Menopause is a time of drastic changes in a woman’s body and often emotional impacts are a part of this condition. In addition to regular checkups and health screenings by qualified health professionals and a balanced exercise regime, it is important for women to establish and maintain a healthy diet that meets individual needs and helps to combat the sometimes troubling symptoms of menopause.
Establishing individual needs
Every woman is an individual an her needs may vary. Some will experience a wide range of menopause symptoms varying in intensity, and others may be relatively symptom free or have mild occurrences. These symptoms may include hot flashes, changes in mood, night sweats, headaches, depression, nausea, or insomnia. In addition to a common sense balanced diet, there are certain foods which help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause as well as helping to maintain good health in general.
The role of phytoestrogens and the mineral boron in your diet
Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in certain plants, that are remarkably similar to estrogen, and act as somewhat of a diluted form of this hormone when ingested into the body. Eating fruits and vegetables will deceive your body into thinking that it is producing estrogen,and will alleviate the symptoms caused by the lack of production of this hormone. Boron is a mineral that is also beneficial during menopause. Boron helps the body to maintain higher levels of estrogen, and calcium which leads to not only alleviation of menopausal symptoms, but provides the additional benefit to bones and teeth by keeping calcium levels higher.
There are certain fruits and vegetables which contain high amounts of both phytoestrogens and boron. These include but are not limited to: Oranges, apples, pears, strawberries, grapes, plums, tomatoes,asparagus, cabbage, beets,cucumbers, onions,soybeans, turnips, wheat and sweet potatoes. The addition of these healthy fruits and vegetables may not only help to balance your diet, but curb the discomforts of common symptoms associated with menopause.
Eating your way to relief from hot flashes
Hot flashes can be uncomfortable. Although the most common form of treatment is estrogen based hormone replacement therapy, women with certain existing health conditions,or due to personal choice are not good candidates for this treatment. Adding soy to the diet may help to relieve hot flashes. Although researchers have not established the linkage conclusively, many studies have shown that the most common coexisting factor of hot flashes, high cholesterol, can be significantly lowered by ingesting soy. The dual benefit is in the reduction of cholesterol that will help to maintain cardiovascular health as well as alleviation of hot flashes. Two servings are recommended on a daily basis. Although the effects of soy are not immediate, and generally take between 4-6 weeks to present, it may be worth the effort to give it a try.
Different ways to infuse soy into your diet are to use tofu, or add soybeans to soups and stews. Many healthy energy bars are made of soy, just be certain to check the labels to ensure that soy is one of the first ingredients listed. Generally, the list of ingredients will list the highest ratio of product first. Another way to get soy into your diet is to use a soy powder which can be used to make healthy fruit smoothies or milkshakes.
Establishing a healthy menopause diet that meets the individual needs of your body is one of the best ways to deal with the symptoms of menopause. This is the most natural way to ensure that your body is being properly nourished, and fueled with the optimum foods that will help to maintain good health. A healthy diet is recommended for everyone, but when going through the stage of menopause, certain simple additions to the meal plan can provide added benefits.