As we have just celebrated world menopause day recently we will touch on some tips and advice for any ladies experiencing the menopause at the moment.
During menopause, women tend to gain fat while simultaneously losing muscle mass. But it’s not just the fat you can see that’s the problem, , it’s also the visceral fat that surrounds your organs.
“An increase in visceral fat makes you more susceptible to heart disease, hypertension and insulin resistance. which can lead to diabetes. The good news is, that eating a balanced nuttritiinal diet and partaking in regular exercise including strength training in particular can slow down or revert the loss of muscle and accumulation of fat as well as reduce the frequency of hot flushes and can improve other non-vasomotor symptoms of the menopause including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Strength training is also vital for keeping our bones strong and dence thus preventing osteoporosis.
Nutrition – what to eat and what to avoid
• Fruits and vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage. Favorites include dark green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale and broccoli, as well as peppers , tomatoes and carrots. Brightly coloured fruits, such as mango, cherries and berries, are also loaded with powerful antioxidants.
• Oily fish: Several studies link the heart-healthy fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, to improved mood and brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help keep blood pressure levels in check. Healthy blood pressure can help control hot flashes. Oiky fish like ssrdines or salmon is also one of the food sources of vitamin D, a key nutrient for both mood and bone health.
• Protein: To alow your body to build or retain muscle eat plenty of high-protein foods, such as fish, meat, eggs legumes, nuts and seeds.
• Cooling foods: If you’re suffering from hot flashes, so-called “cooling foods,” including apples, bananas, spinach, broccoli, eggs and green tea may help you cool.down.
• Water: It’s really important
to stay hydrated during menopause. Not only will it help keep your weight in check, it will also help your body flush out toxins and absorb nutrients. Aim for 2L per day.
What Foods to Avoid
While it’s important to focus on getting necessary nutrients during menopause, limiting foods that can make symptoms worse is also key. Here are a few culprits to watch out for:
• Spicy foods: Not surprisingly, spicy foods can make hot flashes worse.
• Alcohol: Having a glass of wine a few times a week probably won’t affect your symptoms. But excess alcohol will.
• Fatty foods: Except for oily fish and nuts, try to keep your intake of fat-laden foods to a minimum. Steer clear of fast foods, fried foods and processed cakes and snacks.
* Exercise – aim to exercise a minimum of 5 days per week for 30 minutes
* Include both cardio (for heart and respiratory health ) and strength training to maintain muscle mass and assist in fat loss
* Get outdoors where possible – fresh air is a hugely underrated medicine
* mobility and stretching are also essential to ensure joint range of motion and injury prevention
* Exercise is proven to alleviate anxiety and improve sleep – all good.
* Join a group class specifically designed for women experiencing the menopause. Being in the company of others experiencing a similar body and hormonal transformation will really help .