I'll start out by saying that I'm not in menopause, but from what I've heard...it's not great. There are a lot of changes to get used to as your body transitions, and sometimes it can feel like there's no stopping it.
Thankfully, there are some natural ways to minimize the effects of menopause, and I'm about to tell you all about them!
I know, I know. No one wants to hear this, but adding exercise to your daily routine can help keep your body regulated. Adding even a small amount of exercise can improve your energy and metabolism, help your joints stay healthy, and even relieve stress.
Which brings us to...
2. Stress Relief
Bouts of depression and moodiness are common among women dealing with menopause, but they can be controlled through stress-relieving activities.
For some this may mean knitting or crocheting, exercise, meditating, or anything else calming. When you reduce your stress levels, you reduce your chances of emotional eating, moodiness, and not getting enough sleep.
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Though we all love to indulge on processed foods now and then, those dealing with menopause should totally stay away. Fast food, junk food, or anything pre-made generally comes with a lot of sodium and unnecessary toxins, all of which can cause hormone imbalances thanks to the carbohydrates.
4. Vitamin D and Calcium
Because your hormones are changing, your bones are at risk of developing osteoporosis. In order to counteract this, you should be consuming more vitamin D and calcium than you may have been in the past.
Foods like yogurt, milk cheese, leafy greens, and tofu are high in calcium. As for vitamin D, you can get it from being in the sun, but you should also try and eat more foods like fish and eggs, which are high in vitamin D.
It's a word I certainly hadn't heard before, but phytoestrogens naturally occur in plants, and can mimic estrogen. Because of this, they can help balance your hormones and lessen the effects of menopause.
Soybeans and soy products, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, linseeds, sesame seeds and beans have all been found to contain phytoestrogens. Women in Asian countries consume a lot of these foods, and it's believed this is why they rarely experience hot flashes.
6. Drink Water
Hormonal changes can bring bloating, and no one likes that. By drinking enough water, which doctors recommend is about eight to 12 glasses a day, you can reduce your body's bloating.
The reduced levels of estrogen in your body can also cause menopausal women to experience dryness. This, of course, is also fixed by staying hydrated.
7. Avoid Trigger Foods
Trigger foods can vary from person to person, but one thing is for sure: they make things way worse. Certain foods can cause you to react in an unusual way, whether that's hot flashes, mood swings, or night sweats.
Most women experiencing menopause find that common trigger foods are alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, or sugary foods. If you notice you feel worse after eating a certain food, keep a small journal of it so that you can map the trend.
8. Deep Breathing
One study showed that spending 15 minutes a day, twice a day, practicing deep breathing can help to lower the occurrence of hot flashes.
The deep breathing helps your circulation and clears your mind, reducing stress. It can also help you breathe more slowly overall, which can keep you calm on a daily basis.
Flaxseed contains those handy phytoestrogens, but it also has Omega-3 fats, which are great for women going through menopause.
Omega-3 fats can counteract inflammation in your body and keep your skin nice and smooth. Studies have also shown that consuming Omega-3s can help increase your hormone production, which could help regulate your body.
Yes! Sleep! When you're asleep, your body takes time to recover from all the stress from your day. Not getting enough sleep means you can't unwind, which leads to overall disaster.
Lack of sleep can increase your cortisol levels (the hormone that causes stress,) decrease your immunity, and make you more susceptible to weight gain and depression.
For women going through menopause, doctors suggest aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.