- Reduce saturated fat
“Keep your intake of red meat and cheese to minimum because these are high in saturated fats – which are not good for your heart health,” says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, who is the author of Natural Solutions to Menopause.
“More importantly, around this time in your life, saturated fats make your body more acidic, and the more acidic your body becomes the more calcium you lose which, in turn, can increase your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.”
Researchers have found that being mindful may be particularly helpful for menopausal women struggling with irritability, anxiety and depression. So why not put your feet up, pop your headphones in and give yourself a quick reboot with the 5-minute instant calmer programme on ThinkWell-LiveWell
3.Boost essential fats
“Loss of libido is very common around the menopause, but it can also affect women of any age,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville.
“Sometimes, it’s just connected with basically not having enough energy so that when you get to bed all you really want to do is sleep.
“It’s important that your adrenal glands are not being overworked through stress or blood sugar fluctuations, as they produce androgens, male hormones that boost libido.
“Our hormones are manufactured from cholesterol, so a low fat or no fat can contribute to a low sex drive.
“When it comes to nutrients, Zinc is essential for hormone balance and sex drive, hence the old wives’ tale of using oysters (which contain high amounts of zinc) as an aphrodisiac.”
“There’s some research to suggest that foods rich in phytoestrogens may have modest benefits for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and even heart disease risk,” says London nutritionist Lily Soutter.
“Phytoestrogens are another word for naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of oestrogen within the body, meaning that they may have hormone-balancing effects.
“Rich sources of phytoestrogens include an array of vegetables.
Then.. stop the roller coaster
“The most important dietary change you can make is to keep your blood-sugar levels steady: the higher your sugar intake (and caffeine) the more severe your symptoms are likely to be,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville.
“My advice is to cut out sugar and caffeine completely. Also eat every three hours as this prevents your blood-sugar levels from dropping and stops the release of your stress hormones.”
Look after your skeleton
As your body goes through the menopause your oestrogen levels begin to fall. Falling oestrogen levels can affect the hydration of the joints and this in turn can affect bone density, posture, inflammation and stiffness.
As well as staying hydrated, try adding a supplement into your daily diet that can help preserve joint flexibility.