12 tips to reduce symptoms of menopause
If you want a smooth passage through menopause, it makes sense to address whatever health issues you already have. Here are some tips.
1. Good food
Good food, prepared from fresh ingredients is crucial. Foods to include in the diet include red lentils, fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, flax seeds or oil, and a little sage in cheese dishes. Flax oil and seeds are fragile and must be kept in the fridge, and the seeds should be ground or soaked. Keep down alcohol and caffeine. Avoid milk, as the sugar in it promotes heart disease. Avoid too much sugar, as it contributes to infections and diabetes. Ensure you're having enough to drink.
2. Enjoyable exercise
Exercise is important, but find something you enjoy. Perhaps swimming, country walks with friends, dancing, a game you used to play like tennis, or something new, perhaps croquet. Spend time outdoors, when it is sunny, to build up your vitamin D.
3. Have a hobby
Find a relaxing hobby. It might be music, cooking, reading, films, family board games, crafts or embroidery. Make sure you socialise.
4. Talk about your worries
If something is worrying you, talk to someone trustworthy about it. Sharing worries does help. If you tend to be anxious, look for a well-absorbed magnesium supplement, for example, magnesium glycinate or citrate. Consult a health professional to better understand what you need for your body.
5. Get plenty of sleep
Spend seven to eight hours asleep if you can. If you don’t sleep that long, try to at least spend that time in bed. You can encourage sleep by putting a cup of Epsom salts in the bath, say one day in three, and then go straight to bed.
6. Strengthen bones
After menopause, weak bones can be an issue, and magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 address this. Most people who eat dairy products have plenty of calcium in their diet and do not need a supplement of it. Hard cheese is a much safer source of calcium than milk. Vitamin K2 also protects the arteries. Have weight-bearing exercise for your bones.
7. Getting enough vitamins B, C and E
Vitamins B, C and E are most quoted for menopausal symptoms. A small amount of good-quality vitamin E is better than a large quantity of poor-quality. Ideally, use full-spectrum vitamin E, providing alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols and alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocotrienols. If that is too expensive, use natural vitamin E, which is better than synthetic.
8. Identify any allergies or intolerances
Menopausal symptoms are often exacerbated by increased allergy or intolerance, and molybdenum, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin D3, fish oil and Epsom salts can help to address these. People often do not realise they have allergies or intolerances, so if you're unsure, speak to a professional.
9. Boost immunity
Vitamin D3, zinc, iodine, selenium, magnesium and vitamin C, as well as many other nutrients, improve immunity. Avoiding or minimising infection makes it easier to cope with menopause. Have zinc at bedtime. How much vitamin C you tolerate will vary a lot, and typically, those with silver amalgam dental fillings need more, as do those who eat a lot of sugar. Many prefer vitamin C as magnesium ascorbate, as the acidic form, ascorbic acid, is sour.
10. Healthy fats
Fish provides omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation. Flax provides omega-3 and -6 fats. Most nuts provide omega-6. These two types of fat should be kept in balance. Most people in the West have too much omega-6 fat, for example, from liquid vegetable oils and crisps. Butter and coconut oil are healthier alternatives. The bad fats are hydrogenated oils, in some margarine, white cooking fat and some bought bakery items.
11. Do you need HRT?
Herbal HRT, like soya isoflavones or black cohosh, runs the same risks as synthetic HRT. It may be useful to ease someone gently off medical HRT, but menopausal symptoms can be much more safely tackled with a healthy diet and nutritional supplements. There is often enough plant oestrogen in a good diet.
A well-formulated multivitamin and mineral supplement is cost-effective and may prevent you from missing out on the very nutrient you most need. Avoid carrageenan, lactose, aspartame and sunset yellow in supplements. Avoid cheap supplements with low doses. These are enough to prevent serious deficiency diseases, scurvy, pellagra and beriberi, but they are not enough for optimal health.
But remember, what food is good for one person is not necessarily good for another - and it is the same with nutritional supplements. Allergies and sensitivities to foods can be quite complicated. So, it may be useful to seek the advice of a nutrition professional who is experienced in evaluating individual needs before undertaking changes to your diet.
Good food, plenty of fluids, exercise that you enjoy, sunshine, good company, and a relaxing hobby are all important if you want 'easy' menopause.
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