Is it just me, or do we tend to feel ancient whenever another year is drawing to a close?
Reaching a ripe old age is certainly an achievement, and is something to be thankful for, to be sure. However, aging’s effects on the body can be weird, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful.
If you happen to be female, getting old is made even more complicated by a little thing called menopause. Yep, just when you thought you could enjoy life without bothersome monthly periods, complications such as skin dryness, hot flashes, and many other fun things can arise from the sudden drop of estrogen in your body.
Fortunately, there are some superfoods that can alleviate and, in some cases, even prevent the symptoms that accompany this feminine milestone:
- Whole grains.
- Lean meat.
- Oily Fish.
- Fruits and Vegetables.
Vitamin D is crucial for women since it protects the bones during menopause. Sure, you can get it from the sun, but eggs are a safe bet if you want to make sure you’ve got enough of it.
Furthermore, eggs contain loads of other nutrients like iron and vitamin B, which can make you feel more energetic while keeping your bones strong. Plus, they taste great and can be cooked in various ways.
Menopause can cause your hormones to fluctuate, which can sometimes result in sub-optimal serotonin levels. This accounts for mood swings and sudden cravings for sweets.
Carbohydrate-rich snacks have been linked to boosting serotonin levels, banishing sugar cravings, and improving one’s mood. Complex carbohydrates, such as those gleaned from steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and brown rice, take things a step further since they contain folic acid and fiber. The former is said to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, which rises after menopause, while the latter provides added fuel and energy.
Your calorie needs decline with every decade of your life, so by the time you hit menopause, it would be advisable to seek out lower-fat sources of protein (which stabilizes blood sugar and thus regulates mood swings).
So, rather than opting for pork chops or thick steaks, go for leaner cuts and cook them over a grill or a broiler instead of a frying pan whenever possible.
Craving potato chips or pretzels? Reach for some almonds instead. They’re a great source of healthy fat, which is great for combatting the drying effects that accompany declining estrogen levels.
Almonds also have high amounts of heart-healthy nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E complex, and riboflavin, along with trace minerals like manganese and copper.
Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and cod all contain those wonderful omega-3 fatty acids that not only provide menopausal women with energy and healthy fats, but also reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
As bonus, taking supplements with EPA, which is one of the omega-3 fats found in fish oil, has the potential to reduce the frequency of hot flashes.
Age tends to slow down one’s metabolism, and due to the tendency of most middle-aged women towards a sedentary state, weight gain is a dreaded menopause symptom experienced by most.
Fruits are a great way to counter this, as they satiate one’s cravings for sweets without piling on the calories. Combined with vegetables, these minimize weight gain without depriving you of your much-needed nutrients.
Calcium deficiency is the leading cause of bone degeneration, and sometimes, drinking milk or consuming dairy products isn’t enough to address it since they’ve been processed so much to be of any use to the body.
Broccoli, on the other hand, is often overlooked as a great calcium source. If you’re worried that eating it might make you bloat, taking a bit of vitamin D can fix that straightaway.
Yep, no matter how old you get, drinking eight glasses of water a day never goes out of style.Keeping yourself hydrated is especially important for menopausal women since this helps them avoid dryness symptoms and bloating.
Not a fan of plain water? Steep some fruits and herbs in a pitcher-full and enjoy the added flavors without the high chemical and sugar content in store-bought versions.
Aging might be inevitable, but it doesn’t always have to be a miserable experience. A lot of things may change over the course of our lives, but making our health a priority and taking care of our bodies in the best way should remain constant.