There seems to be so much information out there about infancy, childhood, adolescence, pre and post pregnancy, and about every other stage of life but none to help you get through the other side of menopause. So thought I would touch on a few natural remedies that can help.
During the peri-menopausal stage, many women can experience many symptoms such as weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats, moodiness and sore joints. Many women just take this for granted that this is all just part of getting older think there is nothing you can do about it.
BUT the good news is that there is!! The number one thing you can do is to not just accept it and accept the 1, 2, 5, 10kg weight gain as normal. The best thing you can do is actually do look after your health and not just sit back and think oh i've gained 4kgs, eating that fruit cake everyday isn't going to matter.
Here are my 4 tip and tricks to help you navigate the menopause stage with ease.
1. Maintain adequate calcium intake - This will not only help you to preserve bone density, but will also help to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, fractures and many cardiac diseases. The required intake for calcium is 1,200mg/ day so if think you are struggling to hit that, you might need a calcium supplement or get in touch with a natural health care provider to make sure you are including enough calcium rich foods in your diet. They will be able to calculate your average calcium intake from your current daily intake to see if you are getting enough and let you know some good foods to include.
2. Ensure you have adequate Vitamin D - Vitamin D helps with the calcium absorption but low Vitamin D levels have also been linked to depression and low moods. Every tissue in the body such as brain, heart, immune system and muscles have vitamin D receptors so they need it to function. Low Vitamin D levels coupled with weight gain, fatigue and all the other myriad of symptoms exacerbates the mood swings that can occur. During the winter months, many people might need to take a Vitamin D supplement to ensure they are reaching their daily 600 IU/day of Vitamin D.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and do exercise specifically weight training - do weight training and cardiovascular training (such as walking, running, cycling) 5 - 6 times per week for at least 30 minutes to help maintain a healthy weight and heart health. This applies to everyone but especially as people get older they tend to neglect exercise as they may start to feel a joint niggle here and there and feel increasingly tired. Exercise is going to help boost your energy (and mood from the release of dopamine) but also doing weight training will help guard your joints and make them stronger so that those niggles don't occur. I know you are thinking but I don't want to turn into a body builder (which you're not going too), but resistance training can be anything from doing body weight exercises, doing Pilates on the reformer machine, using light 1 or 2kg weights to do exercises
4. Phytoestrogen foods - Phytoestrogens are plant based oestrogens that can mimic the effects that the natural hormone oestrogen has in the body. There are a large number of studies that show that they can help with the hot flashes at night, reduce cancer risk and also help to manage weight gain. Some of the best phytoestrogen foods are soy (such as tofu and tempeh) and flaxseeds/ flaxmeal.
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