When it comes to eating right, there’s no such thing as one size fits all.
In fact, as you age, doctors say you need to switch up your diet to make sure you’re giving your body the things it actually needs and not just the same old food you’ve stuck to forever.
For women in their 50s and beyond in particular, it’s important to change your diet as your body naturally changes with menopause and to give it the nutrients it now needs.
Eating right through menopause can drastically help with symptoms and reduce discomfort along the way. Women should look for foods containing phytoestrogens which acts like oestrogen in the body.
Chickpeas, sesame and flax are all great sauces so health experts suggest eating hummus on whole grain toast as a great snack to help balance out your hormones.
Fermented soy is also excellent because of its plant oestrogens and it also has the benefit of being rich in isoflavones.
The easiest way to get this into your diet is by eating tofu which makes a great protein-rich food that can be used to replace meat. Doctors also suggest eating natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soy beans, and tempeh, a nutty variation of tofu, for an extra boost.
Once you’re out of menopause (happy days!), your dietary requirements change a lot. Many women tend to put on weight around their middle because they aren’t changing their diet to suit their body’s new needs.
Doctors say women at this point in their life should eat foods that avoid drastic blood sugar spikes and dips, which only make weight gain worse, and focus on eating protein and complex carbohydrates with every meal and snack.
Your need for iron also decreases once you stop menstruating, so you don’t need to eat as much red meat.
Try getting your the majority of your iron intake from leafy green vegetables instead, which allows your body much more control over how much is absorbed than meat sources do.
When it comes to carbs, try making all of your grains whole grains, switch white potatoes to sweet potatoes instead.
Eat protein such as eggs, beans, nuts and seeds – plus a little meat – and eliminate any refined sugar and include healthy fats such as oily fish, avocado and coconut oil.