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Eat to beat menopause

Menopause symptoms are the gift that keeps on giving. Starting from perimenopause, through to menopause, and from then on to post menopause, menopause symptoms call shotgun and plant their butt firmly in the seat next to yours. If you thought that your journey was a mere pitstop at ‘Sayonara periods central’, you might be in for a rude awakening. Menopause in reality looks more like journey on an unpaved road, with every menopause symptom working as a bump in the road jarring you awake.

Menopause symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, depression, insomnia, weight gain, and many more. A number of these menopause symptoms can be very harmful to your health in the long run. From osteoporosis to high cholesterol, your body really goes through the wringer. Adhering to a healthy eating plan for menopause can help you kick these menopause symptoms to the kerb. You might not be aware of the fact that some of the best foods to help menopause can be found in your fridge. You don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to provide the nutrition your body needs for reducing menopause symptoms. We’ve got you covered with the best diet for menopause you can easily incorporate into your life. Bonus, it even comes with yummy cake recipes!

Incorporate these foods into your diet to help You slide through menopause like the boss you are

Water


Menopause symptoms cause an imbalance of your hormones, which includes a steep decline in the amount of oestrogen your body produces. The lack of oestrogen leads to vaginal dryness and dry skin. The solution is as simple as drinking 8 glasses of water every day. Not only does it help your skin retain water, it also helps reduce bloating. Bloating is a pest that nips at your heels ever since puberty, especially right before you get your periods. Since perimenopause finds your periods dropping in for a visit without warning, you might feel like you’re perpetually bloated all year around. So fill up on some H2O and deflate like a balloon.


Turkey


Menopause symptoms such as mood swings, depression and anxiety are caused by a hormonal imbalance and can be managed by consuming various foods like turkey, bananas and chicken. Turkey contains properties that help boost ‘serotonin’ which is the happy hormone in our body. Serotonin is an important element in regulating your mood, reducing insomnia, and reigniting your sex life. Including turkey in your diet can help you deal with your menopause symptoms only when it is combined with carbohydrates like whole grains, so that the important properties in turkey can get transferred through your blood, to your brain.

Calcium

Menopause symptoms leading to loss of bone density are caused by a lack of oestrogen. Bone loss can accelerate during menopause, so your consumption of calcium needs to also increase to fill the growing needs of your body. In addition to oestrogen enhancing food, you should also aim for at least 1200 milligrams of calcium a day. The optimum amount of calcium your body needs is hard to satisfy through food alone, so a blend of calcium rich foods such as milk, along with calcium supplements are a good option.Warm milk can help with menopause symptoms like insomnia as it has a soothing effect that lulls you right to sleep. Since it also has plenty of calcium and vitamin D, it is the ultimate addition to your menopause diet. Drinking warm milk before bed can also help set a routine that will help pave the way to better sleep as it acts as a mental trigger that prepares your brain for sleep. You should avoid caffeine as much as possible as it can hinder your sleep process.

Vitamin D


Vitamin D is needed to help your body absorb the calcium you introduce to it. It helps maintain your bone health and protects you from osteoporosis. The Sun is the biggest source of Vitamin D in the world. However if you live in a place that does not get ample of sunshine, especially during the winter months, it is recommended that you opt for vitamin D supplements. Usually 600 units are enough, menopausal women are recommended to opt for 1000 to 2000 units of vitamin D. You should consult a doctor to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and what to choose if you’re not.    


Cranberry juice


Urinary tract infections are a lesser known menopause symptom. The loss of oestrogen makes your urinary tract vulnerable to the onslaught of infection. Cranberry juice acts as a barrier by preventing the bacteria from sticking, growing and festering in the lining of your bladder. It is also a great alternative to aerated drinks that are stuffed with sugar which may be making you weep on your weight scale.

Fruits and vegetables


Weight gain is a pesky menopause symptom that plagues menopausal women. Your metabolism slows down and your weight goes up. Fruits and vegetables not only help you lose weight due to their low calorie content, but they provide all the nutrition for menopause that your body is thirsty for. Plus the wide assortment of fruits and vegetables give you the choice to mix and match to stop things from getting monotonous.



Whole grains


Whole grains are rich in vitamin B, folic acid and fiber, which makes them a must in your diet to help with any menopause symptoms. They help with stress management so can increase your energy levels throughout the day. They also reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a major concern for most women after menopause.

Salmon


Salmon is rich in omega 3 fats that help boost good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol. So salmon should figure prominently in your menopause diet sheet. Consuming foods high in omega 3 such as salmon, tuna, and herring, at least twice a week can really help curb inflammation, in turn helping heart disease.

Soy


Soy is known to help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes. Soy acts as a replacement for oestrogen, as it has the same function as the latter. Soy can be found in tofu and edamame, among others. It is preferable to avoid soy burgers, as they have a high calorie content that can hamper any attempts to lose weight.


Flaxseed


Flaxseed is also high in omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseed can be consumed directly as a snack between meals, or it can be a topping for your salads. It is known to have some components that are similar to oestrogen and it also helps keep your arteries functioning at optimum levels.

When your body reaches menopause, it needs a change in lifestyle. Did you know, your body needs around 200 less calories a day than it did before? In order to maintain a steady weight, it is important to follow a meal plan for menopause weight loss that includes all the nutrition for reducing menopause symptoms. A 1600 calorie diet plan is recommended to keep you from frowning at your weight scale so hard, you end up getting even more wrinkles. The best diet for menopause must include a balance of 5 ounces of meat or beans, 5 teaspoons of oil, 3 servings of dairy, 5 servings of grain, and 4 cups of fruits or vegetables. It is better to eat small meals at regular intervals throughout the day in order to lose weight and keep your hunger pangs under control.

