During their 40s and 50s, women go through (what grandmother used to call) “the Change” – as if it was a curse or something to be feared. But these days, we know much more about the hormonal changes in the female body, which lessened the stigma surrounding “the change”. Menopause, as we prefer to call it, happens 12 months after your last menstrual period, marking the end of menstrual cycles. These months leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. The average age for menopause is 51. Menopause is a natural process and even though it signals the end of fertility, it doesn’t mean that you should stop living.
Facing the big change
In Western culture, youth is placed on a pedestal and being or becoming older is seen as less valuable, and to top it off emotional unease often accompany the physical symptoms of menopause – making this change in life difficult for most. The decrease of hormonal levels and the cessation of monthly periods are too often also equated with a loss of femininity and sexual attractiveness. Therefore, it is a very important time for a woman to consciously self-nurture, and become more aware of both her physical and emotional needs. There are many ways to care for your body and mind so that menopause can be experienced for what it is – a normal phase of life.
Changes to help you face the change (1-4)
You may want to make some dietary changes that can help to control menopausal symptoms, whilst promoting your health and vigour.
- Cut down on sugar, salt, saturated fats and starch
- Eat fibre-rich foods, like whole-wheat rice, whole-grain bread
- Rather drink water or freshly squeezed fruit juice than coffee or tea
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Eat regularly – skipping meals make it harder to maintain a healthy weight
- Eat 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables per day
- Eat oily fish like sardines at least once a week
- Do exercise – at least 30-45 minutes a day
- Eat calcium-rich foods like broccoli and yogurt for bone health
- Meat is a good source of vitamins and minerals, include beans, fish and eggs in your diet
Read more about menopause in women:
- Support the change [LINK TO SUPPORT THE
- Read the signs [LINK TO READ THE SIGNS PAGE]
- A healthy change [LINK TO A HEALTHY CHANGE PAGE]
- Being bone tired [LINK TO BEING BONE TIRED PAGE]
References: 1. Mayo Clinic. Diseases and conditions: Menopause. mayoclinic.org [online] 2015 Jan [Cited 2015 Aug 12]. Available from: URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/definition/con-20019726. 2. Women’s Health Concern. Diet, nutrition and lifestyle guidance. [online] [cited 2017 Oct 10]. Available from: URL: https://www.womens-health-concern.org/_wpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/HealthyMenopause_Jun10.pdf. 3. Women’s Health Concern. Top tips for healthy menopause. [online] [cited 2017 Oct 10]. Available from: URL: https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/healthy-menopause/top-tips-healthy-menopause/. 4. NHS Choices. Healthy eating during the menopause. [online] [cited 2017 Oct 10]. Available from: URL: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/menopause/Pages/Themenopauseanddiet.aspx.