FOOD
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Women’s bodies are constantly changing, from nutritional needs and sleep requirements, to maintaining a healthy weight. This can be frustrating and can even negatively impact how we see ourselves.

As women age into their forties and fifties, it’s much harder to maintain lean muscle mass, we carry weight differently and hormones begin to alter as we enter perimenopause. The foods you eat can greatly impact how you respond to life’s little changes and can make transitioning into mid-life easier to accept.

Hormonal Changes: Perimenopause, Menopause

Estrogen levels decline during menopause and women are at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and they experience bloating.

Tips

  • Reduce sodium intake and refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar.

Beneficial Foods & Nutrients

  • Omega-3 Fats: fish (2-3 servings per week), flaxseed, chia, walnuts
  • Potassium: fruits and vegetables (bananas, greens), quercetin (apples, onions)

Body Composition Changes

As women age and metabolism slows, muscle decreases and fat increases. Skin and joints also need attention and it’s important to nourish collagen.

Tips

  • Create more balance by having healthy whole grain carbohydrates with high-quality protein at meals. When exercising, do more strength training activities.

Beneficial Foods & Nutrients

  • Vitamin A: deep green, orange, red, and deep yellow vegetables and fruit
  • Vitamin C: citruses, berries and vegetables

Bone Density Loss

Women absorb less calcium as they age and their bodies demand more vitamin D, important for bone health, immunity, mood, and hormone production. Magnesium also needs a boost, which is an essential energy nutrient also required for strong bones.

Tips

  • To achieve the recommended 1200 milligrams of calcium per day, emphasize food first and then add supplements. But make sure to limit to 500 milligrams max in one does of calcium.

Beneficial Foods & Nutrients

  • Calcium: Low-fat milk, yogurt and calcium-fortified foods (milk replacements, calcium-fortified orange juice)
  • Vitamin D: Dairy, fortified foods and some mushrooms (labels will specific if it’s an excellent source of vitamin D)
  • Leafy greens, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains

Brain Health, Memory, Mood, and Energy

The aging process contributes to a decrease in brain health, memory, mood, and energy.

Tips

  • Increase antioxidant intake to protect brain cells.
  • Healthy fats are more important to prevent artery stiffness and plaque in brain tissues.
  • Vitamin D and probiotics help promote gut health and boost mood and energy.
  • Absorption of vitamin B-12 decreases with age and folate needs increase.
  • Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids throughout the day.

Beneficial Foods & Nutrients

  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables: berries, blueberries, leafy greens, avocado, choline (egg yolk), selenium-rich foods (Brazilian nuts, nuts and seeds, beans, meat), and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil and grape seed oil
  • Probiotics in cultured dairy and fermented foods (eat one or more daily)
  • Vitamin B found in fortified grains, leafy greens and some meat
  • B-12 in wheat germ, fortified grains, greens with folate, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage family), citrus fruit and juice (you may need a supplement)

Sleep and Stress

Sleep patterns change with aging and women can experience a loss of sleep.

Tips

  • Decrease or eliminate foods that can interfere with sleep, such as caffeine and refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar) and avoid eating meals close to bedtime.

Beneficial Foods & Nutrients

  • Calming foods that promote sleep, such as herbal teas (chamomile), foods rich in melatonin (tart cherries, dried or frozen)

Next time you feel frustrated with your diet or appearance, read more about how to embrace body positivity.

Read More

Join the Conversation