- Soy, in its many forms, can help soothe menopause symptoms.
Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, oh my! If you’re looking to soothe symptoms caused by those hormones gone wild, add these foods to your diet.
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s child bearing years and typically begins around 50. During menopause, the body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which results in symptoms like difficulty sleeping, thinning hair, hot flashes and weight gain. In addition, women become at higher risk for heart disease and osteoporosis.
Foods that Can Help Ease Symptoms:
Soy contains natural plant estrogens (AKA phytoestrogens) called isoflavones and lignans—both work in the body as weaker forms of estrogen and help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Soy is found in tofu, edamame (baby soybeans), tempeh and soy milk. Flaxseed, garlic, chickpeas, black beans and pistachios also contain phytoestrogens.
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- Barbequed Tofu
If you’re looking to reduce your cholesterol or eat more plant foods, tofu is an excellent protein-packed option. Choosing the type of tofu can get a little confusing, but we’ve got you covered along with recipe ideas too.
Also called soybean curd, tofu is made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant (such as calcium sulfate or nigari, which is found naturally in ocean water). It’s then pressed (similar to cheese) and the firmness depends on the amount of liquid that’s extracted. Tofu has a bland, slightly nutty flavor that absorbs the flavors you combine it with.
There are 3 types of tofu available at the market: firm, soft, and silken. Firm tofu (also found as “extra firm”) holds up well in dishes where you want it to maintain its shape like on the grill or in a stir-fry. Soft tofu is appropriate for recipes where you blend the tofu like puddings, tofu scrambles or eggless egg salad. Silken tofu is made by a slightly different process where the end result is a custard-like product. It’s great in pureed dishes like smoothies and mousse.
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- Carrot-Ginger Soup With Tofu - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine
Meat, dairy and high-fat ingredients are often used to add texture and flavor to recipes. Problem is, you might also be adding artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. But eating a plant-based meal doesn’t mean a tasteless one — make these ingredient swaps to create flavorful, filling meals with less (or no) meat and dairy.
10 ways to eat less meat »
- Need More Calcium? Eat Some Ice Cream!
We’ve told you how to drink more water, fit in more exercise and eat more fruit—this week it’s all about calcium. If you don’t get enough of this important mineral, here are 5 ways to help.
Eat your way to stronger bones – here’s how »
- Tofu Lettuce Cups
I’m always trying to convince people to experiment with protein-packed tofu. It’s versatile, easy to use, and has only 15 calories per ounce. Don’t think you’re a fan of this soy protein? These 5 recipes might just change your mind.
Get 5 tasty tofu recipes »
These lettuce cups are easy to make and fun to eat. I serve mine family-style on a large platter and let everyone make their own. The tofu mixed with beef is a delicious combo that might make a tofu-lover out of your family’s biggest carnivore.
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Soy doesn’t just mean edamame and tofu — it’s also in a variety of foods that you might not be aware of. Learn more about the different forms of soy and why some may be better for you than others.
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As Healthy Eats’ resident vegetarian, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that meet our nutritional guidelines and my (chosen) dietary restrictions. When I came across this fried rice recipe, I bookmarked it immediately. This dish cooks up fast, has added protein (thanks to the tofu and edamame) and was a great way to use up the leftover brown rice hanging out in my refrigerator. Next time, rather than canola oil, I’m going to try it with healthier rice bran oil.
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- 30-Minute Chili
You just can’t go wrong with chili — it’s easy, cheap, versatile and, yes, good for you. Toss together a few simple ingredients, and in less than an hour, you can tuck into a big bowl. Make a pot for a crowd (perfect for a football party) or to warm up a winter night.
Of course, it’s easy to load up your chili with calories and fat, but here are easy steps to make a pot for under 400 calories per serving.
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