Menopause is defined as the end of a woman’s fertility, and it’s confirmed after 12 consecutive months without a period. However, the transition into menopause and the symptoms associated with it 一 weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes 一 can last for several years.
Even though menopause is a natural part of a woman’s reproductive life, the symptoms can impact your quality of life. That’s why Barry Hughes, DC and our team here at Premier Chiropractic in Pearland, Texas, offer nutritional coaching to help ease menopause symptoms.
Common Menopause Symptoms
Transitioning into menopause is marked by a decline in estrogen levels. While the decline in estrogen is necessary for ending fertility, it can contribute to weight gain. Estrogen deficiency can slow your metabolism and even affect how your body metabolizes carbs 一 two things that can lead to unwanted weight gain.
Weight gain is a common complaint for menopausal (and even premenopausal) women, but that’s not the only bothersome symptom. Other common symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Low mood
- Low libido
Approximately 85% of women continue to experience at least one of these symptoms even after the transition to menopause is complete. That’s where nutritional coaching comes into play.
How Nutritional Coaching Can Help Ease Menopause Symptoms
What you eat 一 and how much you eat 一 can help you reduce some of the more unpleasant menopause symptoms. During your nutritional coaching session, our team provides specific guidance to help you find foods that help you stay within your calorie goal while adding important nutrients into your diet.
Dairy products are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K. All of these nutrients are important for your bone health. Because declining estrogen levels can increase your risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, including dairy products in your diet can help you avoid some of these side effects of low estrogen.
Not only do dairy products help support bone health, but studies show that dairy products can also help you sleep better at night. If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep troubles, nutritional coaching can help you find the dairy sources that are right for you.
If you are lactose intolerant, nutritional coaching can help you find non-dairy sources of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, so you can reap these benefits, too.
If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, you might be tempted to steer clear of fat, but the reality is that healthy sources of fat can help ease some of your menopause symptoms. Specifically, healthy fats, such as omega 3 fatty acids, can help reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
During your nutritional counseling session, you have an opportunity to learn which fats are healthy and how to incorporate them into your daily diet. Examples of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include flaxseed, walnuts, avocado, and cod liver oil.
Fruit and vegetables
Researchers found that women who included more fruit and vegetable servings into their diet saw a 19% reduction in the number of hot flashes. Fruit and vegetables also help you reach your weight loss goals, reduce your risk of obesity-related diseases, and improve immune health.
Postmenopausal women tend to see a decrease in lean muscle mass, but how much protein do you really need to eat? A quick search online can yield conflicting and often confusing results. That’s because the recommended protein intake isn’t a flat number. It depends on your body weight. Women over 50 should aim to eat 0.45 to 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight. But how do you know which part of the range you fall into? Nutritional counseling provides specific guidelines for your needs, including how much protein you really need and what sources of protein are best for you.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, your body still needs protein, but nutritional coaching can help you find the right type of protein for you.
Did you know that phytoestrogens (which are found in some food) act like estrogen in the body? Learning about phytoestrogens and where to find them can help you manage menopause symptoms that are triggered by low estrogen levels. Phytoestrogens are sometimes called plant estrogens, and they can be found in soybeans, peanuts, flaxseeds, plums, and black tea.
Ready to experience the benefits of nutritional coaching for yourself?
Whether you need help losing weight (or maintaining your weight), sleeping better at night, or saying goodbye to hot flashes, nutritional coaching can help you reach those goals.
Schedule a nutritional coaching consultation at our Pearland, Texas, office today. You can reach us at 281-223-1172 or through our online portal.