Thursday, 26 May 2016

Preparing well for menopause


Menopause, a time of transition, signifying the end of fertile years for a woman, is usually caused by a drop in estrogen levels. Most commonly occurring between ages 45-51, it comes with several symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and sleep disturbances.

A common symptom experienced during menopause is weight gain around the belly area, mostly due to a slowed down metabolism.

This can be a risk factor for hypercholesterolemia (excessive cholesterol in the bloodstream), hypertension or even diabetes. As such, menopausal women are advised to be physically active so as to help rejuvenate their metabolism.

This also ensures you get rid of extra calories, thus helping to shed excess weight. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical exercise most days of the week is recommended.

As a result of diminished estrogen levels, calcium levels are also affected negatively, which puts menopausal women at risk of osteoporosis.

 At this age group, women need to increase calcium intake from dairy products, fish, green vegetables or even calcium supplements but only when prescribed by a doctor.

To ensure optimal calcium absorption, it is also good to accompany these with foods rich in Vitamin D, which include eggs, oily fish and lentils.

Soy-based products like soya beans and soya milk have also been seen to help in maintaining hormonal balance in menopausal women. This is because they contain isoflavones which are usually converted to phytoestrogens in the body. These then help to play the role that estrogen plays in a woman’s body.

The immune system is also affected by the ageing process, thus increasing the risk of infections. Boost your immune system with nutrients like Vitamin A, C and E and Zinc and Selenium.

This post originally appeared on Eve Woman's World