How to survive menopause, Mediterranean-style

On Monday, I shared a study showing that vitamin D offers a critical source of protection against metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

But I probably don’t have to point out that this isn’t the only health challenge posed by age-related hormonal changes. Because life after menopause presents a whole obstacle course of potential pitfalls — from muscle loss to brittle bones.

The good news is that this isn’t a losing battle. And, in fact, menopause is easier to navigate than you might think. Provided, of course, that you’re sticking to the right diet like your life depends on it. (Because as I’ve told you, time and again, it actually does.)

Need more proof? Well, a recent study featured 103 healthy women from Brazil — all with an average age of 55 who had already experienced about five years of menopause. Researchers measured their bone density, body fat, and skeletal muscle mass. They also collected data on the subjects’ diets over the past month.

Results showed that high adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet — rich in fresh veggies, nuts, high quality protein, and monounsaturated fats from sources like olive and macadamia nut oil — had significantly higher bone mineral density and muscle mass. And those results held true even after the researchers took other critical factors like hormone therapy, smoking status, and exercise habits into account.

According to this study’s lead author: “Postmenopausal women, especially those with low bone mass, should ask their doctor whether they might benefit from consuming this dietary pattern.”

I appreciate that researchers like to be cautious with their study results. But the fact is, absolutely everyone can benefit from a Mediterranean-style diet, in just about every way imaginable. From a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes… to vital protection against cancer and a whole host of other chronic diseases.

If you haven’t already, this is one bandwagon that’s worth hopping on — the sooner the better. All the details you need to get started are outlined in my A-List Diet book. (It was just released in paperback last month — just in time for some beach reading!) Your body will thank you for it, whatever stage of life you’re in.