Menopause can take a physical toll on your body, robbing it of the vital nutrients and minerals it needs to function properly. Lower estrogen levels can deplete your system and cause long-term adverse health effects if you don't take care of yourself the right way during menopause. That's why it's important to fuel your body with essential nutrients and vitamins for a healthy life during menopause. By knowing what to ingest you can restore your body adapt and feel good again. Nutrition can keep your body in balance and is one of the main factors of promoting good health during menopause. We will explain what nutrients you need and what they combat, so you can stay fit throughout and after menopause.
Nutrients and Hormone Balance
Phytoestrogens (Soy Isoflavones): certain vitamins and minerals can reverse the negative aspects brought on by diminished estrogen levels. Soy Isoflavones, which can be found in foods such as tofu, soy beans, soy milk and other soy based products can help fill the void left by estrogen. Soy has 2 main components: genistein and daidzein, which your body converts to phytoestrogens once they reach your digestive tract. Phytoestrogens are a weaker form of estrogen that can help regulate your hormone levels.
Gamma Linolenic Acid (G.L.A): is usually found in vegetable oils, including: evening primrose oil, borage oil, hemp seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil. G.L.A. is an essential fatty acid that is the catalyst for the production of prostaglandin PGE1, which regulates hormone levels and improves overall health during menopause.
Nutrients and Your Physical Health
Calcium:As your estrogen levels decrease your bone density may also lessen, causing osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones and diminished strength, lessening your overall quality of life. It is essential during menopause to increase your daily calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis from setting in. Dairy foods such as calcium fortified milk, low-fat cheeses and yogurt should be added to your diet, as fish such as sardines and other small fish with bones. Certain vegetables, like broccoli can also increase calcium levels. Take it with phosphorous rich foods, ( peanuts, meat, onion and garlic) and foods high in vitamin D(lentils, eggs, oily fish and brown rice) for proper absorption. Vitamin D is known to deal with the mood swings which are common among the menopausal women. Magnesium is also a big facilitator of helping your body absorb calcium. Magnesium can be found in: nuts, cereals, grains, fish such as halibut, seeds and vegetables (green leafy ones in particular).
Steer clear of teas and sodas when eating meals and try not to eat a high protein diet, as they can all block calcium absorption.
Nutrients and Your Immune System during Menopause
To maintain a healthy immune system you need: Vitamin C, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins C, E and B-complex. They act as antioxidants, helping to flush your system and keep it functioning at its optimal level.
Here is a list of immune system nutrients and what foods have them:
oZinc: shellfish, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, nuts, liver, oxtail and corned beef, plus whole grains and cheese.
oIron: meat and fish sources - beef, pork, lamb, eggs and seafood, (pick red meats that are lean so you don't add unnecessary fat). Vegetable sources: spinach, asparagus, mustard greens, kale, parsley, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, collard greens, dried beans and specific fortified foods, including: cereals and oatmeal. Dried fruits with iron include: raisins, dates, apricots, prunes and figs.
oCopper: soybeans, barley, raw sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, raw cashews and liver.
Additional Nutrients for Staying Healthy During Menopause
There are other nutrients to help with menopausal symptoms that can help you stay healthy.
Vitamin E: proven to help regulate your body's internal heat, which can combat hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
Pantothenic acid: helps support the functioning of the adrenal gland and adipose tissue, which are the body's main source of estrogen after menopause.
These vitamins and nutrients, in combination with a healthy diet and a good exercise program, can keep you healthy during and after menopause. These nutrients will help alleviate some of the more serious symptoms of menopause and help your body accept the changes it's going through with less resistance. Speak to your physician, who can help you determine what vitamins you may be missing during menopause as it can help you adopt a healthy lifestyle. Menopause isn't the end: it's just the beginning so you need to be healthy to embrace the next chapter in your life.
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