Whether we like it or not, for us women- menopause is an inevitable part of the aging process. And there seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding this very natural process.
Granted it does come with some unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Reduced Sex Drive
- Mood Swings
- Hot Flashes
- Weight Gain etc.
- Weakened Bones
You may have seen your mother, aunt or other female relative go through menopause and see how it affects them, but what we should focus on is how to embrace this beautiful and natural change our bodies go through.
First, let’s get a better understanding of what menopause is.
Menopause is caused by the change in balance of your body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older. It occurs when your ovaries stop producing as much oestrogen and no longer releases an egg each month.
Typically menopause occurs when your menstrual cycle ceases completely (after 12 consequential months). Most commonly, women will begin to experience menopause between ages 40-58, however there are some women who can experience it as early as their 30’s and as late as their 60’s.
While menopause is a natural and inevitable part of life, that doesn’t mean we have to fear and dread it. EMBRACE it and learn how you will be able to help your body go through this beautiful part of life.
Since we know menopause is looming in our future no matter what we do, there is some peace of mind knowing we can at least strive to reduce symptoms we may experience during this process.
Here are some natural ways to reduce symptoms of menopause:
Maintain a healthy weight
One of the woes that can come with menopause, is weight gain- which is often unwanted. This could be from lack of sleep from menopause, the changes in your hormones, or just simply your lifestyle during menopause (you may feel more sluggish and less mobile). It’s important to maintain a healthy weight to reduce risk of health concerns down the road. A healthy weight will also help with your self esteem and confidence. We all feel better when we feel confident about ourselves. It helps boost our mood and builds up our self esteem.
This is where exercise also comes into play.
Exercise is important for all aspects of life. Exercise helps boost our mood and keep us healthy and active. It can also help reduce symptoms of menopause and make them a bit more tolerable.
Include Foods Rich in Vitamin D and Calcium into Your Diet
Hormonal changes during menopause can cause bones to weaken thus increasing the risk of bone deterioration. Calcium and vitamin D are widely known to benefit bone health, so it makes sense to ensure you are getting enough of them in your diet.
Calcium is most beneficial for strong bones.
Calcium rich foods include:
- Dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese
- Green, leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach
It is also said that sufficient vitamin D intake in postmenopausal women is also associated with a lower risk of hip fractures due to weakened bones. Sunlight is our main source of Vitamin D, but there are other ways we can get Vitamin D. Such as supplementation and foods rich in Vitamin D
- Red meat
- Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
Avoid Foods That May Trigger Symptoms
Some women find there are certain foods that can trigger symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings.
2 common culprits are caffeine and alcohol. Spicy foods can also increase these symptoms and should be consumed in moderation so as to not worsen your symptoms.
Drink More Water
Hydration is beneficial in ALL aspects of health.
It is common for women to experience dryness during menopause. The likely cause of this is the estrogen decrease during menopause. Hot flashes and sweating can also lead to dryness and dehydration. Drinking ample water: 8-12 glasses a day will help with this.
Stick to a Proper Diet
Along with calcium and vitamin d rich foods, it is important to keep a balanced diet and not skip out on a meal. Protein is important during menopause. When estrogen decreases during menopauses, it can decrease muscle mass and bone strength. A proper intake of protein may help prevent this loss and also assist in mood regulation and sleep.
It is also important to avoid a lot of carbs and sugar if you can, as it can cause rises and dips in blood sugar, which can make you feel more tired and irritable.
You will also want to ensure you stick to a proper meal plan. Irregular eating can cause menopause symptoms to worsen. Having a proper eating schedule will help decrease your symptoms.
So there you have it. Some easy and natural ways to help you during this milestone of your life. Remember, aging is a beautiful and natural part of life, no matter what can come with it. So embrace your menopause and take control of your symptoms.