Menopause marks the time in life when you stop having periods and your hormone levels drop. As if that weren’t enough, this period is also linked to a cascade of uncomfortable symptoms. From headaches to reduced libido, your whole body goes through a massive change. Luckily, Spector shared some foods that might make this change easier.
The professor surveyed more than 8,000 perimenopausal women about their diets and symptoms.
The end goal of this research was to find the link between what the women ate and their signs of menopause.
Speaking on Zoe’s YouTube channel, Spector said: “So this is the first look at this research and we’ll see how diet quality affects the different symptoms that women experience.”
The professor explained that the data they collected helped establish the risk of symptoms.
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This risk depended on whether you were following a “high quality” diet or a “low quality” diet.
Spector said: “A high-quality diet means a diet full of healthy plants and a low-quality diet is the opposite – it’s full of ultra-processed foods.
“So we’re looking at those two groups to compare them and adjusting for things like age, your body mass index, measures of obesity, and use of hormone replacement therapy.
“What we found was quite exciting because we showed that most of the symptoms that women experience at menopause appear, in this cross-sectional study, to be reduced in people on a high-quality diet.
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“This suggests that you’ll have less trouble sleeping, hot flashes, less weight gain, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety, as well as libido issues, if you follow a higher quality diet. .”
However, Spector also added that their research only proves an association, not causation.
If you are unsure whether your diet falls into a high or low quality category, the professor explained the main cornerstones to follow.
He said: “For anyone who wants to improve their diet, I would encourage them to eat food in its original form.
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“So rather than getting apple juice, you get whole apples. Rather than artificial mashed potatoes in a packet, you get whole potatoes with the skin on. You eat food that actually looks like to the plant itself.
Another important step is to reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods, as this only “starves” you and is also harmful to your intestine, according to the professor.
If you’re into snacking, then Spector won’t please you by saying you should avoid it if you can.
In fact, about a quarter of your calories come from snacks alone.
He added, “Avoid anything that gives you an unwanted sugar spike. Opt for things like nuts or vegetables, like hummus and carrots, if you need them.
“Eat a diversity of plants – 30 a week is the ideal number, we think.
“Try to incorporate regular fermented foods like yogurts or fermented teas or even good quality cheeses.”
He added that diet quality is “absolutely crucial”, but it’s important to consider what works for you because everyone is different.
If changing your diet doesn’t seem like the right option for you, there are plenty of other menopause treatments available. The NHS reminds you that you can always speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.