A focus on women
National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day is just around the corner, and for us at Dole, we believe that eating more of them can lead to a happier and healthier lives – for everyone. But for women, fruits and vegetables have special advantages. They are a powerhouse for essential nutrients that contribute to healthy skin, nails and they help maintain a healthy weight. Ongoing research suggests that fruit- and vegetable- rich diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can even help ease symptoms of menopause which include sleepless nights, infertility, moodiness and more.
One study published in the journal Menopause, went a step further to learn if specific types of fruits or vegetables provided more physical or mental symptom relief. Just about 400 women between 40-76 years old participated in the study providing extensive surveys regarding overall diet and details of menopausal symptoms and severity. Overall, those that ate the most fruits and vegetables reported having higher energy levels and fewer symptoms compared to those who ate less. However, this study also showed a relationship between consumption of green leafy, dark yellow and total citrus fruits, with genito-urinary symptoms such as bladder complaints and dryness. Because this was a relatively small study, further research will need to be done to confirm findings yet there is a lot to benefit from eating a variety of fruits and veggies including the following, from previous research:
- Clinical trials have shown tomato juice could improve symptoms, including anxiety
- Higher dietary magnesium has been associated with lower inflammation, and fewer hot flashes
- Foods such as bananas, potatoes and carrot, rich in B6, may contribute to serotonin and dopamine production; AKA the happy hormones
- Leafy greens and citrus, rich in folate may have favorable effects on psychological symptoms including depression