Menopause and Good Nutrition
Foods to Reduce Menopause Symptoms
Plant-based foods that contain isoflavones (plant estrogens) work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. For this reason, soy may help relieve menopause symptoms, although research results are contradictory. Some may help lower cholesterol levels and have been suggested to relieve hot flashes and night sweats. Isoflavones can be found in foods such as tofu and soy milk.
Avoid Foods During Menopause?
If you are experiencing hot flashes during menopause, you may find that avoiding certain "trigger" foods and beverages -- spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol -- may lessen the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
Supplements After Menopause
Because there is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen after menopause and the development of osteoporosis, the following supplements, combined with a healthy diet, may help prevent the onset of this condition:
- Calcium. If you think you need to take a supplement to get enough calcium, check with your doctor first. A study published in June 2012 in the journal Heart suggests that taking calcium supplements may increase risk for heart attacks in some people; however, the study showed that increasing calcium in the diet through food sources did not seem to increase the risk.
- Vitamin D. Your body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium. People aged 51 to 70 should get 600 IU each day and those over age 70 should get 800 IU daily. More than 4,000 IU of vitamin D each day is not recommended because it may harm the kidneys and weaken bones.