Menopause – Food That Matters

Midlife transition for women can be easier by making right food choices and being physically active. Menopause is a part of Midlife transition and is a major reality check that your body is changing. Well, this is a time to take care making healthy lifestyle choices or Consult a Gynecologist Now.drarchanabharti

Intro to Menopause

This “change of life” is a part of every woman at the time of her last period. The average age an Indian women reaches menopause is 40.32 to 48.84 yrs. This can happen earlier or later. Menopausal symptoms vary with every woman. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain around the middle, sleep disturbances and mood changes. However, some women go through menopause with no real symptoms.

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What causes menopause? Hormones, as women age, your ovaries produce less estrogens and progesterone, two of the main hormones for reproduction. As estrogens level go down, one of the first signs of “menopausal transition” is irregular periods in which bleeding is unusually heavy or light; the time between periods also may become longer.

Weight Increase with Menopause

Many women find it increasingly difficult to counter an increase in weight due to lowering hormone levels and the natural aging process.  They often loose lose muscle and gain fat especially in the belly area in their late 40’s and early 50’s. Lifestyle plays a very critical role, too — menopausal women tend to be less active and eat more calories than they need.

Menopausal Weight Gain and Health Risks Associated

Weight Gain is never a feel good factor. Let’s face it no one likes to be called FAT.  It can be uncomfortable and cause low self esteem. But that’s not all. Weight gain brings in health issues including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance (a condition in which your body cannot use insulin correctly, which can lead to diabetes).

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Avoiding a “Midlife Metabolic Crisis”

Plan for your body’s natural metabolic slowdown!  As with any time in life, there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss. There are, however, ways to avoid a midlife crisis when it comes to a slowing metabolism.

  • Exercise– Adults should do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Exercise doesn’t have to mean a trip to the gym. You can be active doing daily activities. Take the stairs; park further away from your destination and walk; garden; or dance.
  • Eat HealthyFoods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day.

Avoid oversized portions. Try using a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Cook more often at home where you are in control of what’s in your food. When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options. Choose dishes that include vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Your Dietary Guide

During menopause, one should have a eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrient. Since women’s diets are often low in iron and calcium, follow these guidelines:

Get enough calcium – Eat and drink two to four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day. Calcium is found in dairy products, fish with bones (such as sardines and canned salmon), broccoli, and legumes. Aim to get 1,200 milligrams per day.

Pump up your iron – Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products. The recommended dietary allowance for iron in older women is 8 milligrams a day.

Get enough fibre – Help yourself to foods high in fiber, such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Most adult women should get about 21 grams of fiber a day.

Eat fruits and vegetables – Have at least 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables each day.

Don’t Ignore but Read labels – Use the package label information to help yourself make the best choices for a healthy lifestyle.

Drink plenty of water – As a general rule, drink eight glasses of water every day. That fulfils the daily requirement for most healthy adults.

Maintain a healthy weight – If you’re overweight, cut down on portion sizes and eat fewer foods that are high in fat. Don’t skip meals, though. A registered dietician or your doctor can help you figure out your ideal body weight.

Cut back on high-fat foods – Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and boosts your risk for heart disease. It’s found in fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream, and cheese. Limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams or less per day. And watch out for trans fats, found in vegetable oils, many baked goods, and some margarine. Trans fat also raises cholesterol and increases your risk for heart disease.

Check the Use of sugar and Salt – Too much sodium in the diet is linked to high blood pressure. Also, go easy on smoked, salt-cured, and charbroiled foods — these foods have high levels of nitrates, which have been linked to cancer.

Limit alcohol – to one or fewer drinks a day.

What Foods to Avoid During Menopause?

If you’re having hot flashes during menopause, you may find it helps to avoid certain “trigger” foods and drinks, like spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.

Last Thoughts

When a woman reaches menopause, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis can increase; therefore, it is imperative that postmenopausal women discuss these issues as well as preventive and treatment measures with their gynaecologist.

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Stay Energetic through the day

Most workdays I feel myself slow down and my mind starts wandering in the early afternoon. I often give in to the sleepy feeling and take a nap, but when I have lots to do I might go for a coffee instead, so I can keep working.

You’ve probably been in a similar situation yourself: lacking in energy and with plenty of work to do, we tend to guess at the most effective remedy to perk us up and keep up going.I wanted to see if research could help me make more informed decisions when trying to keep my energy levels high and I found some really useful information.

Put down the energy drink or whatever else you’re using to get yourself through your workouts and your day. Here are 8 natural – and healthy – ways to boost your energy level:

  1. Water as Fuel

It is important to ignite your energy first thing in the morning and to keep it aflame all day long. Make sure to consume at least 1 lt. of cold water upon rising. Throughout the day, try to drink at least 1 lt. of water. Even being one percent below your optimal fluid level results in noticeable fatigue.1

Make a habit of recording your water intake. Coffee, tea, soft or energy drinks do not count just because they contain water. Water is water. It is helpful to always keep a water source close-by. I like to fill my gallon jug and make sure it is empty by the end of the day. It is amazing how much water you can down just by sipping on it time to time, even while driving around.

