For most women, menopause comes unexpectedly.
It’s a completely natural process marking the end of your menstrual cycles. Everybody knows that. Still, most people consider it a taboo topic. As if its an illness or condition that you need to be embarrassed about.
That’s not surprising.
People do generally tend to veer away from discussing this biological process—or even the symptoms that go with it. But there are some women having a really hard time out there. With no one to discuss it with.
So I decided—why not talk about menopause and the ways its symptoms can be reduced?
There’s a period (a few years) prior to actual menopausal called perimenopausal or menopausal transition. Just like any good book, there’s an introduction. And perimenopausal is the introduction where you start feeling most—if not all—the menopausal symptoms as if in preparation for the inevitable.
Menopause, for most women, begins somewhere in between their late 40s or early 50s. This period typically lasts a few years. During this period, most women experience hot flashes, mood swings or irritability, night sweats, and frequent tiredness. Some women also suffer from severe migraines that occur almost regularly (every two weeks to a month). And weight gain—the most visible sign of menopausal.
The struggle is real.
The bad news is we cannot stop the inevitable. It’s just a part of life. But the good news is we can find natural remedies to help reduce its symptoms!
Let’s see what we’ve got!
1. Get enough Vitamin D and Calcium
The declining levels of estrogen (female hormones) that occur during menopause result in a drop in bone density causing the bones to weaken. It’s important to get enough Vitamin D and Calcium into your diet to strengthen bones and enhance overall bone health.
Calcium-rich foods include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other foods like spinach, kale, sardines, tofu, and beans are also rich in calcium, along with calcium-fortified foods such as fruit juices, cereals, or other milk alternatives. Consume 2-4 daily servings of dairy products and foods abundant in calcium and aim for around 1,200 ml per day.
As for Vitamin D, sunlight is the best source of it as it is naturally produced by your skin when exposed to sunlight. If you aren’t the kind of person who likes to go out in the sun or if your lifestyle just doesn’t allow it, amp up your vitamin D intake with eggs, salmon, sardines, herring, cod liver oil, canned tuna, mushroom, or some vitamin D supplements.
2. Stay away from foods that trigger menopausal symptoms
There are certain foods that activate the occurrence of mood swings, night sweats, and hot flashes. Remember that these foods are especially potent when consumed at night.
Some examples of food that trigger menopausal symptoms include alcohol, spicy and sugary food, and caffeine.
To keep track of which foods are particularly lethal to you, keep a diary tracking your symptoms and what food you ate so you can avoid these in the future.
3. Eat More Foods That Are High in Phytoestrogens
What are phytoestrogens? These are plant-based compounds that have the ability to simulate how estrogen works in the body. Phytoestrogens help balance hormones, combat the symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency, and are thus particularly beneficial to perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Phytoestrogen-rich food includes oats, barley, beans, lentils, tofu, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, yams, rice, carrots, and soy products. Soy specifically helps reduce hot flashes, cholesterol levels, and night sweats.
Note, however, that real food sources of phytoestrogens are much better than processed foods as the phytoestrogen content could lessen during processing.
4. Drink lots of water.
Water is, indeed, life. Women frequently experience dryness during menopause. Drink as much as 8-12 glasses of water daily. This also reduces the bloating caused by hormonal changes.
5. Reduce the consumption of high-fat foods.
These increase your cholesterol levels along with your risk for heart disease. Limit your fat intake, specifically those coming from fatty meats, ice cream, cheese, and whole milk. Also exercise prudence when it comes to intake of trans fat, which is found in a lot of baked goods, vegetable oil, and even margarine.
5. Get a sufficient amount of fiber into your system.
This will help you manage or control the weight gain that inevitably comes with menopause or perimenopause. Help yourself to around 21 gms of fiber a day from such foods as cereals, rice, whole-grain bread, pasta, fruits, and veggies.
7. Try some Ginseng (also called Panax Ginseng)
Proven to assist in diminishing the Intensity and occurrence of night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings and even sleep disturbances, you can consume it in different ways. It can be eaten raw or lightly steamed to soften it prior to eating. It is more commonly stewed in water to make tea. Try this simple recipe.
At Havasu, we totally understand how difficult the perimenopausal and menopausal periods are for women. It’s not easy to constantly suffering from mood swings, fatigue, and hot flashes. This is why we have DHEA.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We also always recommend consulting your doctor or health professional prior to starting any new supplement.
Thanks to these great sources:
Korean Ginseng Tea (Insam Cha)