Some of you may be experiencing a new chapter in your lives called menopause. This doesn’t mean your life is over or that you can’t continue to live the way you have been. If you are already eating healthy and exercising, you may not even notice any significant changes.
Perimenopause begins when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen, and can begin several years before menopause. Perimenopause ends when a woman has gone 12 months without having a period. Menopause begins at this moment, signals the end of the ovaries releasing eggs for fertilization and a woman’s natural menstrual periods have stopped completely. Menopause is a natural process but can also come from surgical or medical treatments.
Below are a few symptoms that you may experience if menopause is beginning.
- Night Sweats
- Weight Gain
- Decrease in Sex Drive
- Irregular Periods
- Hot Flashes
Here are some nutritional and healthy tips to help you with your new chapter.
- 1. Eat whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods
- 1. Eat whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods 2. Eat fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans
- 3. Eat naturally grown and organic food -- to help reduce exposure to hormones, pesticides and herbicides
- D4. Try to avoid refined sugar and flour, dairy products, processed foods, fried foods, junk foods, hydrogenated oils, alcohol and caffeine.
- 5. Limit salt and salty foods to reduce bloating and fluid retention
- 6. Eat Soy (and many other plant foods) containing isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, which are plant derived compounds that can exhibit hormonal activity.
- 7. Consuming 50-100 mg/day of isoflavones helps to relieve hot flashes. This would be equivalent to consuming one of the following:
- 1 to 1½ cups soy milk
- 4-5 oz. tempeh
- 4-5 oz. tofu
- ½ cup edamame
- 3-4 tbsp. miso
- ¼- ½ cup soy nuts
- Freshly ground flaxseeds
Another great way to help these symptoms is to exercise. This can include anything from yoga to meditation to a simple walk outside. This helps because they relax your body and mind. After your exercise or walk, try to drink a herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint to continue the relaxation.
Here are just a few ways to help you through the journey of menopause. It’s important to keep your body fat in a healthy range with good nutrition and regular activity as you age. Having a lot of excess body fat puts your hormone production out of whack and creates systemic inflammation. Talk to your doctor if you feel your symptoms are unmanageable.
Don’t forget if you’re ever stuck and don’t know what healthy meal to prepare for tonight, check out Wiz’s Picks for great options that are healthy and delicious!