In the fourth decade of her life, every woman experiences changes in her body that are connected with menopause. Between the age of 45 and 55, the menstruation cycle stops and, biologically speaking, this is the period which denotes the permanent end of fertility. As a woman nears her menopausal stage, her ovaries stop making eggs and the body slowly decreases the secretion of female hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. Menopause brings it natural changes like reduced density of the bones with it and conditions like osteoporosis set in. According to the doctors, a woman is said to have reached this phase in her life if the menstrual bleeding has not been occurring for 12 months at a stretch. Weight gain is a common problem among women facing menopause. A well planned and balanced diet at this point is crucial. Crash dieting is a big no-no as your body cannot take it at all at this stage. Read the next section for more information on menopausal diet.
Increase the calcium intake. Broccoli, legumes and obviously milk and milk products are to be high up in your daily diet chart. At this stage, with the density of your bone decreasing, you have to work towards strengthening your bones. And this can be done by increasing the amount of calcium you take on a day to day basis.
Increase your daily iron intake. Foods that are rich in iron are lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts and enriched grain products.
Include fruits and vegetables in the diet. The scientific reason behind this advice is that phyto-estrogens trick your body into thinking that it has more oestrogen than it really does. Fruits and green vegetables are storehouses of minerals and nutrients. Although you might get away by not eating these at a younger stage but it is high time to embrace these in your meal if you haven’t until now.
Stock up juices in the refrigerator and keep away from alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks. Variety of juices like orange, papaya, carrot, grape, apple etc are rich in anti-oxidants and minerals. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is highly recommended.
Cut down on fatty foods. Fried food and oily stuff only increase your cholesterol and heart risks. At this age, caution must be exercised and discipline be maintained if you are eager to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. To fight the tendency of weight-gain during this stage, try grilling or boiling your food. Use alternative measures like microwaving your food so that half a tablespoon of oil is all that goes into your meal. Use olive oil, flaxseed oil and canola oil instead of the saturated fatty oils found in the market.
Avoid excessive sugar in your food. If you have a family history of diabetes then this is an important point for you to note. The whole concept behind taking too much sugar in your diet is that the blood sugar levels shoots up and stimulates the pancreas to secrete the hormone, insulin. Excessive insulin circulating in the body speeds up the conversion of calories into fat and this fat is absorbed by the body cells. Long and short of the story is to avoid highly sweetened food if diabetes and extra fat cells in your body is not what you are looking for.
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