age is a privilege, not a punishment! This is our time to keep on, we do not have to keep up with anyone. Make your foods count. The goal is to get the most out of what you eat in terms of the nutritional value. Many women say that they cannot eat like they used to, in terms of calories, or they gain weight. When it comes to meals, do not be a feudie, be a foodie! Choose the foods you like in an amount that is satisfying. Sit and savor to enjoy every bite.
To create a proactive plate, consider the following:
- Include foods that contain nutrients (lutein and zeaxanthin) for eye health such as deep green and deep orange fruits and vegetables as well as egg yolks
- Include foods that can help to manage blood pressure. Foods that contain dietary nitrates (beets, celery, spinach, and arugula) and foods with potassium (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and dairy) are part of this group.
- Be selective with fats. Choose more monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts, nut butter, seeds, seed butter, avocado, and omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and plant-based sources such as flaxseed and walnuts.
Fortify your supporting structure with bone protecting foods such as:
- Protein: dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, soy foods
- Calcium: dairy, canned fish with bones, almonds
- Boron and polyphenols: prunes
- Vitamin K: leafy greens, green tea, soy foods, prunes
- Vitamin D: fortified milk, eggs, and sunlight
Do more for your core by consuming fiber-rich foods such as bran, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Try cultured dairy foods such as yogurt and kefir as well as fermented foods such as refrigerated sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, tempeh, and miso.
Feed the need to eat well, live well, and stay well. This is your time to strive and thrive.
Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Owner- Active Eating Advice by Leslie Bonci, Inc
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