SMASH’ing Diet: 7 reasons oily fish may help menopause symptoms
Why are oily fish containing essential fatty acids so beneficial for menopausal women?
Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3, are good fats that can bebeneficial for menopause for a whole host of reasons. These omega-3 fatty acids may have a beneficial impact on degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. When it comes to menopause, omega-3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties shown to have positive effects on many symptoms that are associated with this transitional stage in every woman’s life.
As our bodies don’t produce omega-3 essential fatty acid, it’s important to ensure that we get it from our diet. Once consumed, it can be found in every cell in our body!
The NHS recommends that we should aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, this should include 1 portion of oily fish. ‘It can be fresh, frozen or canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Choose varieties sold in oil rather than brine.’
So, simply including high omega-3 fish in one or two meals per week, we should get our weekly dose of omega-3 without needing further supplements.
We give you 7 menopause symptoms that may improve by eating more oily fish containing omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for reducing symptoms related to joint pain due to their anti-inflammatory benefits.
It’s a rather long word, for a condition where high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat found in our blood – used for energy), are too high. It’s often caused or exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
Post-menopausal women tend to have higher triglyceride concentrates than pre-menopausal. High levels have been linked to heart disease, especially in women. The effects of Omega-3 on triglycerides make them very important for women’s heart health in the post-menopause stage of their life.
Studies have shown that instances of depression among Eskimos are extremely low, which could be as a result of eating a high-fish diet.
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer depression with the risk being greater during and after menopause. Omega-3 may help to regulate your mood.
Clinical studies have reported a decreased risk of osteoporosis with fish intake or fish oil supplementation. Essentially, omega-3 fatty acids are mostly known for their effects on inflammation and bone density in post-menopausal women. It’s recommended that women also take Vitamin C & D supplements to aid bone health.
Essential fatty acids help to lubricate the body in general so may help with vaginal dryness.
Omega-3 reduces inflammation in the body, so can help with menstrual pain and cramping.
Hot flushes & nights sweats
There's some evidence to suggest that Omega-3 is effective in treating hot flushes and night sweats, however, further research is required.
Omega-3 can be taken as a supplement. A word of caution though, these may thin your blood, causing excessive bleeding, particularly if you are taking anticoagulant drugs.
Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements, particularly, if you are on prescribed medication and do not exceed the recommended dosage.
Including SMASH in your diet twice a week ensures you get a naturally healthy dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Check out our SMASH'ing recipes for ideas to include oily fish in your menopause diet.