• Team alina

Symptom specific dietary changes

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

We've taken a look at which dietary changes can help you have a smoother menopause here. But did you know that research has shown us that each menopausal symptom responds to changes in diet in different ways? In this blog we'll be looking at what you can be doing differently to lessen specific symptoms that you may be experiencing.

To relieve aching joints:

  • Increase your water intake

  • Increase essential fatty acids – nuts, seeds, oily fish

  • Increase phytoestrogens – soya, chickpeas and lentils

  • Cut out all caffeine-containing drinks, alcohol and smoking

  • Reduce dairy foods and red meat

To combat constipation and gut problems:

  • Increase your water intake

  • Eat slowly – little and often

  • Increase your fibre intake through whole grains, fruit and vegetables (including skins), linseeds (soaked)

  • Eat fruit in between main meals – not at the end of a meal where possible

  • Increase your intake of live natural yoghurt (sheep or goat’s) which carries good bacteria for the gut

  • Drink mint or ginger tea

  • Cut out rich, creamy, fatty, sugary foods

  • Cut out processed foods

  • Reduce laxatives if you use them as they only work on the symptoms, not the cause and your body can become dependent

  • Cut out chewing gum

  • Try cutting out various food groups to work out intolerances. Common culprits include: gluten, yeast, stimulants, sugar, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, beans of all kinds, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, spinach, and beetroot

To lessen the occurrence of headaches and migraines:

  • Increase your water intake

  • Eat regularly – don’t miss a meal

  • Work out what your triggers are. Many find that they get a headache after eating: dairy, chocolate, eggs, citrus fruits, red meat, fish, wheat products, nuts, tomatoes, onions, apples, bananas, red wine, MSG, pickled or cured foods, artificial sweeteners, or drinking alcohol

  • Increase your consumption of whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal or spelt bread, quinoa, whole oats

  • Increase calcium and magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, and beans

  • Increase serotonin-producing foods turkey, fish, and bananas

  • Drink filtered water with warm water and fresh lemon every morning, which helps your liver detoxify and expel old hormones

  • Cut down (or cut out) salt, caffeine, and alcohol

For hot flushes and night sweats:

  • Increase your water intake

  • Work out your triggers such as spicy foods, black pepper, caffeine, alcohol, hot drinks, and salt

  • Eat smaller meals as large meals dilate your blood vessels

  • Eat phytoestrogens daily soya, lentils, chickpeas, beans, garlic, celery, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, seeds, rice, oats, wheat, barley, rye grains, apples, plums, cherries, rhubarb, alfafa and mung bean sprouts, cinnamon, sage, fennel, hops, and parsley

  • Increase citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables

To maintain your mood:

  • Eat every three hours to ensure your blood sugar levels are stable

  • Cut out all stimulants such as sugar, alcohol, tea, coffee, drugs, smoking

  • Cut out wheat and gluten-grains which have found to depress some people

  • Investigate other food allergies

  • Increase your consumption of oily fish such as salmon, sardines, pilchards, mackerel, and trout

For osteoporosis:

  • Increase foods rich in calcium (but avoid ‘bad’ fats dairy – hard cheese, full-fat cows’ milk), skimmed goats’ milk and sheep’s cheese

  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake

  • Use cider vinegar in dressings and/or one tablespoon of cider vinegar and honey in warm water daily. This may help with calcium absorption

  • Increase phytoestrogens such as chickpeas, lentils and soya

  • Drink a herbal infusion of alfalfa herb (Medicago sativa), nettles (Urtica spp.) and horsetail (equisetum arvense), which is a natural source of silica and thought to positively affect bone turnover

  • Cut out fizzy drinks, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, salt, bran, spinach, rhubarb, and high levels of animal protein

  • Stop smoking if you do

For period problems:

  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy foods

  • Increase essential fatty acid such as ground linseed each day

  • Increase oily fish intake

  • Cut out drinking tea with food (stops iron absorption from food)

  • Increase iron-rich foods if having heavy periods – consider a tonic such as Floradix

To improve your sleep:

  • Cut out caffeine totally from your diet if possible (green tea and chocolate also contain caffeine)

  • Cut out other stimulants such as sugar

  • Cut out cured meats, cheese, chocolate, pickles and tomatoes before sleep as they contain a chemical that produces noradrenalin

  • Eat your main evening meal before 7 pm

  • Eat small ‘complex carb’ meal before sleep such as banana or oatcake with hummus or peanut butter

  • Drink camomile, valerian or passiflora tea before bed as these herbal infusions can help you nod off

For urine incontinence:

  • Increase daily water intake but not too much in evenings

  • Cut out stimulants – caffeine, alcohol, smoking, fizzy drinks

  • Cut out foods high in acidity such as tomatoes and oranges

  • Increase your vitamin C rich foods, such as fruit and vegetables

  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice

  • Eat live natural yoghurt daily

To improve vaginal dryness and sexual problems:

  • Increase your daily water intake

  • Increase isoflavones (phytoestrogens) – eat soya, lentils or chickpeas daily

  • Eat ground linseed daily

  • Increase essential fatty acids – eat daily oily fish, nuts or seeds – do not go on a ‘no-fat’ diet

  • Increase your vitamin C rich foods, such as fruit and vegetables

To combat water retention:

  • Do not decrease your water intake – increase your daily intake to eight normal-sized glasses a day

  • Drink Dandelion tea

  • Reduce salt intake – found in ‘fast foods’, snacks and ready-made meals

  • Increase omega 3 essential oils intake found in oily fish (mackerel, sardines, tuna, herrings, salmon) and to some extent in linseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and dark green vegetables

Whilst considering making these changes can be daunting, please know that your diet plays a very important role in your menopause, and the more that you can do naturally (and without much effort) to help you relieve your symptoms, the better. As always, if you'd like a bespoke plan from one of our nutritionists when we launch, you can register here.

With love,

Team alina

#menopause #food #diet #nutrition #natural #hotflushes #insomnia #moodchanges #periods #headaches

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