Why Eating Healthy After Menopause Is Important to Overall Health

By on June 29, 2016
menopause

The hot flashes are mostly over, and the extreme mood swings associated with your final bouts of PMS are finally a thing of the past. You have not gotten your period in some time, and you finally feel like your hormone swings are over and done with. Congratulations—you have just entered into the world of post-menopause.

While many women rarely focus on their diets and exercise to help them through the often unpleasant signs and symptoms of menopause, you should not abandon your healthy mindset now that you have successfully navigated what your grandma probably referred to as “The Change.”

Post-Menopause Health

As the National Institute on Aging notes, about 50 percent of American women age 50 and up will suffer from a broken bone, often due to osteoporosis. And according to the American Heart Association, certain cardiovascular risk factors increase during the post-menopausal period of a woman’s life. These include narrowing and hardening of the arteries, chest pain, and high blood pressure. While menopause doesn’t cause these health issues to take place, the natural decline in estrogen may play a role, as can a more sedentary lifestyle and less-than-healthy dietary choices.

The Benefits of Organic Fruits and Veggies

In order to help keep your weight at a healthy level as well as get plenty of heart-healthy fiber and naturally occurring calcium, it is recommended that you eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. For example, broccoli is a tasty source of calcium. Unfortunately, boosting the number of greens—and reds, oranges, yellows, blues, and purples—that you eat can also mean ingesting more pesticides. According to the EPA, 40 percent of the produce sold in our country contains pesticide residue. Foods that have been found to have the greatest amount of pesticides include peaches, apples, pears, lettuce, and potatoes.

Because these substances are inherently toxic, it is best to switch to as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible. Organic produce is raised under strict guidelines that result in it having significantly less pesticide residue. As a bonus, many people who eat organic produce on a regular basis report that it tastes noticeably better. Most grocery stores now have a nice organic section in their produce department, and stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s also feature a terrific selection.

Going Wild With Game

Post-menopausal women should also consider switching to organically raised and wild meats and game rather than commercially raised beef, pork, and poultry. As Hills Foods notes, many types of wild game have less saturated fat and a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fat, which makes it a heart-healthy choice. In addition, game meats have been shown to naturally contain a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has been linked to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. Hills Food sells a wide variety of wild game and organic meats, as do other online retailers like Fossil Farms, and many health food stores like Sprouts carry meat that was raised without hormones.

Growing and Hunting Your Food

In order to be sure you are eating the healthiest types of produce and meat, you could consider growing and hunting at least some of it on your own. You could start a small organic garden in your backyard or even a few containers and harvest pesticide-free tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots. Or, if you would really like to be in control of the meat that you are eating, you could take up hunting. In order to be sure you are as safe as possible and following your state’s hunting laws and ordinances, be sure you first acquire all necessary permits.

Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.

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Why Eating Healthy After Menopause Is Important to Overall Health