MENOPAUSE – Ageing and menopause goes hand in hand ,sometimes womens neglect their health many times with sedentary lifestyle,emotional stress,depression, inappropriate diet,which makes matter worse sometimes. Drops in estrogen levels can trigger mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, sleep loss or fatigue, if we neglect taking care of our body through diet and exercise we may repent later. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain in women.
LET’S TAKE EFFECTIVE PREVENTIVE MEASURES-
BONE LOSS– Bone loss begins with after 35 and it increases with menopause. As the level of estrogen goes down it accelerates bone loss,there is also increased porosity of bone. Moreover there is also decreased intestinal absorption of calcium with the Ageing which reduced the absorption of calcium in bones.Low estrogen level caused by menopause is the most significant risk factor for osteoporosis in active women.
MOOD SWINGS– This is the main concern which most womens feel it, the best way to fluctuate from mood is to engage in other activities like walking ,listening calm music, hot showers,meditations,joining yoga, tai chi classes.
STRESS- Stress has been shown to lower estrogen and progesterone while elevating testosterone and cortisol in women.Daily stress can increase the release of cortisol and change hormone levels, creating an increase in appetite and thus allowing a woman’s body to become more efficient at storing fat, especially in the abdomen, thighs and waistline.
EXERCISE- Exercise can also reduce the irritability, fatigue and sleep loss associated with menopause.Concentrate on your lower body, try the aerobic activity —options include low-impact classes or walking,swimming. For upper body Resistance training is also an excellent way for women of all ages to stimulate bone growth, strength train those muscles with fitness bands or hand weights.
Keeping the muscles of the upper back and chest strong it can help prevent the onset of spinal changes(kyphosis) which begins with menopause. Along with deep breathing and kegel exercise is very helpful.
Eat a balanced diet-There is no special diet that women going through the menopause need to follow but a normal ,healthy and balanced diet that contains all five food groups, drink plenty of water, and get a daily dose of strength and cardiovascular exercise. In the long run, living a healthy life is the best prescription for optimal aging!
- Calcium and VitD– It’s recommended that a woman in menopause should be getting 1,200 mg of calcium per day. To have at least 2 glasses of milk or in any other form like yogurt,paneer,cheese,almonds etc. Before bed a glass of warm turmeric (haldi) milk helps induce sleep(Insomnia).Tofu with calcium sulfate is also very good source of calcium and protein. For absorption of calcium ,vit D is very important, either supplement or morning sunshine every day 20 minutes is must.If you supplement take at least 1000 IU of vit D and calcium citrate of at least 500 IU can be included.
- Fuel Up With Foods High in Potassium, Including Most Fruits- It Helps to reduce cramps and bloating and keep muscles and bones lubricated. Fruits like pomegranate ,tomato,sweet potatoes, cantaloupe ,banana and watermelon are rich sources of potassium.
- Water- Don’t forget water drinks at least 8-10 glasses of water to avoid fatigue.Also include buttermilk,coconut water,tomato soup ,Liquids helps in digestion,they are light on stomach provides important minerals and vitamins to reduce hot flashes.Drinking water helps to stay hydrated ; even mild dehydration can have mood-dampening effects.
- Limit coffee and tea(1-2 cups/day)- Too much caffeine may result in restlessness and over stimulation, so limit intake. Instead at snack time take more fruits,milk and nuts.All nuts are packed with nutrients. They are rich in protein, unsaturated fatty acids, fiber; minerals like potassium,B vitamins, including folate,vitamin E,and many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals (Ros 2010).
- Soy-The isoflavones in soy stimulates osteoblasts(bone forming cells),as they have similar effect like estrogen. Soybeans and foods made from soy extracts are rich in isoflavones. Studies confirm that soy can help manage menopause symptoms, including bone loss (Beck 2001).Try to include roasted soy nuts,tofu ,soymilk in a diet. Roti with tofu curry,tofu burji are good example.
- Protein- AS we age there is a decrease in skeletal tissue mass along with decreased appetite and poor digestion.When you include dal ,pulses ,khichdi (porridge),curd rice,idli sambhar are light on stomach and easy to digest, they are high in protein and fiber. Try to include protein in all meals and snacks every 2 hours .
- Folate- .Folate and vitamin B6 are abundant in plant foods, also help maintain beneficial levels of serotonin( WHICH IS A MOOD LIFTER). These two B vitamins help convert tryptophan into serotonin. Low levels of folate, in particular, have been associated with depression provided that the overall diet is healthy.Dark green leafy vegetables, lentils ,pulses ,beet greens and beet are good sources of folate.Taking palak dal, beet raita,dal rice,methi paratha with curd are very simple and healthy sources of folate.
VIT B12-Most individuals over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12 and must therefore consume it in its crystalline form (fortified foods or supplements). Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause cognitive dysfunction and neurological problems in older people (Carmel 1997).
BE SMART– old advice is the best advice: Eat a balanced diet along with daily light exercise,In the long run, this is the best prescription for optimal aging.