Menopause can be a difficult time to navigate. Nearly two-thirds of women experience symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, and tiredness. Women experiencing menopause are also at higher risk of developing related health issues. This causes many women to adopt new lifestyle strategies to tackle their symptoms.
A healthy diet is the first step toward better menopausal health. Start by decreasing the consumption of animal products and keep an eye on nutritional information. Aim to eat no more than 4 ounces of animal products each day, and avoid animal products that contain animal steroid hormones, as they may trigger hot flashes. Eat foods that are lower in total fat and saturated fat and rich in nutrients and fiber. Organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are all healthy options.
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise can help widen the thermoregulatory zone in the brain. This makes it easier for the body to regulate its temperature and decrease the severity of hot flashes. Weight-bearing activities, like walking, running, dancing, and calisthenics, can promote bone health, while resistance training, including weights and bands, helps keep the body trim and maintain strength and balance. Working out is also great for the mind. It can help reduce stress and improve mood.
Speaking of mood, try to maintain a calm, clear mind. Research shows that women who are stressed have reported earlier onset, more severe, and longer lasting symptoms. To combat this, women should consider taking part in stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, deep breathing, and meditation.
Another option is to visit a holistic practitioner for regular blood tests and checkups to help you stay on track and identify potential health issues. Because vitamin D is a precursor to making hormones, it’s a good idea to check your own vitamin D levels biannually (at summer’s end in September and winter’s end in March). Bone mineral density tests are suggested every 2 years. Keep a close eye on your cardiovascular risk factors by maintaining a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight.