A Meal to Beat Menopause?

Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Menopause, Women's Health
on July 1, 2009

Myth: Eating a special diet can ease symptoms of The Change.

Fact: Some women have found that foods containing phytoestrogens-compounds in soybeans, flax seeds and nuts that act like the hormone estrogen in the body-help tone down hot flashes, sleeplessness and incontinence. In fact, in one survey from the University of Massachusetts, menopausal women who ate more soy products reported fewer hot flashes and night sweats compared to women who had less soy in their diets. "If you've found a food that works for you, by all means eat it," says women's health expert Dr. Mary Jane Minkin of Yale University School of Medicine. "But there's not enough evidence to suggest that one food will work for all menopausal symptoms."

Just because there's no magic anti-menopause meal, though, doesn't mean you should abandon your healthy-eating habits. Your risk for heart disease and osteoporosis increase as you go through menopause, so fill your grocery cart with fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy-and limit foods high in saturated fats (like fatty cuts of meat and foods containing butter).