A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lessen various menopause symptoms, according to a new study which may lead to better clinical food recommendations for women.
The study, published in the journal Menopause, said although hormone therapy has been proven to be an acceptable method for treatment of menopause-related symptoms, finding new dietary treatment options, especially for women who face higher risk from hormone therapy has been an active area of research.
According to the researchers from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in the US, there has been a focus on identifying modifiable lifestyle factors that might prevent or alleviate menopause symptoms.
They said previous studies have suggested that dietary factors may play a critical role in estrogen production, metabolism, and consequently, menopause symptoms. Assessing these studies, the scientists said, the consumption of fruits or a Mediterranean-style diet, characterized by a high content of vegetables, fruits, cereals, and nuts, is linked to fewer menopause symptoms and complaints.
According to the researchers, while some subgroups of fruits and vegetables had an inverse association with menopause symptoms, a higher intake of other subgroups appeared to be associated with more urogenital problems.
Citing an example, they said citrus fruits may have an adverse effect on urogenital scores compared with other types of fruits. A similar effect may arise from green leafy or dark yellow vegetables compared with other vegetables.
“This small cross-sectional study provides some preliminary evidence regarding the influence of fruit and vegetable intake on menopause symptoms,” said Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. “There is ample evidence that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a beneficial effect on health in a myriad of ways, but additional study is needed to determine whether various menopause symptoms may be affected by dietary choices,” Faubion said