Following the right diet can reduce or even prevent some symptoms
A decrease in oestrogen during menopause can cause vaginal dryness and dry skin, but drinking eight glasses of water a day will maintain your skin’s moisture and reduce bloating caused by hormonal changes.
Your calcium needs increase during menopause because the loss of oestrogen can speed up bone loss. Eat calcium-rich foods such as milk and non-fat yogurt, and take a calcium supplement.
Getting enough vitamin D is also critical for protecting your bones.
Fruit and veg
Metabolism slows as you age, and women in their mid-40s tend to become more sedentary. By filling up on low-calorie fruits and vegetables, you can minimise weight gain while getting the nutrients you need.
Some wholegrains, such as oatmeal and brown rice, provide B vitamins, which boost energy, manage stress and keep the digestive system functioning. Folic acid and fibre, also found in wholegrains, help lower risk for cardiovascular disease, which rises after menopause.
Your iron needs go down during menopause, so lean beef, eggs, iron-rich cereals and grains should provide you with enough.
The less weight you gain, the better your menopause symptoms. Eat low-fat, healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein.
What to avoid
Steer clear of alcohol, sugar, caffeine and spicy foods, which trigger hot flushes, aggravate urinary incontinence, and increase mood swings and bone loss.