Nutrition Strategies for Women Through Menopause

During menopause, hormones change and can influence your body’s metabolism. As estrogen drops, it is important to support bone health through sufficient calcium and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). With age, muscle mass will also continue to decline, making the role of resistance training and adequate protein intake even more essential. Menopause can bring about symptoms like brain fog, sore joints, hot flashes, poor sleep, and mood changes. There are several nutrients that can be incorporated into the diet to help support and prevent these symptoms from occurring. The below are recommendations that will help support your body’s optimization through and after menopause.

Meal Recommendations

· Meals should be primarily protein and fiber-rich sources of leafy greens, berries, other non-starchy vegetables

· Every meal should be balanced in macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats)

· Refrain from grazing between meals. Maintain a meal frequency of every 3-5 hours.

Micronutrient Recommendations

· Phytoestrogens

o Similar to estrogen but have a much weaker effect in the body. They can help alleviate symptoms of low estrogen. Sources include non-gmo soy and flaxseeds.

· Collagen

o Collagen contains glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, amino acids that play an integral component to bone, ligament, and tendon health. Supplementation may be beneficial for healing wounds and also for improving skin elasticity. Sources include bone broth and collagen hydrolysate powder.

· Polyphenols

o These antioxidants help reduce your body’s overall oxidative stress that can occur with age. Reducing oxidative stress can improve energy levels, liver health, and ability to lose weight. Sources include dark leafy greens, berries, dark chocolate, and green tea.

· Calcium with Fat-Soluble Vitamins

o Calcium and fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins D and K2 are important for maintaining adequate bone health as your estrogen levels decline. Estrogen is protective of bones. It is important to eat and/or supplement both, not just calcium itself. Sources of calcium include dairy products and dark leafy greens. Sources of fat-soluble vitamins include pasture raised liver, grass-fed red meats, and cod liver oil.

· Selenium and Zinc

o Selenium and zinc are important for hormone and thyroid health. Fish and nuts are a great source of both nutrients.

· Ginger and Turmeric

o Ginger and turmeric contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce total body inflammation and joint pain. You can include them in cooking or as a supplement.

· Omega 3

o Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA are important for cognitive, heart, and hormonal health. They also help support healthy inflammation levels. They can be found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna or supplemented with a cold extracted fish oil supplement.

Lifestyle Recommendations

· Walk in morning and/or after dinner (20 – 40 min. each)

· Resistance train 3-4 days per week (body weight, resistance bands, weights)

· Keep alcohol intake to 3 days per week, 1-3 glasses

· Sleep Hygiene

o Purchase blue light blocking glasses if you will be using electronics after 8 pm. These help block the blue light from electronics that can be stimulating.

o Sleep in a dark, cold room.

o Read or journal for 20-30 minutes before aiming to fall asleep.

o Try meditation or deep belly breathing for 5-10 minutes to reduce stress.

o Supplements to consider to help with sleep:

§ Melatonin, 3 mg | 30 – 60 min pre bed

§ Valerian Root, 500 mg | 30 – 60 min pre bed

§ Magnesium Glycinate, 400 mg | 30 – 60 min pre bed

§ Lemon chamomile, 100 mg | 30 – 60 min pre bed

(Please consult with a licensed medical professional before beginning any new dietary supplements)

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