If you are in the midst of menopause or starting perimenopause, then you probably know that there are foods that can be beneficial to easing some of the most troublesome symptoms of menopause — vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats and painful intercourse.
Foods that are high in calcium, black cohosh, FemininityTM (a supplement made from Himalayan sea berries that is high in Omega-7 fatty acids) and others can be great at helping control menopausal symptoms. But, equally as important, there are certain foods that should be avoided during menopause that can make your symptoms worse.
Limiting or eliminating your intake of these supplements will make your perimenopausal years go by much easier.
Fatty meats are high in saturated fats and have been found to lower serotonin levels. When serotonin levels go below their recommended level, we can begin to feel more easily upset. A better choice than bacon or other fatty meats would be chicken, turkey or lean hamburger.
Spicy foods that are high in capsaicin, the thing that makes peppers spicy, has actually been found to increase night sweats. A friendlier kick comes from some spices like turmeric, basil, cumin and curry.
Alcohol may not need to be completely cut out. Reducing your use of alcohol to one drink of day or less lowers your risk for breast cancer, lessens the intensity of hot flashes and can reduce vaginal dryness.
Caffeine has been shown to increase hot flashes in menopausal women compared to women in the same group that didn’t consume caffeine. If you are looking for a warm drink to fill the void your coffee leaves, try consuming a warm drink like caffeine-free tea. If it’s the extra energy you are craving, a quick bit of exercise can provide just as much pep in your step as the cup of joe would have.
Processed foods taste great. Potato chips, cookies and cake are all delicious, but that normally comes with high levels of sodium or sugar. These can make you feel bloated, accentuating problems already existing during menopause. It is far better to munch on a snack that will fill your urge to nibble but will be a healthier alternative — carrots, string cheese and whole-grain snacks.
Switching to healthier eating habits is good for any time in your life. Whether you are making the choice to eat healthier to reduce your menopausal symptoms or just to make a positive change, avoiding these foods will make you feel better, regardless of the life period you are in.
Don’t let menopause put a pause on living the life you want. Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and night flashes can be drastically reduced by diet and exercise. Start today and see and feel the benefits come rushing into your life.