One of the most dreaded phases for most women is menopause. There are several symptoms associated with this phenomenon- sweating, hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and impairment of memory.
There are long-term consequences associated with menopause as well. These are osteoporosis, a decline in libido, dementia and heart disease- all of these symptoms are linked with a decline in the levels of estrogen in the blood.
What Happens During Menopause?
Menopause is marked by the discontinuation of the release of eggs from the ovary. This normally takes place in a woman when she reaches the age of 50 years.
The symptoms associated with menopause varies between individuals; some women face mild problems arising from the hot flushes only while others go through rapid changes like fluctuating emotions and weight gains. All these physiological changes of the body are attributed to the decline in estrogen levels and its effect on the functioning of other associated hormones in the body.
But the pertinent question in this aspect is that how estrogen controls all these symptoms.
Estrogen functions in the lifting of mood; thus a decline in the level of it results in depression. This is one of the examples underlying the symptoms associated with menopause.
To overcome such problems, women try natural remedies or go for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). You might want to go for such therapies, however, the following guidelines might help you with some beneficial alternatives.
How Does Diet Help?
It has been observed that the problems associated with menopause are heightened by taking a certain type of food while they can be ameliorated by taking others. If you want to avoid the complications associated with menopause, you can certainly opt for these dietary solutions:
Food habits to avoid hot flushes
If you want to prevent the extremes of night sweats and hot flushes, you need to avoid foods like alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, and chocolates, especially at night. These foods are considered being a stimulant for hot flushes.
If you do not want to feel tired all the time, avoid sugary or snacking foods. These foods trigger sudden spikes or dips in the blood sugar level which causes the onset of tiredness in you. It is better to fill up your food chart with nuts and fresh fruits since they replenish the energy levels of the body.
Preventing Weight Gain
Weight gain is a common problem associated with menopause. However, as we grow old, we require fewer calories for the body. To prevent weight gain, firstly you should cut down your daily intake of food. You should have a check on the fat and sugar content of your diet and if possible reduce it to the bare requirements. You can also take in complex carbohydrates like wholemeal pasta, brown grains, rice and bread that will replenish and maintain a balance of the blood sugar level of your body.
Avoiding Dry Skin
To avoid dry skin, you should take nuts, legumes, and seeds. Foods like sunflower, pumpkin, and almonds contain zinc, calcium and vitamin E. These nutrients help to normalize hormonal level and prevent dry skin.
Fighting irritability and depression
The amino acid tryptophan is required for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps to control mood and can also control appetite and sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan include cottage cheese, turkey, legumes, and oats. You should also ensure a regular breakfast and avoid skipping meals to keep the sugar balance of the body at the normal level.
Maintain Proper Health Of Bones
Women often experience weakness in their bones during menopause. To avoid such circumstances, you should increase the calcium, vitamin K and D, and magnesium content of your food. Foods containing a high amount of phosphorous like fizzy drinks, processed foods, and red meat should be avoided at all cost. A reduction in caffeine, sodium, and proteins from food can also help in maintaining calcium storage of the body. This helps in maintaining the skeleton integrity.
If you want to prevent calcium leaching from the bones, it is best to opt for alkaline foods like seeds, fruits, nuts, yogurt, and vegetables. For efficient replacement of bones reducing the incidence of osteoporosis, it is best to eat food containing boron and magnesium. Such foods include pears, apples, dates, raisins, nuts, and legumes.
You should also check for other supplements required for bone health like vitamin D, E, zinc. Choosing the best combination of these supplements along with several weight-bearing exercises will be quite effective for bone health.
Phytoestrogens are compounds that can bind to the estrogen receptor sites in the body evoking the total estrogenic effect. They mimic the functioning of estrogen by controlling other hormones. It has been found that people who take in more amount of phytoestrogen suffer less from menopause-associated periods of hot flush. You can increase the intake of phytoestrogen by choosing food like linseeds, soybean products, tofu, miso, tempeh, sesame and pumpkin seeds, sunflower rhubarb, celery and green beans.
These are some ways to minimize the ill-effects of menopause on your body. If you can include these changes in your diet, you can efficiently combat such effects and experience your menopause period without serious complications.