Have you ever wondered if what you eat impacts your menopausal symptoms? Science says it does, and it has discovered certain foods make menopausal symptoms either worse or better. Let’s explore some recipes for menopausal relief that avoid antagonist foods.
Why Food Matters in Menopause
For some women, symptoms like hot flashes, irritability, moodiness, weight gain, depression and difficultly sleeping may just last several months, but others may experience these symptoms for years. There are also long-term menopause side effects, such as bone-density loss and metabolism changes, that are associated with menopause. Even the risk for diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension increase due to menopause.
Of course, diet has a direct impact on all the above conditions and symptoms. The wrong dietary choices can worsen how menopause affects you, but the right food choices can make a huge positive difference. Menopause Matters Magazine detailed a 20-month account of one woman’s investigation into foods that influenced her menopausal symptoms.
Much research has been devoted to studying how diet effects the symptoms and side effects of menopause. In fact, newer research is even showing a correlation between your diet and the onset of menopause.
Everyday Health does a great job explaining how certain foods can make menopause symptoms worse, and Healthline suggests adding certain foods to manage the symptoms of menopause. Using this knowledge, let’s get you some recipes for menopausal relief.
Try These Four Recipes for Menopause Relief
1. Smothered Chicken Breast
Fat should represent less than 20 percent of your diet, and choosing lean meats and using grilling, sautéing or broiling for preparation will go a long way in cutting fats. Heat spices, such as cayenne, also raise your body temperature, which will worsen hot flashes. Meanwhile, you want to raise your calcium and vitamin-D levels with low-fat dairy products to prevent bone loss. Onions are a great antioxidant that helps with iron absorption and naturally reducing cholesterol levels. Whole grain rice offers fiber. This smothered chicken recipe hits all the right moves for menopausal relief at lunch or dinner.
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 small julienned onion
- 1/2 chopped clove of fresh garlic
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup cooked whole grain rice of your choice
Of course you can use this same recipe with salmon and other healthy fat fishes to make even more recipes for menopausal relief.
- Sauté chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet with 1/2 tsp olive oil until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees; remove from pan.
- Cook onions and garlic in pan drippings until translucent; remove from pan.
- Add equal parts olive oil and flour to the pan; whisk together until smooth and then brown for about five minutes over medium heat.
- Add broth to flour mixture to bring down temp before adding milk.
- Add parsley, salt, paprika, and cooked chicken and onion mixture.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine.
- Serve over rice.
2. Berry Yogurt Pops
You know berries are essential antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. You know yogurt has healthy dairy. However, there are just so many parfaits you can eat, right? Heat from hot foods, both temperature and seasoning, contributes to hot flashes. So cool off your flashes and support your bones with this simple recipe.
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (thawed)
- 1 1/2 cups of low-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3 oz paper cups
- Popsicle sticks
- Using a food processor or blender, gently pulse the yogurt and mixed berries together.
- Spoon the mixture in the cups, leaving about an inch at the top.
- Gently tap the cup to remove air and even the mixture.
- Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
- Stick a popsicle stick in each cup.
- Freeze for two hours.
- Peel cup away and enjoy your frozen treat.
3. Iced Minty Green Tea
Green tea is a powerful amino acid that’s been shown to decrease anxiety, promote sleep and increase bone health. Researchers have found honey can alleviate a number of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Iced minty green tea is the perfect summer drink in your recipes for menopausal relief.
- Decaffeinated green tea bags (about four)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 mint leaves
- 2 cups ice
- Wedge of lemon
- Bring four cups of water to a boil.
- Remove water from heat and add tea bags and mint.
- Cover and steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and mint.
- Stir in honey.
- Add mixture to a large pitcher with ice, two cups of cold water, and juice of a lemon wedge.
- Stir and either chill to desired temperature or serve in a glass of ice.
4. Loaded Oatmeal
With fiber, protein and antioxidants, oatmeal is the breakfast of champions for the menopausal woman. It’s preventive against all the major side effects of menopause, including diabetes, constipation and high cholesterol. Load this overnight oatmeal up with other anti-menopause toppings for the ultimate breakfast. Plus, overnight oatmeal recipes for menopausal relief can be served cold to avoid starting your day off with hot flashes.
- Glass container (mason jar, drinking cup, bowl, etc.)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (no instant and no steel-cut)
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp honey
- Toppings: walnuts, fresh berries, diced apples or sliced bananas, shredded coconut, etc.
- Mix all ingredients in glass jar.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve cold in the morning with your choice of toppings.