OHSU

Staying Healthy

Good Nutrition

Eating a balanced diet will help you stay healthy before, during and after menopause. It is important to eat a variety of foods to make sure you get all the essential nutrients. Choose a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Also, be sure to include enough calcium in your diet to help maintain strong bones. Women aged 51 years and older need 1,200 mg of calcium per day. The National Institutes of Health recommends 1,500 mg of calcium per day for postmenopausal women who do not take hormone therapy and all women older than 65 years.

It is hard to get enough calcium from eating dairy products and certain vegetables, so you should consider using calcium supplements. Ask your pharmacist about a supplement to slow bone loss.

Calcium cannot be absorbed without vitamin D. Milk that is fortified with vitamin D is one of the best sources. Another is sunlight. You also can use vitamin D supplements. A woman should take the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.

Exercise

Exercise is very important, especially as you get older. Regular exercise slows down bone loss and improves your overall health. Follow a program of regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking and aerobics.

 

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