Menopause is the time when a woman stops menstruating, signaled by going 12 months without a period. A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during this time, including symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, as well as anxiety and depression. Since more people are turning towards natural remedies to ease these symptoms, it’s good to know which foods can aggravate symptoms.
The following foods are best to be avoided during menopause:
1. Bad carbs
Bad carbohydrates that contain starch can interfere with normal body functioning. Not only can they cause obesity, but they can also lead to an early onset of menopause. Additionally, bad carbs increase blood sugar levels and can lead to diabetes. Several associated health problems can occur as a result of consuming refined carbohydrates.
One of the often-repeated dietary tips for menopause is that alcohol must be avoided. Alcohol consumption during menopause can increase night sweats and hot flashes, and studies have shown that women consuming alcohol during menopause tend to experience more severe hot flashes. Also, alcohol consumed at night can reduce the production of melatonin and cause insomnia.
Excess salt is found in most processed foods, which should be avoided, along with adding extra salt to food. It can increase sodium levels and interfere with normal blood pressure and kidney functioning. Excess salt can also reduce the density of bones, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Reducing salt intake is an effective dietary tip for menopause to solve these problems and also improve the mood.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase hot flashes and disturb normal sleep, leading to insomnia. Lack of proper sleep can, in turn, increase blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain.
5. Fatty meat
Meat that is high in fat may not be suitable for women during menopause. Fatty meat has saturated fats, which are not good for heart health and increase the chances of weight gain and obesity, which are existing risks for menopausal women. A helpful dietary tip for menopausal women is to substitute fatty meat with lean or white meat containing fatty acids like omega-3.
6. Spicy food
Spicy food is tasty, but if the food is too hot and spicy, it can cause many problems. It can lead to increased hot flashes and also cause digestive issues. Replacing peppers and jalapenos with turmeric, herbs, cumin, and garlic to season food is yet another dietary tip for menopause.
Consuming sugar, whether already in the food or added to it, is not good for health. Sugary beverages are also a problem as they increase blood sugar levels and increase the risk of developing diabetes. Sugar increases obesity and the risk of cancer and heart disease as well. Reducing sugar consumption or giving it up altogether can help in reducing hot flashes. It is recommended that not more than 10% of the total calories consumed should come from the sugar added to food. Consuming fruits is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and desserts.