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Nutrition Tips for Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women

Nourishing Your Body Through Transition

Best Nutrition in Menopause

Optimal nutrition in menopause and perimenopause is different than at other times in a women’s life. Your body is a different machine and therefore needs different fuel. 

Navigating menopause and its associated changes can be a transformative journey for many women. One aspect that often gets overlooked is the role of nutrition during this transitional phase. As a naturopathic doctor passionate about holistic health, I understand the significance of proper nutrition in supporting women’s well-being during perimenopause and menopause. In this article, we’ll delve into essential nutrition tips tailored specifically for this stage of life.

Need help improving your diet in menopause?

Prioritize Protein for Muscle Health

One of the hallmark changes during menopause is the decline in estrogen levels, which can lead to a loss of muscle mass and decreased bone strength. To combat this, it’s crucial to ensure an adequate intake of protein. Aim for at least 100 grams of protein per day, which equates to roughly 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight. Protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, fish, legumes, and possibly dairy products (if you tolerate them) should feature prominently in your diet.

Calcium-Rich Foods for Bone Health

With declining estrogen levels comes a greater risk of bone density loss. Incorporating calcium-rich foods into your diet becomes paramount. Aim for 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily, sourced from foods like cheese, yogurt, fortified orange juice, tofu, leafy green vegetables, canned sardines, and salmon with bones. Don’t forget to pair calcium with vitamin D for optimal absorption.

Embrace Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens, found in foods like soybeans, chickpeas, flaxseed, and berries, can help modulate fluctuating estrogen levels. Incorporating these foods into your diet may help alleviate menopausal symptoms and support hormonal balance.

Whole Grains for Nutrient Density

Whole grains are rich in fiber and essential B vitamins, offering numerous health benefits, including heart health and improved digestion. Opt for whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread to boost your nutrient intake.

Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to fewer menopausal symptoms. Aim for a colorful variety to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients to support your overall health.

Essential Fats for Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in supporting heart health, especially in women post-menopause. Incorporate fatty fish like salmon and mackerel into your diet, along with seeds such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, to boost your omega-3 intake.

Consider Functional Foods

Collagen peptides have gained popularity for their potential benefits in supporting skin, hair, nails, joints, and bones. Adding collagen supplements to your daily routine may help support your overall well-being during menopause.

Limit Foods to Avoid

To support optimal health during menopause, it’s essential to limit certain foods and beverages. Avoid or minimize intake of highly processed foods, added sugars, excessive salt, caffeine, and alcohol, as these can exacerbate menopausal symptoms and impact overall health negatively.

What Are The Best Foods To Eat In Menopause?

Nutrition plays a vital role in supporting women’s health during perimenopause and menopause, and each patient’s needs are different. We have to take into consideration digestive function, food intolerances, gut microbiome health, hormonal status, genetic influences, food aversions and cravings, etc. A naturopathic doctor and nutritionist working together can tailor a diet that perfectly suits your needs. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, incorporating essential nutrients like protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, and limiting foods that can exacerbate symptoms, you can nourish your body and navigate this transformative phase with grace and vitality.

Remember, each woman’s journey through menopause is unique, and by prioritizing your health and well-being, you can embrace this new chapter with confidence and vitality.

Dr. Sarah Goulding a Naturopathic Doctor

Your Doctor: Meet Dr. Sarah

Dr. Sarah Goulding is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Ontario and has a BSc in neuroscience and biology from Dalhousie University (2004), and did her 4-year naturopathic training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (2010). She’s since accumulated over a decade of clinical experience, and refined her practice to focus on women’s health and digestion. She is licensed and registered as a Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario by The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) and is a member of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) and the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND).

Dr. Sarah Goulding blends science and compassion, and acts as a personal health researcher to help you navigate your health. Tools that she uses include nutrition, supplements and botanicals, bioidentical hormones, and lifestyle modifications. The closer you get to the root cause, the gentler the therapies needed to resolve the issue.

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