One of the most difficult topics that women often skirt around is menopause. A natural phenomenon that happens to women around the age of late 40s to early 50s. Menopause is the time when you stop having menstruation. Some common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, tiredness, and mood swings.
All this can turn out to be a challenge being a career-oriented woman, therefore, I extensively covered this topic in my Ted Talk and also regularly talks about menopause on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Physically there is a higher risk for women to get osteoporosis, obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes when menopause hits them. In times when it becomes difficult to understand everything that is happening with your body, how do you cope with it? How do you ensure that you come out of the transitional phase relatively unscathed? Probably with the help of healthy habits.
Calcium And Vitamin D Rich Diet
In the beginning, the hormonal changes in the body cause bones to weaken, thus increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are the two ways through which you can ensure that the damage to your body is not as much. If you make sure that your diet incorporates enough vitamin D and calcium-rich food items like yogurt, milk, and cheese then you can truly lower the risk of problems like hip fractures and bone issues. Interestingly, green and leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are also unusually rich in calcium. As you grow older, the body becomes a little inefficient when it comes to taking vitamin D that is why taking a supplement might make it easier for your body to access it.
Maintaining Appropriate Weight
A common side effect of going through menopause is gaining unnatural amounts of weight. This mainly happens because of a few reasons: the hormones, age factor, lifestyle, and genetics. An additional reason why you must maintain healthy body weight is that the controlled body weight may also help in eliminating hot flashes and night sweats.
Healthy Diet Is The Way To Go!
A diet that contains way more vegetables and fruits instead of meats and flours is shown to cause lesser cases of heat flashes. Additionally, vegetables and fruits are low in calories but will make you feel full, it is great to maintain body weight and it also further prevent diseases.
Avoiding Trigger Food Items
There are some food items that make you feel dizzy, increase your heart rate, and stress levels in general. These are the same foods that are bound to trigger hot flashes and mood swings. Caffeine and alcohol are the biggest contributors in this category and must avoid them at all costs if you want to get some relief.
This might feel like an intimidating word. But, just as big the word sounds, its importance is just as much. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plants that mimic how estrogen worked in your body before hitting menopause. The intake of such food items is highly common in Asian countries. Soybeans, tofu, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and beans are only some ways that you can try to balance estrogen in your body.
Drinking a copious amount of water is something you must follow regardless of hitting menopause. However, while experiencing menopause it becomes way more vital to stay hydrated because of the drastic decrease in estrogen in women that often leads to dryness. Every day if you make sure to drink 8-12 glasses then you can also reduce the bloating that occurs with hormonal changes.
These are only some of the ways through which you can cope with menopause. It is a difficult time because your body is trying to make sense of all the changes that are happening. All you can do at this time is to make sure that the transition is as painless as possible.
Author Shipra Khanna is one of the most renowned chefs in India after winning popular cookery show MasterChef India (season 2). Along with hosting numerous cookery programmes, she has also written some cookbooks.
To read more informative food story by Shipra Khanna, stay tuned to HerZindagi.