May 8, 2024

Embrace a Mediterranean Diet tailored for women over 40

Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor

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Introduction to the Mediterranean Diet for Women Over 40

The Mediterranean Diet is renowned for its benefits in promoting longevity and preventing chronic diseases, making it particularly appealing for women over 40 who want to optimise their health as they age.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

This diet is characterised by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, primarily from olive oil, with moderate consumption of fish and poultry. It emphasises foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for reducing inflammation and maintaining hormonal health. 

The diet is focused on lifestyle factors, with stress management and work-life balance being key features.

Although the diet recommends including red wine, this may disturb sleep patterns for women going through perimenopause and menopause.

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Mediterranean Diet Phases for Women Over 40

  1. Introduction Phase: Learning about the core foods and flavours of the Mediterranean lifestyle.
  2. Adaptation Phase: Integrating these foods into daily meals while reducing processed foods and red meat intake.
  3. Maintenance Phase: Embracing the Mediterranean Diet as a long-term eating strategy to enhance health and prevent disease.

Special Considerations for Women Over 40

  • Bone Health: To combat the increased risk of osteoporosis, ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake through dairy products and fortified foods.
  • Cardiovascular Health: The diet's rich profile in healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s from fish aids in maintaining heart health, which is especially critical after menopause.
  • Cancer Prevention: High in fruits and vegetables, providing antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, including breast cancer, which has higher rates in post-menopausal women.
  • Hormonal Balance: Natural plant estrogens from soy and flaxseeds in the diet can help modulate hormone fluctuations common during menopause. 

Incorporating a Holistic Approach

Diverse and Nutrient-Dense Meals: Crafting meals that offer a variety of nutrients to address health needs specific to ageing women.

Physical Activity: Encouraging regular exercise that complements the diet for weight management and bone density improvement.

Stress Management: Utilizing diet-induced improvements in mood and energy levels to effectively engage in mindfulness and stress-reducing practices.

Regular Health Check-ups

Routine interactions with healthcare providers to tailor the diet to personal health metrics and ensure the effectiveness of the dietary strategy in managing age-related health issues.

A Sample Day on the Mediterranean Diet for Women Over 40

  • Breakfast: Low-fat Greek yoghurt with blueberries and a sprinkle of walnuts, cinnamon and honey.
  • Lunch: Quinoa salad with chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Dinner: Grilled sea bass with buckwheat and roasted Mediterranean vegetables.
  • Snacks: A handful of almonds or fresh figs.

The Bottom Line

The Mediterranean Diet is ideal for women over 40. It offers balanced nutrition that supports heart health, gut health, bone density, hormonal balance, and overall longevity. Its focus on whole foods and healthy fats makes it a sustainable and beneficial choice for graceful ageing.

Personalised Guidance Available

I offer personalised consultations to help you integrate the Mediterranean Diet into your lifestyle, ensuring that it meets your specific health requirements and dietary preferences. My expertise can guide you in making informed choices that enhance your health and well-being.

Explore more options for personalised nutritional advice and planning. My services include:

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Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor
Justine is a seasoned Clinical Dietician with over two decades of experience in private practice. Holding a Bachelor of Science from WITS and an Honorary Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCT, she is both South African qualified and Israeli licensed. Justine's journey into nutrition was deeply personal, stemming from her own battles with weight management, emotional eating, and adapting her diet post-40 to meet the changing needs of her body. This personal connection to her field fuels her mission to empower clients to forge a harmonious relationship with food and their bodies. Understanding the complexity of diet, hormones, gut health, and eating habits, Justine brings empathy and expertise to her practice. She is dedicated to helping individuals overcome the cycle of dieting and self-sabotage by fostering a profound understanding of their own bodies. Justine's approach is grounded in the belief that knowledge is power—by understanding your body, you can work with it, not against it, to achieve lasting health and wellness.