The menopause is an ideal time to take stock of eating habits and begin some gradual changes to help ensure the best health possible while entering this new phase of life. Taking steps to achieve a healthy diet, a good level of fitness and an ideal body weight can help to ease immediate symptoms such as hot flushes, and improve longer term health, such as reducing risk of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones) and heart disease.
Changing hormones of the menopause may increase any tendency towards sluggish digestion, bloating and constipation. Research tells us the best way to tackle this is to choose higher fibre foods and drink plenty of fluids. Wheat bran has been shown to be particularly effective at relieving digestive discomfort and constipation and some foods carry health claims to this effect.
Look for ‘high fibre’ or ‘bran’ on labels and check the nutrition panel. Foods with at least 3g/100g means they are a source of fibre or 6g/100g means they are a high fibre food. Fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses are great sources of fibre too.