October is Menopause Month and 18th October 2014 is World Menopause Day.
So here at Passion 4 Juice we want to offer you some tips and hints.
This is primarily for the ladies in the audience. Menopause is something that will affect us all at some point and I am post childbirth and turning 45 this year, I thought it topical and time to do some research on how to get through menopause without too many symptoms.
Women's Health Week: Menopause can begin anytime in a woman’s life after 35 years of age, but usually the symptoms appear around 50 and last approximately 5 years. Each individual woman’s attitude toward this ‘change of life’ will largely determine the severity of the change. This is a natural part of life, not a disease or a punishment.
All types of HRT contain an estrogen hormone. If you take HRT it replaces the estrogen that your ovaries no longer make after the menopause. HRT is great at preventing hot flushes, vaginal dryness and other related symptoms. HRT can sometimes help to improve your sleep if your sleeping pattern is affected by the menopause. Long-term use of HRT can also has a benefit in helping to prevent brittle bones (osteoporosis). However, there are some risks in taking HRT. If taken over the long term I have heard of include increased risks of breast cancer, blood clot and possibly cardiovascular disease. As a nutritionist I would much prefer seek an alternative treatment that involves ancient remedies and food combining.
There are a few alternative remedies to HRT including black cohosh, red clover, dong quai, evening primrose oil, ginseng, soy, and kava. However, just because a product is labelled 'natural' does not mean that it is automatically safe and free from potentially damaging chemicals, so be careful in buying products and always buy from a good supplier.
Eating a diet that includes foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Around 1,000 mg of calcium a day will reduce risk of brittle bones. The best way in which to eat 1,000 mg calcium is by consuming more dairy products but many of us are allergic or prefer no to due to increases mucous production. There are a load of great ways to increase your calcium. Eating more white beans, salmon, sardines, dried figs, bok choy, almonds, sesame seeds, black eyed peas, tofu. oatmeal and fresh pressed orange juice are all good ways to increase calcium in your diet.
Foods high in plant estrogen.
Complex carbohydrates like fruit and veggies; grains and seeds like sustainable quinoa, millet, kamut, spelt and brown rice; legumes; and nuts and seeds. These foods so slow to be absorbed into bloodstream and help you to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Calcium rich foods; Kelp, wheatgrass & barley grass-dried, sardines, almonds, hazelnuts, parsley, sunflower seeds, watercress, chickpeas, quinoa, yogurt, milk, sesame seeds, tofu and lastly sustainable salmon .
Magnesium rich foods are also necessary to help absorb calcium into your bones. Foods that are an excellent source of magnesium include dried seaweeds, soy, mung, black and lima beans; whole grains like buckwheat, corn, millet, barley, rye and rice; nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews and sesame seeds; spirulina and wheatgrass.
THE HRT MENOPAUSE CAKE
Eating cake may sound like a great way to help cope with menopause. This cake is very special and is low glycaemic, low is sugar and packed with calcium and magnesium.
(makes 2 loaf tins)
For extra Yumminess add a cream cheese and orange segments on the top with a sprinkling of cinnamon
Eat a slice a day xx
The symptoms are due to a decreased amount in the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone from your ovaries. Decreased estrogen, in particular can be a concern, as it has been linked to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Estrogen receptors are found in the bladder, boobs, arteries, heart, liver, bones, vagina, brain and skin. It is also necessary to maintain proper functioning of our body’s own thermostat, to keep the skin in good condition and for proper bone formation.
Good oils like sustainable fish, flax, hemp, chia, coconut, unrefined safflower or olive and olive oil will help to lubricate your vagina.
Beetroot eaten with carrots may help ease menopausal symptoms.
Green plants are higher in calcium than any other food, however beet greens, plums, cranberry and spinach are high in oxalic acid that inhibits calcium absorption somewhat.
THINK ABOUT WHAT TO AVOID
Foods that make the blood more acidic. These are animal meat, dairy, alcohol, coffee, white sugar and flour; also too much of the nightshade family of veggies including white potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes, eggplant and chilies. These foods also increase hot flushes and they tend to release calcium from our bones. Belladonna family is one to avoid.
THINK ABOUT ADDING HERBAL PLANT SUPPLEMENTS
Estrogenic herbs are very important. Black Cohosh, Fennel, Sage, Unicorn Root, Raspberry and Wild Yam Root.
Herbs to decrease hot flushes are Sage, Zizyphus and Dong Quai. Vitex agnus castus (Chaste Tree) is extremely beneficial as it balances the body’s natural levels of progesterone and estrogen. 2½ ml should be taken once a day on rising.
For the mood swings try St. John’s Wort, (check for drug inter-reactions), Magnolia, Skullcap, Damiana, (also used to increase sexual desire and pleasure) or Withania, (also good to increase energy) and Motherwort, (also a heart tonic). Valerian Root, Chamomile, Skullcap and Passionflower will promote a restful sleep.
- Lecithin (organic) granules may help reduce flushes and other symptoms
- Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin E can also help reduce hot flushes and is important for the production of estrogen
- Calcium & Magnesium to protect against bone loss and nervous system disorders
- Zinc is used against bone loss and to keep skin supple
- Natural progesterone like wild yam cream may helpful
- Royal jelly can help with fatigue, wellbeing and hormonal balance, (don't forget to check for allergies)
- Maca powder is the Superfood of the Incas where it was revered for its hormone balancing qualities. It’s a root veggie that’s also used to improve stamina and libido.
If you like the idea of eating cake to help with menopause, please spread the word. It would be great to hear from you if you have any other alternative remedies or ancient healing ideas that can help.
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