Nutrition plays an important supporting role in managing menopause symptoms. Promoting good heart, bone, and hormone health are the top three priorities during menopause.
What is Menopause?
A menopause medical diagnosis is defined by a single point in time, which is specified as 12 months after the last period. However, the experience of menopause may span several years. Most women will experience the onset of menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.
During this time, a woman’s ovaries gradually stop producing estrogen, one of the main female sex hormones. Some of the first signs of menopause may appear years before a diagnosis is formally made, as hormone levels begin to fluctuate.
Hot flashes might be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of menopause, as these are a common complaint among women in this phase of life.
Yet, women can experience a broad range of symptoms during this time.
Though each woman’s menopause journey is unique to her, there are many common menopause symptoms that are frequently experienced.
Some of these include:
- Period irregularity
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal lining changes and dryness
- Bladder control changes
- Sleep disruptions
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
Managing menopause with sound nutrition is only a click away. Check out these top 10 ready-to-eat meals for menopause from BistroMD.
Regain control of your body with doctor-designed, chef-prepared meals delivered to your door.
10 Ready-to-Eat Meals for Menopause
1. Artichoke, Spinach, and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata
Getting enough vitamin B12 during menopause helps your bones maintain the minerals they need to stay strong. Eggs are a good source of bone-building vitamins B12 and D.
Making an artichoke, spinach, and roasted red pepper frittata is a balanced way to start your day. The egg frittata provides good quality protein that pairs well with heart-healthy vegetables.
2. Italian-Style Omelet
The red in tomatoes isn’t just a pretty color. Red in fresh fruits and vegetables indicates the presence of an antioxidant-rich phytochemical called lycopene.
Lycopene helps prevent free radical damage, reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Concentrated forms of tomatoes, like the marinara sauce in the Italian-style omelet, contain abundant lycopene. Frittata is also a fanciful way to add vegetables to breakfast.
3. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Scrambled Eggs
Rolled oats are a warm and inviting daily serving of fiber. Fiber not only helps with digestion, but lowers cholesterol, and helps you feel content until your next meal.
This apple cinnamon oatmeal, along with scrambled eggs and turkey sausage is a winning combination of lean protein and fiber-rich oats.
4. Macadamia Crusted Barramundi Seabass
The omega-3 fats in fish make it one of the most heart-healthy proteins. Additionally, the American Heart Association reports that regularly eating nuts is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. This recipe combines both.
Macadamia Crusted Seabass is not only sustainably sourced, but it’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fats. Macadamia nuts provide a rich, nutty tone and are a crunchy way to add healthy fat to your dinner.
5. Salmon with Dill Mustard Sauce
As a cold-water fish, salmon is one of the most heart-healthy fish you can eat.
It boasts more omega-3 fats than nearly every other type of fish, and eating just two servings of fish per week can lower your risk of heart disease.
Enjoy a fish serving today with this salmon with dill mustard sauce. This salmon served on a combination of spiced eggplant and green beans helps to deliciously make half your plate plants.
6. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Following a Mediterranean diet during menopause has been linked to less muscle loss and higher bone density in women. Whole plant foods are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, and olive oil.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a nutritional powerhouse in a bowl with artichoke hearts, carrots, olives, and olive oil. Beans complement the quinoa as both are plant-based sources of protein, B vitamins, and fiber.
7. Beef and Broccoli
Soy is frequently used for alleviating menopause symptoms. Soy contains isoflavones, which is a type of phytoestrogen (“plant estrogen”). Phytoestrogens are present in many hormone replacement alternative supplements.
Eating foods with phytoestrogens, such as the soy sauce in beef and broccoli can help reduce the severity of hot flashes. Broccoli provides antioxidants and is one of the few vegetables that is a source of calcium.
8. Lasagna with Garden Marinara
Osteoblasts are cells that help build bones. When estrogen drops, it inhibits the job of osteoblasts, making bones weak and more susceptible to breaking.
Calcium is the primary bone-forming mineral. After age 50, women need more calcium to help prevent further bone mineral loss.
Classic comfort and plant-based nutrition meet in Lasagna with Garden Marinara. Three cheeses that form the foundation of the lasagna provide a savory calcium serving.
9. Grilled Chicken Marsala
There is hidden nutrition in each chicken serving. Chicken is a lean protein and contains zinc and iron. One review study on postmenopausal women indicated that increasing zinc and iron improved both cognition and emotional health.
Grilled Chicken Marsala is a healthful twist on a traditional Italian dish, providing both zinc and iron for brain health. Additionally, mushrooms are a good source of selenium, an important mineral for regulating hormones.
10. Beef with Red Wine Sauce and Barley
Beef is a natural source of iron, zinc, B vitamins, and protein. What pairs better with beef than red wine? The beauty of cooking with wine is that the alcohol evaporates, but the heart-healthy antioxidants remain.
Beef with Red Wine Sauce with butternut squash and barley is a wonderfully fulfilling combination. Butternut squash contains antioxidants and potassium, a mineral involved in regulating blood pressure.
5 Foods that Can Make Menopause Worse
A woman’s risk for diabetes increases during menopause. Sugary foods and beverages cause increases in blood sugar and insulin. Limiting sugar foods will help control blood sugar spikes and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that one drink per day or less is considered moderate alcohol consumption. Drinking excess alcohol raises one’s risk for heart disease. Alcohol can also negatively impact sleep quality and contribute significant calories, making maintaining a healthy weight more challenging.
Caffeine elevates the heart rate and causes a temporary increase in body temperature which may be enough to trigger hot flashes. Caffeine also negatively impacts sleep, especially when consumed in the afternoon.
Consuming excess salt (and sodium) may increase your risk of high blood pressure. Avoid highly processed foods, such as chips and fast foods that contain a lot of sodium. These foods are also typically high in sugar and fat, which can cause unwanted bloating or even weight gain.
High-fat foods typically offer little nutritional value and can negatively affect blood cholesterol. Weight gain is a common symptom of menopause and limiting high-fat foods will make space for more nutritious options to fuel the body.
Menopause is a highly unique experience, and symptoms can differ significantly between women. One of the most effective things you can do to support your menopause journey is to eat an overall nutritious diet, to help support good heart, bone, and hormone health.
Give BistroMD's 10 recipes above a try, which incorporate important nutrients to help encourage a healthy menopause experience. Avoiding added sugar, caffeine, salt, alcohol, and high-fat foods is also a good practice, as these may worsen menopause symptoms.