Menopause is a natural biological process which is experienced by all women as their menstrual period stops. The transition period varies from 30 to 60 years of age. Menopause symptoms also vary – some women go through mild issues while others may encounter a range of alterations in their body such as hot flashes, mood swings, irritation, and depression that negatively affect their lives.
Menopause is a part of the aging process in which the two female hormones: estrogen and progesterone decline with age. These two hormones are responsible for ovulation – so, when the hormones turn down, women experience irregular menstruation and the period eventually stops. Some common symptoms women experience after menopause include: vaginal dryness, urinary problem, anxiety, depression, tiredness, loss of libido, and loss of concentration among others.
A Healthy Diet for Menopause
Does a healthy diet really help minimize the problems women experience during irregular menstrual cycle or after menopause? Well, a healthy diet can do wonders, as it helps maintain body vigor, vitality, metabolism and minimizes hormone imbalances. Eating right and adding nutritional supplements to your diet can heal appleviate some symptoms associated with menopause.
Vitamins and minerals are important for body metabolism and also play an important role in women during adult years and during mid-life menstrual period. During such crucial periods, vital nutrients are needed to balance the changes occurring inside the body. These changes may include hormonal, heart and body bones.
Green veggies such as drumstick leaves, carrot, and bitter guards are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Moreover, fish, ragi (finger millet) and dairy products provide calcium to the body. Many women put on weight after menopause and therefore, increase blood cholesterol level. To reduce cholesterol level and to maintain body weight, a low-fat diet is recommended. However, some food items that women should restrict during menopause include: spicy foods, tea, coffee, alcohol, and refined products.
Women who suffer from hot flashes are advised to eat foods rich in Vitamin E such as eggs, nuts, and olive oil, etc. Moreover, Vitamins such as A, D, calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Many women go for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to supplement their declining estrogen levels. However, a new research has revealed that phytoestrogens, a natural plant hormone similar to estrogen can increase the hormone level in women. The richest source of phytoestrogens is soya. The research survey has also revealed that women taking soya had less menstrual problems such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Some important tips regarding menopause:
- Avoid eating fat products, especially saturated fat.
- Eat fish, and food rich in dietary fiber (fruits, green vegetables, cereals).
- Take Vitamin supplements.
- Do not smoke, and reduce alcohol intake.
- Do physical exercise and reduce obesity.
- Control high blood pressure (HBP).