Menopause is a significant time in a woman’s life; just as significant as getting her first period. It signifies a new phase in her life. However, menopause can come with a myriad of uncomfortable physical, emotional and psychological symptoms.
There are a number of treatments available and many schools of thought about managing symptoms, but all health guides suggest that menopausal women should pay special attention to nutrition and exercise. In this article, we have some information about menopausal health that all women should know.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, pre-menopausal women should consume about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Women after menopause should consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Other guides recommend up to 1,500 mg of calcium per day.
Vitamin D is also very important for calcium absorption and bone formation. According to a 1992 study, women with post menopausal osteoporosis who took vitamin D for three years significantly reduced their risk of spinal fractures. This issue is controversial, however, as vitamin D can cause kidney stones, constipation or abdominal pain, especially in women with kidney problems.
A well balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and low in fat is also recommended. However, women going through menopause have special dietary concerns that may require changes in the way they eat. Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereal products, especially those high in vitamin C and beta carotene. Avoid foods and drinks with processed sugar, as many of these products contain empty calories and promote weight gain, which is a big concern for menopausal women.
Avoid salt-cured and smoked foods such as sausages, smoked fish, ham, bacon, bologna and hot dogs. These foods are high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure. You should eat a diet containing foods high in calcium, including milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products; oysters, sardines and canned salmon with bones; and dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
Menopausal women often experience weight gain. Besides the benefits to the heart and bones, health guides suggest regular exercise to help regulate weight, and it can be a mood enhancer. Women who are physically inactive are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also suffer from chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, loss of bone mass and depression.
In addition to improving your physical health, studies show that a healthy diet and exercise are proven to benefit your mental health. A positive attitude is a great way to get through the challenges of menopause. Your doctor can recommend health guides loaded with information about nutrition geared specifically toward menopausal women. Before you know it, you’ll look and feel better.