Nutrition for Menopause

Co-written By: Alyssa Costantino

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, marking the end of menstruation , most often occurring
after age 45. Characterized by a decline in circulating blood estrogen levels, this can cause changes to our hair,
moods, sleep quality, and especially body weight! This highlights an increased need for specific nutrients to keep
yourself healthy throughout your lifespan.

Common concerns with menopause…

WEIGHT GAIN
Weight gain is common with the metabolic changes that come with menopause, and weight maintenance during this
time can be frustrating! Fat cells produce estrogen, which causes a loss of subcutaneous fat and an increase in
abdominal fat as estrogen levels decline. Adequate nutrition and exercise is the best way to manage your health and
promote a healthy weight during menopause! Make sure to have enough protein in your diet, reduce your
consumption of simple carbohydrates and added sugars consumption, and pay attention to your daily calorie intake
for effective ways to manage your weight or prevent weight gain during this time.

EXERCISE
Focus on getting in your exercise daily. You do not have to spend all day at the gym to see results! Make sure to
include weight bearing exercises, such as strength and resistance training. This can be a super effective way towards
maintaining your lean body mass and promoting overall health! Incorporate cardio exercises that raise your heart
rate, while working on mobility, flexibility, stability, and balance to promote your health and longevity.

NUTRIENT NEEDS
Due to the changes your body goes through during this time, it is especially important to make sure you are meeting
your nutrient needs! This includes total calories, macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein), and micronutrients
(vitamins and minerals). Feed yourself adequately to maintain a strong metabolism, and focus on including the
following nutrients…

  • Calcium & Vitamin D:
    • Menopause can cause increased risk for bone fractures. Including foods such as dairy products, calcium-fortified foods and dark leafy greens can help to promote bone health and strength! If you live above 35 degrees latitude, you are not making vitamin D from the sun during the winter months! Ask us about supplementation.
  • Soy Products:
    • Soy acts as a phytoestrogen in the body and can help to reduce symptoms of menopause that are associated with the drop in estrogen production
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
    • Foods such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are high in Omega 3s and can help with hormonal changes and mood swings caused by menopause.
  • Protein at every meal:
    • Including poultry, lean beef, fish, beans, and legumes can help to maintain muscle mass, increase satiety, and provide iron for bone health!
  • 1/2 plate fruit and vegetables at every meal:
    • Including fruit and vegetables maintains portion control while promoting vitamin, mineral, and fiber intake.
  • Fiber and Complex Carbohydrates:
    • Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease and improve energy levels throughout the day! Fiber supports blood sugar levels and feeds your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome plays a large role in energy metabolism and estrogen metabolism!
  • Fluids:
    • Symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats are known to increase fluid needs and the risk for dehydration- aim to include about 2.2 liters per day
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