October is World Menopause Month, a time to bring awareness and empowerment to women entering this phase of life. While every woman goes through menopause differently, most women will experience some of the symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, dryness, sleep disturbances. The good news is that there are natural options to get relief.
Consider these tips for easing the symptoms and improving health in menopause:
1. Eat more fish, beans and legumes. A recent study appearing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health found that eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates may bring on menopause earlier while a diet focused on more fish, beans and legumes delays menopause onset. These foods are also loaded with vital nutrients and fibre.
2. Add foods rich in isoflavones to your diet. Certain plants contain estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones that can help alleviate some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings. Examples: Edamame, tofu and tempeh. Isoflavones are also present in supplements such as red clover extract.
3. Keep your heart health with functional foods. Once a woman hits menopause her risk of heart disease escalates. Certain foods and supplements can be helpful. Studies suggest that aged garlic extract offers numerous heart benefits in that it can help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. Fish, avocado, walnuts, and berries also offer heart benefits and are also great for the skin and brain.
4. Optimize skin and joint health by boosting collagen. Collagen levels in the body decline after menopause due to hormonal changes and this leads to skin dryness/thinning and stiff joints. To boost collagen production, eat foods rich in vitamin C (berries, peppers, citrus) and consider collagen supplements.
5. Increase exercise. Both cardio and resistance exercises. Studies show that regular exercise can improve menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, irritability, fogginess). Resistance activities (weights) strengthen the bones and cardio activities (walking, swimming, cycling) are great for the heart and circulation.
6. Stress less. Studies show that stress can worsen menopausal symptoms and also adversely affect heart health, sleep and cognitive function. Ease stress with meditation, deep breathing, stretching exercises, and having electronic-free periods