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What To Eat During Menopause?

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Menopause is a huge eye-opener that your body is undergoing dramatic changes. It’s time to take great care of yourself by making prudent healthy lifestyle choices. Lifestyle modifications, eating right and staying physically active help work through menopause.

Understanding menopause - Symptoms of menopause

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Women tend to get considerably alarmed as menopause approaches. Common manifestations of this midlife transition include - hot flushes, anxiety, mood swings, sweating, exhaustion, depression and poor memory. Long term ramifications are – drop in libido, cardiac disorders, osteoporosis, and dementia.

While most of us lament about what we can't alter and how menopause hits us hard, there are in fact a whole host of things that you can do to age healthfully and gracefully and make a smooth changeover.

The symptoms of menopause are brought on by an alteration in your hormone profile. With age, the ovaries manufacture reduced quantities of estrogen and progesterone. A dip in these hormones is typically seen as irregular periods. In the fourth or fifth decade, a woman’s ovaries no longer release eggs and the menstrual cycle abates. Consequently, all the clinical manifestations commence.

Dietary suggestions during menopause

Maintaining a wholesome diet is the foremost step to caring for your health during menopause. The symptoms of menopause and diet go hand-in-hand and it has been substantiated that eating right and steering clear of certain specific foods can help make menopause a lot more endurable. A profusion of symptoms come on as menopause gets down to business and being aware of the symptoms allows you to assert control over your feminine health. We’ve rounded up an inventory of foods to help make the unavoidable a little bit less nerve-wracking!

5 Powerful menopause-friendly foods

During menopause, women face considerable health issues; here’s a detailed explanation for healthy diet and food for women who are in their peri-menopausal and menopausal years.

1. Load up on calcium: Radish At menopause, you are at a huge risk for developing osteoporosis. Statistics reveal that 1 out of 2 post menopausal women consume half the RDA for calcium. By consuming adequate amounts of calcium before, during, and after menopause, you can most definitely decelerate the loss of bone as well as the development of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Step up your daily intake of dairy, dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, and sesame seeds. You could also talk to your OB/GYN and start a calcium supplement.

2. Amp up on the sunshine vitamin! You must ensure that you consume sufficient amounts of foods rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium and to prevent bone loss. Foods that are chockfull of vitamin D are - fatty fish and foods that have been fortified with the vitamin. You may also consider embarking upon supplementation; confer with your health care provider.

3. Fibre to thwart heart diseases: Estrogen shields women from the ravages of cardiac diseases; accordingly, when the level of estrogen drops, the risk of developing heart diseases shoots rapidly, making cardiac disorders the primary cause of death after menopause. Fortunately, you can cut back on this risk significantly by consuming the right diet and exercising regularly. A high fibre diet is your best friend – eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and beans and legumes. These are packed with heart-friendly fibre which keep your lipid profile normal, ensure the cholesterol levels don’t skyrocket and keep your blood pressure within the standard range.

4. Complex carbs to reduce depression: When the hormones start decreasing, the brain chemistry gets altered too, especially levels of the nerve chemical – serotonin. Menopausal women often grapple with depression and are seen to have lower levels of serotonin. When serotonin levels drop, you feel grumpy and grouchy and crave sweets; conversely, good levels of serotonin switch off cravings and reinstate a pleasant mood. You can deal with depression and mood swings by having a carbohydrate-rich snack every evening. Opt for rava idli, whole wheat toast or popcorn. Including complex carbs is can help greatly help enhance serotonin levels and to boost your mood. Also, make sure that you begin your day with a wholesome breakfast and do not miss any meal through the day; this makes sure that your blood sugar levels stay steady. Oscillating blood sugar levels also cause irritability, gloom and mood swings.

5. Chomp on almonds! Experts have stated that you should eat almonds every single day for good nutritional support during menopause. Almonds are brimming over with healthy fat, which effectively counters the drying effects of dipping estrogen levels. Almonds are also jam-packed with vitamin E, magnesium, and riboflavin. They make a smart addition to your diet.

As is with any phase in life, there aren’t any quick fix solutions when it comes to successfully managing menopause. Incorporate the right diet in to your regime and stay physically active. Yoga, Tai Chi, low-impact aerobics, and walking are fantastic options to stay active in your menopausal and post menopausal years. You should also integrate relaxation techniques and mediation in to your routine to lessen anxiety and apprehension. Understanding menopause and ensuring an early intervention helps you embrace menopause in a smooth manner.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Pregnancy’s effect on blood pressure and how a healthy diet helps

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

It is no mean feat to grow another human being inside oneself. So, it comes as no surprise that pregnancy has several profound impacts on the body.

Plasma volume increases progressively through pregnancy. Cardiac output increases by 20%. The mother’s body requires more iron to produce foetal haemoglobin and certain other enzymes, as well as folate and B12. Her glucose metabolism undergoes changes to provide the foetus with sufficient glucose and energy and fuel its development. And the growing uterus causes mechanical changes to the digestive tract, pushing the stomach upwards and increasing gastric pressure.

Pregnancy and blood pressure

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Among these many changes, one significant shift that women should watch out for is a change in blood pressure. The pregnancy causes blood pressure to decrease in the first and second trimester but increase in the third. This increase in blood pressure can have a significant effect on the foetus if care is not taken.

It can cause a decrease in blood flow to the placenta, affecting the amount of oxygen the baby receives. This can, in turn, lead to intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, or premature birth. High blood pressure can also cause the placenta to be separated from the uterine wall, causing severe bleeding.

There are several factors that contribute to increases in blood pressure during pregnancy. The risk increases if women are overweight or obese, over 35 years of age, not getting enough physical activity, carrying more than one child or have a family history of hypertension.

How a healthy diet can help

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Pregnant woman must also look into their iodine intake, as deficiency of iodine in the mother can lead to congenital abnormalities and decreased intelligence. Supplementation of iodine in severely deficient mothers is likely to increase the IQ of the infant. In severe cases of deficiency cretinism could precipitate. Iodine deficiency also leads to hypothyroid issues in the mother and infant. The easiest and best way to ensure that the required iodine reaches the mother is through iodised salt.

However, one of the main contributors to high blood pressure is dietary sodium. Sodium levels in the diet increase from added salt as well as from processed or ready-to-eat foods. Hence, pregnant women should highly restrict the consumption of foods high in sodiumsuch as pickles, papads, and preserved food. Store-bought sauces are also another prominent contributor of sodium and should be avoided as far as possible.

One good way to do this is to replace salty tastes with tangy or citrus tastes. For instance, pregnant women require a large quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily diet to ensure adequate micronutrients. A good way to achieve this without adding more salt to the diet is through fresh salads seasoned with lime juice or coriander.

Another clear contributor to high blood pressure is bad cholesterol. When the arteries get clogged due to cholesterol, this forces the heart to pump harder, which increases blood pressure. Thus, women should also stay away from unhealthy cooking such as fried foods and dishes containing trans fats. What’s more, fried foods also often contain high levels of sodium, which increases sodium intake.

Sweets and desserts, particularly those prepared outside the home, can also be red flag. Such preparations often contain unhealthy fats, which again contribute to bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.

While it might seem like that cravingsareundeniable, all our cravings are learnt and we do get used to a variety of tastes over time. So, when eating while pregnant, it’s time to cut down on sodium-richand fatty foods, and experiment with more fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a range of other spices and herbs. This will ensure that you and your baby stay healthy and happy.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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