Menopause: Importance of Diet and Exercise

signs of menopause
Menopause, for women this is just another one of those events in our lives we just can not avoid. It is also frustrating for many women because there are not always hard answers to certain questions. Some women sail through the experience while others suffer miserably. Some begin to see signs and experience symptoms in their thirties while others do not hit any speed bumps until they are in their late sixties.

What ever the case may be for you, there are steps that you can take that will assist in making the ride through menopause a little easier. To begin with the absolute basics, not surprising, nutrition and diet have tremendous affects on the symptoms of menopause.

As always it is important to consume a wide variety or fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes as these food groups are a rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and numerous other compounds that are essential to overall health. More importantly they help your liver process hormones and at the same time reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Another fabulous food for conquering menopausal symptoms is flaxseed. This little seed packs a real punch; flaxseed is rich in fiber but more importantly contains lignans which help to balance estrogens and in turn reduce your symptoms. Soy foods contain isoflavins which also reduce symptoms. Foods loaded with Vitamin D and Calcium are highly recommended. Beets or beet juice is considered a must when battling menopause as they are extremely rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein. It is recommended that you avoid saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods as these are all known to acerbate hot flashes.

Regular exercise isn’t it always listed as a benefit. Putting all of the other benefits aside, a couple different exercises will greatly improve your experience with menopause. First of all we know that aerobic exercise is a huge benefit to your cardiovascular system. The health of your cardio system has a direct effect on the occurrence of hot flashes. This does not mean you need to go out and start running five miles a day, intentional walking will do the trick as long as you are getting a workout and incorporating it regularly. Another line of activities that are good choices are Yoga, Qigong, or Tia Chi. Exercises such as these not only improve your body physically but also mentally and emotionally, again great for avoiding hot flashes.

Exercise regardless of the type you choose to incorporate into your daily routine also has the benefit of reducing stress which in turn helps with the menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, the sweating, irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings. Exercise in general will also help to reduce other symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, head aches, memory loss, insomnia and low libido. In addition it would be beneficial to practice some sort of relaxation technique such as meditation or deep breathing.

Very small changes in our daily life style can have tremendous effects on how we experience menopause. Diet and exercise are essential to our over all health however there is a direct correlation between these and menopausal symptoms.

By: Katie Carwell

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