Menopause and Nutrition

How can I take control of my Menopause? – Have you asked that question? I know that I did and eight years ago finding the answer wasn’t that easy. So I started on a quest. I knew that according to the GP that HRT wasn’t an option for me and to be honest I really didn’t want to put more medication into my body. Having been on medication for mental health issues for 20+ years. This was the start of my journey to a medication free future. Now don’t get me wrong if HRT is right for you then that is great and I know it is a saviour for many. Though using complimentary methods like nutrition will be of benefit not just for your menopause journey and your future health.

So good nutrition will help protect the health of your heart, bones and brain all of which deteriorate as we age and that is expeditated by the hormonal changes of menopause.

As well as the above good nutrition can help ease some of the common symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes (flashes), bloating, weight gain, flatulence and indigestion, mental and cognitive function, sleep, muscle mass (the dreaded menopause tummy), hair and skin, tiredness and fatigue.

So where to start? – Well, this isn’t going to be a quick fix, you won’t be able to go all out for a month or so and then go back to your normal habits and expect everything to be hunky dory, it won’t be. However, by identifying you unique menu of symptoms out of the present 74 that have been attributed to menopause (the list just keeps growing, candy floss hair being the newest I have attributed to my list of symptoms) and how they effect your life you have the choice on how you modify your diet and how you manage it going forward. I have put the link to my Menopause Wheel of Symptoms at the end of this blog.  

Vitamins and Minerals – So once you have identified your symptoms and the impact they are having on your daily life you have the knowledge to take control.

Vitamins For –

Vitamin A –  is great for bone health, boosting the immune system and defending the cells from damage.

Vitamin B5 – contains Pantothenic acid it is helpful for improving energy levels, it also helps with hormone production and balancing cholesterol. It is also a great Allie in reducing stress and anxiety.

Vitamin C – I think most of us aware that vitamin C is great for the immune system  but it also has multiple benefits during menopause. As well as protecting your heart it boosts collagen, acts as cement in bones helping there flexibility. It also is great for boosting mood and energy levels.

Vitamin D –  Helps promote calcium absorption, vital for bones ( Osteoporosis), teeth and muscle health.

Vitamin E – Now vitamin E can help ease one of the most common symptoms Hot Flushes(80% of us say we suffer from hot flushes and/or night sweats) it can also help during the peri and menopause phases with painful periods. It is also known to help with endurance, increasing energy levels and reducing muscle damage after exercise.

 Minerals For –

Minerals can be overlooked in favour of vitamins, but they are essential in a well balanced nutrition rich diet.

Calcium – helps promote strong bones therefore protecting against osteoporosis it also helps with communication between the brain and other and parts of the body.

Copper – Can help with bone health, boost the immune function and the production of collagen.

Iodine – For boosting the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and hair.

Iron – many women can lack iron especially if they are still having periods which can lead to heavy blood flow. Iron helps with fatigue, dizziness and pale colouring.

Magnesium – is a must during menopause it helps with bone density, calms the nervous system, relieves anxiety, helps with energy levels and aids sleep.

Also needed to convert Vitamin D to the active form which enhances calcium absorption protecting bones. Known to aid achy bones especially first thing in the morning.

Potassium – Builds bone mineral density which helps reduce calcium loss, aids muscle contraction, digestion and heart rhythm.

Sulphur – known as the beauty mineral helps produce collagen which deteriorates with age and boost joint help.

I hope you find the above helpful, I will be exploring how to ensure you incorporate the vitamins and minerals into your diet and how to make sure you maintain a healthy weight in future blogs. In the meantime a good start is to look into a Mediterranean diet.

Menopause Symptom Wheel

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