Women and men age differently. With age, women experience the slowing down of metabolism and their bodies also start to lose muscle mass and slow down due to physical changes such as menopause which makes middle-aged women more prone to weight gain, mood changes, and other health issues.

“Hence, post the age of 40, nutritional needs and metabolism rates (how fast the body converts food to energy) for most women undergo significant change. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help them feel significantly better and boost their overall health. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol or fizzy drinks is known to alleviate menopause symptoms. In addition to this, avoiding spicy, fried foods is also recommended,” says fitness and nutrition expert Rohit Shelatkar, vice president, Vitabiotics Ltd.

Below, he shares a list of immunity-boosting foods that can help women nearing menopause

Chia seeds: Chia seeds are packed with fibre, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium for healthy bones and complete plant-based protein. Because they absorb water so well, consuming chia seeds can help with satiety and curb unexpected hunger pangs more easily. Chia seeds can be added to a morning smoothie or oatmeal to increase the nutritional value of the meal.

Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes include tons of antioxidants, fibre, vitamin C, and other nutrients that research has proven to boost brain health, aid in weight loss, protect the heart and keep the skin radiant.

Include eggs in your diet. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Eggs: They are rich in vitamin D and full of iron, both nutrients that women often lack. Eggs are also a great source of protein for menopausal women and they have been linked to reduced cholesterol levels, heart disease risk, and obesity. The moderate fat and high protein content, plus the lack of carbohydrates and sugars, makes eggs an excellent choice for women over 40.

Oily fish: Healthy fats found in oily fish such as salmon and trout should be consumed daily. These foods help to manufacture necessary hormones in women’s bodies. They also support brain, heart, and joint health. Foods with healthy fats also help keep the stomach full for longer. Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in oily fish may also help to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.

Nuts: Nuts make for a filling snack that can help with weight loss because they’re high in fibre, have healthy fats, and high amounts of protein.

Carrots: Packed with vitamin A, carrots help keep the skin smooth and vision sharp. This vegetable contains fibre and has an active ingredient that helps fight dark spots, wrinkles, and acne.

Apples: Apples are known to help lower the body’s absorption of excess dietary fats. This helps one feeling full for longer. Moreover, it is believed that including apple in daily diet helps in keeping heart-related issues at bay.

Yogurt: It is an excellent source of calcium and is rich in protein. It is a perfect snack for keeping them full and energised. Plus, it has active cultures that support gut health.

“A lot of women feel that losing weight after the age of 40 is difficult and close to impossible. However, this is a myth and women must remember that with the right kind of diet and exercise, it is absolutely possible to lose weight and promote overall wellness,” says Shelatkar. 

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