Good Diet for Menopause
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Changes in diet, nutrition, and food choices can be used as an effective treatment of perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, which might otherwise be treated through hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
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A note about Good Diet for Menopause
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
Creating and abiding by a more healthy diet will prove especially important for women going through the Life Change as the incidence of obesity, various cancers, osteoporosis, and various cardiovascular diseases increases dramatically as women approach menopause. As many studies have shown, proper diet and exercise reduce the risks.
One of the first symptoms of menopause that women may notice, apart from hot flashes, will be a change in body shape, namely, the tendency to gain weight around the waist, thighs and hips despite normal efforts at controlling their weight which worked for them in the past. Weight control becomes more difficult. In part, this can be traced to the fact that hormones have a direct impact on metabolism, appetite and fat storage, thus, fluctuating hormone levels will disrupt normal metabolic patterns.
In addition to fluctuating levels of oestrogen, progesterone, and androgen, other factors such as insulin resistance, exercising less, poor eating habits and slower metabolism overall will lead to quicker weight gain. Some women have a greater genetic predisposition to this phenomenon than others.
Although called the menopause "diet", this diet for menopause does not restrict calories, but rather encourages the adoption of a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fresh, healthy foods which naturally increase metabolism and help reduce weight. The idea rests in deciding to follow a lifestyle plan, rather than a quick fix.
This diet for menopause requests that you eat more frequently than the traditional three square meals per day, never leaving more than two or three hours between meals and snacks, but of course adjusting portion sizes accordingly. Breakfast should never be skipped, and the largest amount of calories should be consumed early in the day. Snacks should include immune-boosting fruits with mood-regulating nuts.
Dark chocolate as a sweet in moderation can be taken, but in general sugars should be curbed in this diet for menopause. Be sure to include adequate amounts of bone-strengthening products like yogurt or skim milk; however, fattening cheeses should be substituted for low fat spread like chutneys or hummus. The diet should be rich in fiber, which naturally fills you up but has a low calories count.
Whole grains should be substituted for white processed flour as often as possible. Fats should include a very limited amount of saturated fats, no trans fats, an increased amount of omega 3 and 6, oily fish and nuts, and only cold-pressed vegetable oils.
Processed and refined food should be eliminated altogether from this diet for menopause. Protein in the form of eggs, leafy green vegetables, soy products and lean meats should be included daily. Legumes and beans also have substantial amounts of protein.
As with any healthy diet, water should be consumed in abundance. Any drinks with added sugar should be avoided. Salt content too should be reduced, and instead other flavorings like spices, herbs, lemon juice and pungent vegetables like onions and chilies can be added to increase flavor.
Antioxidants can be found in many foods containing ample amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. Add extra helpings of fruits and vegetables to every meal, and as snacks. Especially good sources of antioxidants, other than blueberries and other star produce, include red wine, dark chocolate, Brazil nuts, and green tea.
The diet for menopause should include sources of phytoestrogens, a plants version of estrogen that has similar chemical makeup to the naturally occurring hormone in the body. These fall into three categories - isoflavones, lignans, and coumestans. Isoflavones can be obtained by regularly consuming legumes such as lentils, soya beans and chickpeas. Flaxseeds have a good deal of lignans (though it can be found in most grains and vegetables), and coumestans appear in mung bean sprouts and alfalfa.
Interestingly, in Japan, where the diet supports a level of isoflavones one thousands times higher than the typical American diet, the average age of menopause is 55 rather than 51.In addition, the breast cancer rates are much lower, and no term for hot flashes exist in the Japanese lexicon. A point worth pondering!
If at all possible, buy organic, as pesticides contain xenoestrogens that can interfere with the natural hormone process. In addition, avoid microwaving foods in plastic containers (which can release harmful chemicals; in fact, all microwaving should be avoided as the process damages food), and avoid products with synthetic colorings, artificial flavors, preservatives and additives.
In short, when going through this natural life change, make it as symptom-free as possible by eating the way nature intended - that is the best diet for menopause you can ever find.
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