Menopause and foods to ease the transition

Menopause is different for every woman.  Some experience severe hot flashes and restlessness, some experience no symptoms at all. Menopause occurs on average at age 51.   This change signals not only the end of fertility, but also a time of increased risk for disorders such as osteoporosis and heart disease.  By making some dietary changes some women are able to  manage these conditions better.

“I can’t lose weight anymore because of my age.” “My weight will never be the way it was when I was younger.”  Those are common things that women say as they age.  Some statistics have shown that 90% of women gain weight during menopause, with an average gain of 12 to 15 pounds between the ages of 45 and 55.  In most cases,the  extra pounds tend to cling to your midsection. Hormonal changes set the table for fiery flashes, sweaty sleeps, and libido loss, and fad dieting.   These problems weigh them down with  bloating  , fatigue,  like the two ton elephant in the room that wont go away.

Some  ways to help you are: Write down each morsel of food you put in your mouth. Even small quantities of certain foods could make a big difference in your weight.  Being accountable will help you to feel more responsible. I like the website www. sparkpeople.com    It is a great tool to get fit and  lose weight in a healthy way and it is FREE! Muscles matter. As we age our muscles mass declines.  Muscle burns calories!  Aerobic exercise will help to burn calories and build better bones, strength training like lifting weights, will help to maintain muscle mass. About 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a few days a week will also protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging.You may not be able to just peel off layers of  extra pounds as you once easily did. It would be  great if  they would come off  as easily as  you take  off your layers of clothing during a hot flash.  (just a joke)  Instead focus on eating healthy, exercising  and keeping a positive outlook. The nasty  mood swings also come with the territory. One moment your happy and the next  moment you make the  exorcist look like a walk in the park.  Menopause, you are only in another phase of your life, so embrace it!  This is a great  time in life to finally get out and do some of those things you “always wanted to do” but postponed for another time. And if you need to lose weight, this is the time to start to take care of yourself.  Take a class try Zumba, and learn a few Latin American dance moves.

So what are you waiting for?   Menopause should be a just a  Pause not a  stop in life. It is a start of a new journey.

Great foods to add to your diet and why

flaxseed, nuts, parsley, soy beans  Foods high in phytoestrogens help lessen hot flashes

brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, and collards  Support bone health, protect against breast cancer and heart disease

Fermented soy  tempeh  Ease menopause symptoms such as hot flashes

Sage  Helpful with night sweats

Flaxseed  Balances hormone levels

Omega 3 rich foods like salmon, tuna, cod, and sardines  May help regulate hormone levels

Legumes (lentils, soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black beans, chickpeas) acts like a weak estrogen

Whole grains,Apples fennel, celery, parsley and nuts   high in phytoestrogens ( Asian cultures have diets high in this and rarely have menopause problems)

 Kelp, nori, kombu, wakame, arame, hikiji, and dulse      Helps maintain proper estrogen levels

Menopausal women should avoid caffeine, spicy food, hot beverages and alcohol because they can trigger hot flashes, according to MayoClinic.