If you sweat more one day than the others, then increase your intake. Another great rule of thumb is to carry a water bottle around with you at the gym and use that (yes, even on its own) as a great energy source as you lift and workout. How much and when depends on the session.

Extra Benefits: Kick off and keep up your metabolism, accelerate and aid digestion.

  1. Turn off the Lights

Make sure you are not staring at a bright computer screen, checking text messages, or in a bright room an hour or so before bedtime. Bright lights reduce melanin levels and fire up brain cells. Our circadian rhythm is strongly affected by light. This is why you are on a different sleep schedule than someone in Norway or even in California. We spend about one third of our lives asleep – or at least we should.

Shut off the lights and close the blinds at night. I find it useful to board up the windows. I’m serious. A simple wooden plank cut to fit does the trick and keeps all light out. Another is to leave the electronics charging in a different room to stop the temptation of looking at them in bed. The best time to sleep is between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.

Extra Benefits: Get a full and rested REM sleep, better chances of getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night, wake up more rested, allows the body to recharge, and better concentration.

  1. Clean out the System

Spend some serious time looking into the food you are eating. Would you put low-grade gas in a BMW and expect it to perform well and over a long period of time? I hope not. Test for food allergies and eliminate them from your diet. Certain cleansing programs and elimination diets are beneficial to detox the system (just beware of withdrawals). Stick it out through undertaking one of these programs and you will teach your body how to fuel off of real and beneficial foods. You will be back in the game and full of energy in no time. Real foods (raw, green, super foods, clean foods, etc.) naturally fuel our energy systems. Fake or processed foods, food allergies, and sugar shut our systems right down.

In a three year study of 36 people with allergies, physiologist Paul S. Marshall found that 69% of his subjects reported feeling more irritable when their allergies flared up, 63% reported more fatigue, 41% said they had difficulty staying awake, and 31% reported feeling “sad.” So consider that certain foods to which you might be allergic can cause a tremendous amount of sluggishness. If you are allergic to gluten or certain sugars (yeast or barley), your body is spending more time trying to digest and eliminate them from your system than it is fueling your energy systems and your metabolism. An easy way to incorporate raw, organic vegetables is to throw them into your shakes. spinach are great additives, and they are even better with a scoop of peanut or almond butter in there.

Extra Benefits: Clearer skin, stronger nails and hair, better digestion, less headaches, fat loss, eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods, stop binge-eating, live longer and healthier.

  1. Keep the Engine Running

Move. No matter how tired or lethargic you might feel, get up and move. Run, bike, swim, and lift weights. It is important to keep the lymphatic system flowing, the heart rate up, the muscles moving, the blood flowing, and to eliminate the lactic acid build-up and other toxic waste with all of the above. There is probably no better way to do that than to sweat. Saunas are great as a supplement, but nothing compares to real movement. I highly doubt anyone has come home after a workout feeling worse about going than they did about staying home. Sore maybe, but that is a great feeling, too.

Extra Benefits: Lose fat, reduce or eliminate depression, increase endorphin, build muscle mass, sleep better, digest properly, breathe fresh air, and so many others.

  1. Don’t Run Out of Gas

Eat. Regularly! Make sure you are getting your healthy ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates with each meal. Do not starve yourself or allow your body to think it is starving. Eat every two to three hours to prevent the body (and mind) from crashing as they wear themselves out seeking energy sources they should be getting from food but cannot find. With irregular dieting and meals, blood sugar and energy levels swing around like crazy. Keep them level and keep the tank topped off.

Extra Benefits: Fuel metabolism, prevent late-night or late-meal binge-eating or simply eating too much too late, help meal planning, and reduce the urge to grab just anything to eat in desperate moments.

  1. Solar Power

Get out into the sun every day for thirty minutes at a time. The optimal hours to sunbathe are between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Expose as much skin as possible, front and back. Use no sunscreens, just bare your skin and soak up essential B12. It’s a natural (and free) energy source right in your backyard.

  1. Go Easy on Red Meat

We love our red meat, and we should. Protein, iron, magnesium, it’s all great stuff. Even better is grass-fed meat. But red meat is not as easy to digest as you might think, and it takes a great deal of energy to do so. I am not saying to eliminate it altogether, but cut back to eating it once or twice per week.

  1. Learn to Switch off

While riding the roller coaster. As we climbed to the top of the ride he would say, “Once you go up, you must come down!” I always thought that was funny at that age, but these days crashing midday isn’t funny at all. Artificial stimulants work in the same way. They are roller coaster rides. The highs are followed by valleys of deep lows. Energy drinks mess with the normal hormonal balance of the entire body and leave you down and out in no time. This ride will crash. Coconut oil (extra-virgin) and other natural energy-fixes such as raw foods are great and natural energy fixes.