Menopause starts when a woman is in her late 40s or early 50s in most cases. It lasts for a few years, and during this time, about two-thirds of women will have menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms of menopause include night sweats, irritability, fatigue, hot flashes, and mood swings. Some menopausal woman is also at risk for a number of diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Here are some of the ways you can cope with menopause if you’re going through this time in your life.
1. Eat Foods High In Vitamin D and Calcium
When the body goes through hormonal changes, the bones can weaken due to a loss of calcium and vitamin D. This heightens the risk of osteoporosis. It’s important to take these supplements for good bone health and to include foods rich in these nutrients in your diet. Green leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale, and spinach are high in calcium. It’s also important to include beans, sardines, and tofu in your diet.
Sunlight is the most potent source of vitamin D because the skin naturally produces this vitamin you’re outside in the sun. However, as we age, the body doesn’t produce vitamin D as efficiently. If you don’t go in the sun often or you cover your skin when you’re outdoors, it’s best to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure you’re getting enough of this nutrient. You can also eat foods high in vitamin D like eggs and fatty fish.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight gain is a common side effect of menopause. This is largely due to hormonal changes, natural aging, genetics, and stress. Gaining weight around the midsection can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Excess body weight can also make menopausal symptoms worse. One study found that women who lost at least 10 pounds or 10% of their body fat had a better chance of fighting off night sweats and hot flashes.
3. Fill Your Diet with Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables daily can prevent many symptoms of menopause. These natural foods are low-calorie and make you feel full, so they’re ideal for weight loss and/or maintaining a healthy weight. Vegetables and fruits are also filled with nutrients and antioxidants that can prevent heart disease. This is especially important for menopausal women since the risk of heart disease increases with age.
4. Stay Away from “Trigger” Foods
Some foods can make mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats worse. They include alcohol, caffeine, and spicy or sweet foods. If you experience discomfort or a change in the mood while eating these foods, keep a food diary so you can pay more attention to your diet and know which foods to avoid.
5. Work Out Regularly
There isn’t enough evidence to prove that exercise can reduce night sweats and hot flashes. However, studies do show that exercise strengthens the bones and joints, boosts metabolism, lowers stress, and provides more restful sleep.
Regular workouts are also connected to lowering the risk of stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and cancer.
6. Eat Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods
Phytoestrogens are compounds that occur naturally in plants and mimic the role of estrogen in the body. It’s important for menopausal and postmenopausal women to consume foods with phytoestrogens to keep their hormones balanced. It is believed that women in countries like Japan rarely experience hot flashes during menopause because they consume a diet high in phytoestrogens. Several women get menopause supplements online to treat symptoms and prevent disease.
Foods like soybeans, tofu, tempeh, beans, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and linseeds are staples for a healthy diet during menopause. Keep in mind that the amount of phytoestrogens in these foods depends on the way the food was processed.
According to one study, diets that included soy products lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Soy also reduced the intensity of night sweats and hot flashes among women who were staring menopause. In most cases, phytoestrogens from food are more effects than soy supplements.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
Women usually experience dryness and dehydration during menopause because of the natural decrease in estrogen. It’s important to drink 8-12 glasses of water every day to prevent dryness and eliminate bloating that can occur when hormones change. Regular water consumption can also aid in weight loss and prevent excess weight gain. When you drink plenty of water during the day, you’ll feel fuller and your metabolism will increase slightly. This can prevent overeating. It’s also a good idea to drink a full cup of water at least half an hour before a meal to consume fewer calories while eating.
These practical tips can be incorporated into your daily life to help you reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms. A healthy diet, exercise, water consumption, and taking supplements as needed can make this inevitable life change one you don’t have to dread.