Here at The Pure Package we don’t believe in fads, but we do believe in the power of food to heal the body. Having a healthy diet before and during menopause is the perfect way to revive your body, restore balance and help alleviate some of the unpleasant menopause-related symptoms you might experience.
Women usually go through menopause in their 40s or 50s. The fall in oestrogen levels during the menopause can cause a variety of symptoms that usually last on average 4 years, this varies from person to person. After the menopause, the long-term effects of lower oestrogen levels on the body can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart disease and strokes) and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). It is, therefore, important to nourish the body before and during with a nutritious and balanced diet to better withstand symptoms during this stressful time.
Over the years our longevity programme has successfully helped many women with their diet – we only use the freshest and most nutritious ingredients crafted in a tailor made plan designed by our team of expert nutritionists with the aim of balancing hormones, enhancing digestion, supporting gut health and metabolism.
Our nutritionists have written a list of foods that can help or worsen the effects of menopause and a sample menu of what you can expect from our programmes.
Foods that help during menopause:
- Calcium rich foods. Foods such as bony fish (sardines, salmon), broccoli, legumes and dairy products are rich in calcium and crucial to include in your diet during this time. Remember your vitamin D too (present in fatty fish, eggs and sunshine) – without it, your body will not be able to absorb calcium efficiently.
- Iron rich foods. We usually associate red meat with high iron and although this is true, there are other foods that you can have that are good sources including fish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, grains and poultry.
- Fibre rich foods. Fibre is essential for a healthy functioning digestive system. Eating a good variety of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables is essential throughout. Aim at getting around 30g per day – sadly on average in the UK we only eat about 17-20g per day.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is crucial for any life stage. During menopause, this will help make sure that your body regulates its own temperature more efficiently.
- Keep within a healthy body weight. As we get older, maintaining our body weight can become more and more challenging, especially during menopause as a result of hormonal changes. Menopausal weight gain can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems and certain cancers such as breast and colon.
Foods to eat in moderation:
- High fat foods. Fat should provide from 25 to 35% of your total daily calories (or less, depending on your lifestyle and medical history). But it’s not just the amount of fat that is important, we need to look at the types of fats particularly limiting saturated fat (found in fatty meats, cheese and processed foods) and trans fats (found in baked foods and vegetable oils) to a minimum.
- Diets high in salt are linked with high blood pressure. Avoid adding salt to food, instead, our suggestion is to enhance the flavours in food with herbs and spices or simply lemon juice!
- Sugary foods. Refined sugary foods are one of the main contributors for raising inflammation in the body – this is one of the most common underlying causes of many illnesses including arthritis and certain types of cancers. Don’t just think of sugars in your food, many beverages (including alcohol!) are full of added sugars and can add many unwanted calories in your diet.
- Caffeine and alcohol. Both caffeine and alcohol are strong stimulants and studies have shown that they not only add calories to your diet, thus possibly resulting in weight gain, but can also worsen hot flushes and night sweats during menopause.
Pure Package Sample Menu
Raw Buckwheat, Walnut & Apple Porridge
Packed with B Vitamins to help boost adrenal gland health and energy production.
Hummus & Celery Sticks
Hummus is a great source of manganese, copper and vitamin C. This is a great plant based protein snack which helps books immune function. Celery is a great source of fibre.
Japanese Sea Spaghetti & Mushroom Salad
Sea spaghetti is a great source of magnesium and it contains powerful anti-microbial and anti-oxidative properties.
Pear & Almonds
Almonds are a great source of healthy fats which can help to counter the drying effects of low oestrogen levels.
Salmon & Butternut Squash Cakes
Calcium and Vitamin D are crucial for maintaining bone strength and density and helping fight menopause-related osteoporosis.