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The menopause is a time of change. While you may feel liberated by some of the changes, like the cessation of periods, others are less welcome. The loss of oestrogen and other hormonal changes which occur at menopause can affect the body externally as well as internally and one thing that many women notice as they go through the menopause is a change in the condition of their skin, hair and nails.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to offset these changes. Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help alleviate many of these cosmetic changes and at the same time help with problems like hot flushes, sleep problems, bloating and mood changes.
Vitamin E, essential omega 3 fats and B vitamins (especially biotin).
Almonds, avocado, oily fish, spinach, kale and dark green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals and eggs.
Wear rubber gloves for washing up, use hand cream every night and avoid nail varnish removers which contain alcohol.
Vitamin E, omega 3 and essential fatty acids.
Avocados, tomatoes, nuts and seeds and oil-rich fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Drink plenty of water, use a good moisturiser on your body and face everyday and use a gentle exfoliator at least once a week.
Zinc, protein, omega 3 fats, biotin and selenium.
Lean meat, fish, seeds, eggs, wholegrain cereals and brazil nuts.
Drink plenty of water and use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants to help neutralise the free radicals which accelerate wrinkling.
All fruit and vegetables but particularly red pepper, kiwi and citrus fruits.
Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing a sunscreen, even in the winter.
Weight gain and change in body shape is a common problem for many women after the menopause. Tempting as crash and fad diets may seem, they are not the answer because they don't work long-term and can lead to nutritional deficiencies which make other symptoms of the menopause, particularly problems with skin, hair and nails, worse. The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to reduce portion sizes and increase activity.
Fiona Hunter BSc RNutr is a highly respected, experienced and qualified nutritionist, food writer and broadcaster. Fiona trained as a dietitian and worked on Good Housekeeping for over ten years. She is known for her honest and practical, evidence-based approach to nutrition. She believes in the principle that 'there’s no such thing as a bad food, only a bad diet.'
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible, supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.