Hormones are very powerful things, we are helpless in their wake. They are the reasons stand behind our peace and angry. They are like our life force. But in a women’s life cycle, there is a stage where these hormones start to slow down its activities one by one after a certain age. When a woman reaches the age of 45 and above, she is ready to go with her menopause period.
Menopause is a normal, natural event that marks a big step in every woman’s life. when a woman has gone 12months without a monthly menstrual period. The process is a result of a progressive decline in levels of the hormone estrogen. The beginning of this time of change is referred to as perimenopause, while the period after menopause is called postmenopause.
It is a biological process, not a medical illness. During menopause, fluctuations in estrogen levels can cause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, difficulty concentrating, and weight gain. Some women experience few or no symptoms of menopause, while others experience severe symptoms that cause them extreme discomfort.
Menopause can also affect a woman’s risk of developing certain diseases. Before menopause, a woman’s hormones protect her from developing heart disease, but with the onset of menopause, that protection is lost.
A healthy diet can help ease the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Here are some helpful dietary strategies:
Eat foods known to reduce menopausal symptoms
Follow a diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in saturated fats. It will provide you with plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids—all important for long-term health and to help minimize menopausal symptoms. High-fiber foods such as flaxseed also contain lignans, a phytoestrogen that helps reduce hot flashes.
Watch out for trigger foods
There are foods that can worsen symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. Some common culprits are coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, alcohol, and spicy foods.
Include soy foods
Studies have shown that soy foods can help ease hot flashes. Soy foods contain a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones, which have a weak estrogenic effect in the body. Soy foods include tofu, soybeans, soy beverages, soy nuts, and soy protein. While soy foods are safe enough, the safety and efficacy of isoflavone supplements have not been demonstrated.
Vitamin E may help
For some women,vitamin E, found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, like spinach and fortified and enriched cereals, helps tame mild hot flashes. Talk to your doctor about supplements; more than 400mg daily is not recommended.
Boost your mood with Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids not only fight heart disease, they are also believed to be a mood stabilizer. Add the extra boost of Omega 3 to your diet by consuming fish such as tuna, salmon or trout. Flaxseed is also a good source of Omega 3, and wait, here’s the bonus: Studies have shown that flaxseed was not only able to reduce mood disturbances, but also the incidence of hot flushes and vaginal dryness in menopausal women.