Iran: Consumption of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables leads to fewer mental and physical health symptoms of menopause, finds a new study.
The study, published in the journal Menopause, finds that there is an inverse relationship between vegetables and fruits (VF) dietary pattern and menopausal symptoms. In contrast, adherence to mayonnaise, liquid oils, sweets, and desserts (MLSD); and solid fats and snacks (SFS) dietary patterns are associated with an increased risk of these symptoms.
Menopause is a natural event in a woman’s life, but some of its symptoms can have an adverse impact on women’s health. Some evidence has suggested that diet has an influence on menopausal symptoms, but not much has been said about dietary patterns.
Gity Sotoudeh, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, and colleagues conducted the study to determine the association of dietary patterns with physical, mental, and genitourinary menopausal symptoms.
For the cross-sectional study, the researchers surveyed 400 postmenopausal women about their eating habits as well as their experience of the symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, muscle, and joint problems and bladder issues.
They, then identified women into three distinct dietary patterns: some women’s diets were abundant in fruits and vegetables; others consumed plenty of mayonnaise, oils, sweets, and desserts; and a third group favored a wide variety of fatty foods and snacks.
- VF dietary pattern is inversely associated with general, physical, and mental symptoms.
- A stronger adherence to the MLSD dietary pattern was directly associated with general and genitourinary symptoms.
- Moreover, the SFS dietary pattern was directly related to the general, physical, and mental symptoms.
“The high-fat and -sugar dietary pattern has high amounts of simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, especially saturated and trans fats, and a relatively low content of fiber, which can increase the levels of inflammatory biomarkers and body weight, all of them are related to menopausal symptoms,” said Sotoudeh.
“On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are low in fat, are a good source of micronutrients, antioxidants, as they help the body to lower the inflammation and maintain a healthy body weight during the menopause,” said Sotoudeh.
“Fruits and vegetables are also rich in fiber, which can modify the estrogen metabolism and decrease the fluctuation in levels of estrogen, which all decrease the risk of symptoms.”
The study can’t prove whether or how specific eating habits might directly impact menopause symptoms. Another limitation is that the group of women in the study was too small to draw broad conclusions about how diet might influence menopause symptoms, the researchers note.
Sotoudeh advises women to cut down or avoid fast food, sugary and sweet food, and add fruits and vegetables to their diet, especially colorful and green leafy vegetables. According to her, this not only helps in lowering menopausal symptoms but also helps in preventing weight gain and some diseases that menopausal women are at a higher risk of.
For further reference log on to 10.1097/GME.0000000000001245