As with any life stage, the menopause is best handled with a focus on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Each woman will experience this life stage differently, and that’s okay. At the very least reflecting on what it means can present a moment – or period of time- to review or even revamp your lifestyle and diet to better look after you. This can only be a good thing!
Magnesium is vital for several functions in the body including over 300 enzyme reactions, it is commonly at suboptimal levels in a diet that does not contain enough wholefoods, fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Although Magnesium is available in a range of commonly eaten foods the majority is lost during any processing.
36% of women in the UK have dietary intake of Magnesium that is below the intake estimated to meet their nutritional requirements.
Why we need Magnesium during the menopause?
- Magnesium helps release energy, without it, the energy in food cannot fuel our bodies ready for the rigours of modern-day living. Magnesium contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
- Magnesium is also central to the healthy bones and teeth and normal working muscles. This is especially important during the menopause as the drop in oestrogen levels that occurs around the time of menopause results in increased bone loss leading to poorer, less robust bone structure and bone weakness. It is when the bone mass density decreases that bones are easier to break. It is estimated that, on average, women lose up to 10% of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause.
- Magnesium plays an important role in supporting normal psychological function and nervous system.
To ensure you eat enough magnesium a little bit of awareness can go a long way.
- Add lightly cooked green vegetables, especially kale, spring cabbage and spinach to your meals:
- Spinach can be added to smoothies or with poached eggs for breakfast.
- Kale or cabbage could be added to soups or stirfrys.
Other foods to consider during your menopause.
Phytoestrogens are naturally sourced from plants and can be found in the following food choices: soy beans / kidney beans (can be added to casseroles with no extra preparation needed if tinned), tofu (marinated or stir-fried), organic soya milk, lentils, garlic, seeds (linseed, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower - added to muesli, flapjack or sprinkled on salads), chickpeas (found in houmous).
Oily Fish: The omega 3 fats DHA and EPA found in oily fish help support normal heart function at 250mg a day combined, normal blood triglyceride levels at over 2g intake day and normal blood pressure if you up your intake to over 3g of EPA and DHA a day*. Cardiovascular health is an important consideration for maturing women.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the regulation of hormonal activity and can be found in foods including chicken, soya beans, oats and bananas.