The Optimal Breakfast Foods When You're in Menopause
During menopause women tend to gain weight. While this isn't great it’s pretty common and there are many reasons why.
Three reasons why women gain weight during menopause...
Many women, by the time they hit peri or menopausal, have tried multiple diets over the years, experiencing yo-yo results, annoying cravings, energy slumps and more. These approaches have taken its toll on our body, and in fact over the years our metabolism has taken a beating and is not working as well anymore....so we want to focus on reviving our metabolism.
As we move through peri menopause, which for most starts in our late 30s, though we start to experience symptoms in our mid-40s - it's at this time that our reproductive hormones, primarily estrogen, progesterone, testosterone shift significantly resulting in many menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, etc.! The thing is, all of our hormones are intertwined - so the shift in reproductive hormones, impacts all hormones, including metabolic hormones (those that have the biggest influence on our weight), so for women over 50 we also need to focus on our metabolic hormones to bring them back into balance to influence our weight.... so we want to focus on rebalancing our hormones.
Increased inflammation. Inflammation in our body builds up as we age, and if our lifestyle choices include inflammatory habits such as - drinking too much coffee, alcohol, over exercise, restless sleep, stress, plus dietary habits such as eating processed foods, junk food, too much sugar, too much coffee, alcohol, etc - these habits will increase inflammation in the body, which leads to accumulated weight gain, and weight gain creates inflammation which creates a vicious circle.... so we want to focus on reducing inflammation.
What does all of this have to do with your first meal of the day?
Eating the right type of breakfast will set the tone for the day to ensure your blood sugar is balanced, which in turn helps to balance hormone insulin, which in. turn helps to revive the metabolism over time.
What you choose to eat will influence your cravings later in the day, your energy slump and your body's ability to lose. weight.
What makes a food “optimal” for breakfast in menopause?
Foods that help to increase metabolic rate, fill you up, and keep you feeling fuller longer so you each fewer meals during the day.
Let's have a look at the characteristics of these “optimal” foods.
Make sure to get protein in your first meal of the day. Eating protein is critical for women in menopause.
Protein helps to slightly increase metabolism and give your muscles the amino acids they need to stay strong. Protein also helps keep you feeling fuller longer which is great to try to offset that hunger hormone known as “ghrelin”.
Protein also helps to reduce bone loss that can happen very fast during this time.
Which foods do I recommend as your protein source for your first meal?
- Nuts and seeds (contain more fat than protein but still a great source of amino acids)
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and shellfish
Read on and check out the great breakfast recipe for you to try tomorrow morning. It contains eggs which some say are the “perfect protein”.
Fibre is very important to help stabilize your blood sugars to reduce cravings. The reason this is particularly important in menopause is because the risk of diabetes and heart disease increases after menopause due to an accumulation of visceral fat in the abdomen. (Yes, I'm talking about the infamous “belly fat”!).
Also, did you know that certain fibres you eat actually feed your friendly gut microbes? The ones that help you digest food and even make certain nutrients for you?
Which foods are high in fibre?
Here are just a few of the items you could add to your diet to increase fibre intake.
- Vegetables (dark leafy greens like collard greens, spinach, romaine, kale, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts etc.)
- Fruit (choose low sugar berries like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
- Nuts (raw nuts are best, like raw almonds, pistachios, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, walnuts, or try raw almond butter)
- Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax etc.)
Bonus points if you get at least some of you daily fibre from flax. Flax not only contains fibre but it is also a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Flax has even been shown to help reduce both hot flashes and the risk of breast cancer. Win-win!
What are “optimal” foods for your first meal of the day for menopause? Ones that give you a healthy dose of protein and fibre.
Recipe (Protein and Fibre): Vegetable Egg Muffins
Makes 12 (2 muffins per serving)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or butter
- 1 red pepper (diced)
- 2 cups baby spinach (chopped)
- 1 cup mushrooms (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon flax (ground)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease or line a 12 serving muffin tin.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add oil/butter and saute diced pepper until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add mushrooms and garlic to frying pan and cook for an additional minute.
- Whisk eggs and flax together in a medium bowl.
- Place veggies into prepared muffin tin.
- Pour the egg/flax mixture over the veggies.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked.
- Serve & Enjoy!
- You can also freeze and keep handy for an easy on the-go snack.
Nutrition: 1.1g net carb per serving (2 muffins)
Tip: Use organic produce, grass-fed butter & pasture-raised eggs whenever possible.
Enjoy your muffins!
That's it for now!
Remember, a Healthy Happy You Awaits!
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