Menopause; a subject we may not want to discuss but as women is a time in our lives we all must go through. Menopause affects all women in different ways, but for all of us is time of change, both physically and mentally. Choosing the right diet and supplements can alleviate a wide variety of symptoms associated with this time of life. The gradual decline in a woman’s fertility usually begins around 50, although it is suggested that a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition can delay the onset or at least make the transition easier. What can you do to cope with the varying symptoms of menopause and make the mental and physical changes easier to cope with? Keep reading for the natural answers to those questions.
Symptoms of menopause are as varied as the women who experience them. The best way to know what the change in life will be like for you is to talk with your mother and grandmothers, finding out what they went through will give you some insight into what changes you can expect. This is not a concrete rule, just a guide, since we live in a much more polluted world and our generation and those that follow will be exposed to more hormones in our food and chemicals in our water than any generation that came before.
- Diet: A good diet is critical in getting through the second half of life healthy.
- Limit high fat dairy products, but calcium is crucial for keeping bones strong and healthy. Our bone mass gradually declines during this time due to the reduced levels of the hormone estrogen.
- Red meat, which are ladened with high levels of the hormones DES. (Always buy organic if possible and focus getting your protein from poultry, cold water fish, nuts, seeds, and dried beans.)
- Reduce sugars and alcohol; expect for of a glass of wine at dinner
- Avoid caffeine (it taxes the adrenal glands and upsets hormone levels)
- Avoid fried foods, as much as possible, stem or bake your protein
- Eat plenty of dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, dandelion green collard greens this will help build up the blood
- Increasing Omega 3 rich foods: salmon, cold water fish, sea greens, and flax seed oils (this helps improve your metabolism and may help you loose a little weight)
- Add sulfur foods to your diet, like garlic, onions, and turmeric spice
- Black Cohosh is among the best known and most popular supplements for hot flashes associated with menopause. It is also thought to behave like serotonin in the brain, which reduces feelings of depression and Black Cohosh also helps regulate body temperature.
- Calcium is vitally important to keep bones strong and healthy.
- Vitamin D is crucial for bone renewal, normal cell growth, and hormone balance, all extremely important for menopausal women. Vitamin D is often called the sunshine Vitamin, the reason for this is our body’s produce it in response to being exposed to the sun. However, as women age our ability to absorb vitamin D is decreased, so it is extremely important to supplement with vitamin D and add foods to your diet that are high in vitamin D, including tuna, sardines, wild salmon, eggs, and reduced fat, fortified dairy products.
- Ginseng is good for treating fatigue, stress, and anxiety associated with menopause. It is an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years.
- The herb Dong Quai is helpful for water retention, hot flashes, and dry skin
- Agnus Cactus relieves hot flashes, lost libido, and vaginal dryness.
- St. John’s Wort is among the most popular herbal supplements for menopause in the US, it has long been used as a treatment for mood swings, relaxation, reducing depression, improving sleep, and reducing anxiety. (Check with your physician before added St. John’s Wort as it can interact with other medications)
- Always take a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, because our food supply is so depleted in essential nutrients, we need to supplement especially during and after menopause.
- Acupuncture is helpful for many women experiencing hot flashes and depression
- Yoga has been repeatedly shown in studies to relieve stress, irritability, and depression brought on by menopause. It is always a good idea to go to several classes when you begin a new exercise. Classes with a professional instructor helps insure you have proper body mechanics, so you don’t injure yourself. After a few classes you may want to get a video to do at home for convenience.
- Getting plenty of sleep during this time will help you cope with the multitude of symptoms your body is experiencing.
- Keep your system flushed out and metabolism flowing by getting regular exercise, including a 20-30 minute walk in the early morning or evening.
- Massage Therapy is helpful for relaxation and to flush the body of toxins, so treat yourself to a Massage once a month, if possible.