WOMEN NUTRITION DURING MID-LIFE AND BEYOND


As a human grows old right from a new born growing up into a toddler, toddler into a boy or girl and so on. Each phase is seen with many physical, hormonal and emotional changes. One major change with females occur post 35-40 years. A female faces various changes in her body as she turns 40.


A woman has many different roles to play in her life. She plays a role of daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and along with these roles she also manages her home as a home maker and even work If she is working. Woman needs utmost care and right nutrition throughout her life so that she can easily manage these different roles in her life.


With ageing menstrual cycle in woman tends to cease which is called “Menopause” and the period before that is called as “Perimenopause”. Menopause generally occurs between 45-50years of age in woman and perimenopause can start 5-6 years before that, it varies woman to woman.


Although women are the backbones of every household but specially in India, a woman neglects her health and body the most. There is lack of right nutrition and guidance in women.


Women post 35 are daunted by various health problems. The common problems faced by women are:

Ø Weight gain

Ø Decreased libido and fertility

Ø Increased body fat percentage specially around mid-section.

Ø Decreased bone mineral density.

Ø Breast tenderness

Ø Hot flashes

Ø Mood swings

Ø Depression

Ø Change in hair texture

Ø Changes in skin

Ø Irregular periods

Ø Heart diseases

Ø Cancer


And that’s the reason why right nutrition and lifestyle plays major role in a woman’s life post 35 which would not only help her to fight this entire mid-life crisis but will help her to stay healthy, wealthy and happy!!


Here are few tips which will help them to overcome the “Mid-life Crisis” with ease:



1. Have a balanced meal: Women specially Indian or Asian women ignore their meal to a great extent under the pretext of taking care of house, family members and job/business. For a healthy and disease free life, one needs to take a well-balanced diet. A balanced diet means your food plate should be comprised of all the food groups that are carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Your food plate should be colorful.



2. Include variety of fruits and vegetables in diet: As woman approaches 40’s there is lots of changes in her body and including fruits and vegetables in her diet can help her to overcome several problems. Fruits and vegetables are loaded

with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals which are very essential during this mid-life changes happening in a female body.

Ø 2 servings of fresh seasonal fruits in a day

Ø 4-6 servings of fresh seasonal vegetables in a day.

Ø All these can be taken in form of whole fruits, smoothies, detox water, fruit juice with pulp, salads, sabji, vegetables juices, and soups.

Ø Always remember to have fruits as a meal and not with a meal. Take it as snack pre or post 2 hrs. of your meals.


3. Include protein with every meal: Protein is very essential for our body.

Ø It helps in weight loss

Ø It helps in boosting our immunity

Ø It helps to maintain muscle ratio

Ø It helps to curb the mid-day or midnight craving.

Ø It makes you feel satiated for long

Ø It’s good for hair and skin

Ø Always include protein in all your three major meals i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Ø Various sources of protein are paneer, milk, curd, soy products, dal and beans, sprouts, oats, quinoa, eggs, lean meat and fish.


4. Add Phyto-estrogen in your diet: As woman approaches menopause, the level of estrogen, the main female hormone responsible for menstrual cycle, starts to decrease and that brings loads of changes in female body. Phyto-estrogen is plant based compound which plays the same role in female body as estrogen. And it also helps in fighting cancer.

The different sources of phytoestrogen are-

Ø Nuts and Seeds- sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts.

Ø Soy and soy products.

Ø Herbs like licorice roots, red clover.

Ø Fruits like apple, strawberries, and cranberries.

Ø Vegetables like yams, mung sprouts, beans sprouts.


5. Include Vitamin D and Calcium rich Products: As women age the level of calcium and Vitamin D decreases and which lead to low bone mineral density and thus it is seen that old women are more prone to fractures and injuries. Also Vit D and Calcium helps in weight maintenance and mood management too.


The various sources of Calcium and Vit D are

Ø Milk and milk products

Ø Green leafy vegetables specially spinach and fenugreek

Ø Sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds

Ø Millets like jowar, bajra and ragi

Ø Different cheese

Ø Sunlight is the best source of Vit D

Ø Mushrooms, Fatty fish like salmon, sardines are also rich source of Vit D and Calcium.


6. Practice clean eating: Clean eating or mind full eating practice can help a lot during this mid-life problems. Below are few clean eating habits which one need to follow-

Ø Have small and frequent meals and avoid large meals

Ø Eat without distraction

Ø Chew your food slowly

Ø Start your meal with salad

Ø Water 2-3 liter per day

Ø Include whole grains and legumes instead of refined products like maida, bakery products.

Ø Restrict the intake of sugar, sugary drinks and sweets in your diet

Ø Replace sugar with jaggery or natural sweetener like dates or anjeer or raisins.

Ø Sleep for 6-7 hrs. daily


8. Maintain your ideal weight: As women approach their 40, there is sharp increase in their weight due to hormonal fluctuations and bad lifestyle habits. Maintaining ideal weight helps one to avoid problems which are due to hormonal changes. Even if you are not able to lose weight but by just having a healthy lifestyle is more than enough. Few things which would help you to loose or maintain your weight

Ø Physical exercise- 30-45 min daily or 3hrs in a week

Ø Practice clean eating pattern

Ø Be active

Ø Right a food journal- it helps you to monitor your food intake.



9. Stay happy: Being happy is the most difficult thing for most of us. Human psychology is such a complicated thing that makes many people vulnerable to stress. Women who are facing peri menopause or menopause are more vulnerable towards stress due to hormonal changes. Stress, worry or depression leads to increased cortisol secretion which leads to increased weight gain. But if we become little aware of this and start working towards are happiness then it would be a smooth mid-life journey.

Few things which would help u to distress and stay happy are-

Ø Practice meditation

Ø Connect with old friends

Ø Pursue your hobbies

Ø Listen to music

Ø Go for a walk

Ø Watch your favorite movie


So, mid-life crisis in a women’s life is not avoidable but it can be made smooth without much complication by following few easy sustainable habits.

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