What you eat during menopause can play a crucial role in managing menopausal symptoms. Certain foods can exacerbate our symptoms and increase our symptoms. That’s why it’s important to know which foods to avoid in menopause.
Making simple changes to your diet can also positively impact menopausal symptoms and is an important 1st step before considering other options. While supplements, prescription medication and hormone therapy can sometimes be useful options, they aren’t the only solutions. Supplements, prescription medications and hormones may not be needed if other lifestyle changes are made like shifting your diet. However, navigating the world of nutrition during menopause can be tricky, especially with so many different opinions out there.
Specific Foods to Avoid in Menopause
These foods can trigger hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women. Capsaicin, a compound found in peppers, can dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface, leading to hot flashes.
Therefore, it’s best to limit your intake of spicy foods, such as hot peppers, salsa, and curries.
Can’t function without your daily caffeine fix?
Caffeine, found in tea, coffee, and some soft drinks, is a stimulant that can interfere with your sleep schedule. Menopausal women who already experience sleep disturbances should avoid caffeine, as it can exacerbate insomnia. Moreover, caffeine can cause hot flashes and anxiety, making it one of the worst foods to consume.
This is another beverage that menopausal women should avoid. Drinking alcohol can increase hot flashes, night sweats, and disrupt sleep patterns. It can lead to dehydration, which can cause headaches and dizziness. Therefore, it’s best to stay away from alcohol or consume it in moderation.
Since eliminating coffee and alcohol from my diet, I haven’t looked back. Not only has my overall health and well-being improved, but I’ve also discovered exciting alternatives for socializing with my friends and family.
Instead of missing out on a drink, I now bring kombucha to social gatherings, elegantly poured into a wine glass. (No one will know the difference!) It still feels special and enjoyable.
Plus, in the mornings, I’ve been experimenting with a range of warm and satisfying beverages, like herbal teas, nutritious beef or chicken stock, and the latest nootropic drinks on the market. It’s refreshing to have something warm to anticipate each morning.
These are high in sugar, salt, and trans fats, making them unhealthy for any age group. However, menopausal women should limit or ideally eliminate their intake as processed foods can trigger hot flashes and weight gain. They can also raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
These foods are simple carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar levels. Bread, pasta, cake, rice, oats and cookies are examples of high-glycemic foods. These foods cause weight gain, which can lead to insulin resistance. This increases the risk of diabetes. They can also worsen hot flashes and hormonal imbalances.
Seed Oils, such as canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, soy oil, and sunflower oil, contain omega-6 fatty acids. These oils cause inflammation in the body, leading to bloating, joint pain, headaches, weight gain and more.
When it comes to cooking, reach for coconut oil, butter, ghee, lard, or tallow. And for delicious salad dressings, stick with olive oil or avocado oil.
Do you know what’s really in your food?
Cane Sugar is in many foods, such as sweets, soft drinks, and processed snacks. Cane sugar causes weight gain and inflammation. It also leads to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes.
It’s best to avoid cane sugar and switch to low or no glycemic sweeteners like monk fruit sweetener. These sweeteners are low or no-carb and diabetic friendly.
NOTE: Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar although a better choice for occasional use still cause insulin spikes the same as cane sugar.
Grains, even including gluten-free grains like oats and rice, can cause inflammation in menopausal women. Therefore, it’s best to substitute cauliflower for rice, for example. It’s also a good suggestion to substitute almond, coconut, or cassava flours for wheat flours.
NOTE: Keep in mind they can still be high in carbohydrates so if weight gain is a concern for you be mindful and use only on occasion.
Menopause and Primal Diet
The takeaway is that your diet plays a considerable role in managing your menopausal symptoms, and awareness of the foods to avoid and the ones to include is vital.
That’s why, eliminating or reducing spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, high-glycemic foods, seed oils, cane sugar, and grains, can help alleviate your menopausal symptoms and promote overall health.
By incorporating nutrient-dense whole foods like lean proteins, vegetables, berries and healthy traditional fats, you can support your body and manage menopausal symptoms effectively.
Ready to start feeling better and finding balance during menopause? Take one step closer to a fulfilling life with these simple tips.
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PS. Are you struggling with menopause symptoms and unsure of your treatment options? The Ultimate Menopause Checklist was designed with you in mind. Click the link below to get started.