Breakfast


It is rightfully said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Giving it a miss can make you ravenous and lead to overeating at a later point in the day. It also hits your metabolism hard. You should aim to include foods from various food groups. Calcium based foods in your breakfast is a must too. 

Morning Snack


Following a strict diet during your larger meals can make you over indulge during snack time. It is important to make good choices such as fresh fruits that are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Lunch


Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat and a teaspoon of oil, are recommended for your lunch. You can try recipes with half a cup of hummus. A salad that has greens, combined with salad dressing, can make for a wholesome delicious meal.

Afternoon Snack


A serving of fruit, a portion of grains and 1tbs of oil should encompass your afternoon snack. The high fibre content in this category of food can help make you feel full for a longer period of time and stop you from overeating, which can be a tremendous help with your weight loss.

Dinner


Your dinner has to be the most downsized meal of the day. Since your metabolism is at the lowest, you need to make sure you do not over do it. Load up on those veggies, a small portion of grains, a spot of dairy, 2 ounces of meat or beans and 2 tbs of oil.

Here are 5 menopause diet recipes you can try


Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups


Ingredients : 


3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 lb ground turkey

12 butter lettuce leaves

1 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber

1 cup matchstick-cut carrots

1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


Nutritional Information (Per Serving) : 


Calories 426,

Fat 26g

Saturated fat 4g

Unsaturated fat 19g

Protein 32g

Carbohydrate 24g

Fiber 7g

Sodium 538mg

Calcium 22% DV

Potassium 45% DV

Sugars 13g

Added sugars 7g 


How to Make It :


Step 1 : Add 2 tbs oil, soy sauce, and vinegar in a bowl and stir it with a whisk. 

Step 2 : Take 1 tbs oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat it on a medium. Add turkey to the mix and cook it for 7 minutes or until you can see it browning and starting to crumble. 

Step 3 : Take a lettuce leaf and add 3 tbs of the turkey mixture to it. Add carrots, cucumber and peanuts on the top and drizzle the remaining soy mixture and mint with it.  



Salmon


Ingredients : 


6 crusty white rolls (poppy seed ones look lovely) 

25g butter, melted 

6 slices smoked salmon or gravadlax 

6 medium eggs 

A few snipped chives

 

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) :


Kcal 238

Fat 10g

Saturates 4g

Carbs 22g

Sugars 1g

Fibre 1g

Protein 15g

Salt 2g


How to Make It :


Step 1 : Heat oven to 180C- fan or 160C- gas 4. Take a roll and slice off the top, then remove the bread inside until there is enough place to put a slice of salmon and an egg inside. Put the rolls on a baking sheet, except for the tops. 


Step 2 : Take some melted butter and coat the inside and the edges of the rolls, place a slice of salmon inside each roll. Crack an egg on top of the salmon and season it. Place it back in the oven and let it bake for 10-15 mins, or until you're satisfied with the extent to which your eggs are cooked. Add some snipped chives. Toast the tops and coat them with the remaining butter, then cut it into soldiers and you’ve got a yummy dish to dig into.


Whole-Grain Herbed Garlic Bread


Ingredients : 


1/2 head garlic (horizontally split)

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

One 4-ounce whole-grain demi baguette or hoagie roll, halved lengthwise

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Super salt


How to Make It :


Step 1 : Get your oven preheated to 375 degrees F. Take a double thick square of aluminium foil, and place the garlic on it, drizzle ½ teaspoon of oil and fold the foil to encase the garlic entirely. Put the garlic on the oven rack and bake until you can see it become golden brown. About an hour should suffice. Unwrap it and let it cool for about 5 minutes. 


Step 2 : Take a small bowl and add parsley, thyme and the remaining 1 ½ tsb of olive oil. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their husks and add them to the bowl. Mash it with a fork until they can be spread. Spread the mixture on the bread and top it with parmesan and salt. Put it on the baking sheet and broil until the top is browned, for about 2 minutes. Cut into even pieces and serve it warm. 



Zucchini Stuffed with Soya Recipe


Ingredients : 


1 green zucchini boiled

100 gm soya kernels soaked

1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp coriander powder 

1 tsp cumin powder

1 green chilli, finely chopped

2 Tbsp oil

Handful fresh coriander leaves.

Super Salt to flavour

1 tsp lime juice

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


How to Make It :


Step 1 : Take warm water and soak the soya for half an hour. Afterwards, rinse it 3-4 times until it becomes soft. 

Cut the boiled zucchini into 2 halves along the spine and take out some of the meat. 


Step 2 : Saute the ginger garlic paste and green chillies in a bit of oil. 

Add the soya along with the spices and coriander leaves and stir fry quickly until it is cooked. 

Step 3 : Garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves. 

Take the zucchini boat and fill it with the soya mixture. Place it in the oven and bake it on a greased tray for under 5 minutes till it is crispy. Serve it hot. 

Whole-Wheat Brownies


Ingredients : 


6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder1

¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Super Salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1¼ cups unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


How to Make It 


Step 1 : Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take an 8 inch square baking dish and butter it. Then line it with parchment, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides.Take flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda, and whisk them in a medium sized bowl. In a larger bowl, mix sugar, applesauce, and egg. 

Step  2 : Add butter and 6 ounces of chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir it until it melts. Add the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture. Stir in flour mixture, then pour it into a pan and top with 2 ounces of chocolate. 

Step 3 : Bake it for approximately 40 minutes, until you can test it by inserting a toothpick at the center and it comes out with moist crumbs. Let it cool.  

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