Every woman faced with menopausal changes in the body. This stage signals the completion of reproductive function and is accompanied by changes in the body. With the onset of menopause, the endocrine system reduces the production of ‘female’ hormones, which can affect the well-being and appearance of a woman. From a medical point of view, menopause is not a disease. But with its onset, almost every woman experiences discomfort symptoms. Dry skin, itching, palpitations, hypertension, hot flashes, changes in the functioning of the reproductive system, insomnia and much more – this is what the symptoms of menopausal syndrome may look like.
Another consequence of menopause may be the appearance of excess weight associated with hormonal changes and a slowdown in metabolic processes. This creates an additional burden and affects the emotional state, which further complicates the psychological adaptation to the stage of menopause.
What diseases occur in the body during menopause?
Every year that passes after the onset of menopause, our bones and joints become more fragile. The level of estrogen hormone drops after the onset of menopause and plays an important role in maintaining bone density – and therefore, in the first five years after menopause, women lose 20-30 percent of bone mass.
Another consequence of the loss of a significant dose of estrogen is periodontal disease and tooth loss. The fact is that calcium is leached not only from the bones of the skeleton but also from the solid base of the jaws, in which the roots of the teeth are “fixed”. As a result, the risk of tooth loss and periodontal disease significantly increase after menopause.
The estrogens that the ovaries produce before menopause provide powerful protection for our hearts. Increase the level of “good” HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol; dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow and prevent the increase in blood pressure and the formation of cholesterol plaques. It is not surprising that after menopause women have a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease: one in eight women aged 46 to 65 years old suffers from any cardiovascular disease, and in the age group over 65 this proportion increases to one in four.
The older women get, the higher their chances of getting breast cancer: for a 30-year-old woman, the risk of getting sick in the next ten years is 1: 227, but by age 60 the risk is already 1:28 – almost 10 times more! Medicine does not have a proven way to eliminate the risk of developing a disease, but one factor that affects it in our power is excess weight. The less weight you gain after menopause, the better you will take care of your health.
Menopause and overweight
According to the statistics, approximately 30% of women aged 50-60 are approaching the first stage of obesity. And this is doubly dangerous, because after menopause women often develop the male type of obesity, in which most of the fat accumulates in the abdomen. And this type of obesity significantly increases the risks of developing hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other dangerous diseases. Therefore, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight after menopause is a matter of not only beauty but also health.
After menopause, you have to exercise more intensively to achieve the same result as before. If you prefer aerobic exercise, either do it longer (if you prefer an average pace) or do the exercises more intensively (only 10-15 minutes per day will be enough). Another great way to maintain your normal weight is weight training. The higher the percentage of muscle tissue in your body is, the better your metabolism is.
After menopause, women need 1300 – 2000 calories per day, depending on how active they are. You should significantly review the diet to increase the proportion of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and foods high in dietary fiber. At the same time, eating meat products and especially processed meat, as well as carbohydrates and sugar should be reduced.
Your diet must contain:
- Vegetable and fruit salads, which contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Especially useful for menopause are brightly colored vegetables, fruits, and berries, greens, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, currants, cherries, grapefruit, etc;
- Onions and garlic, which not only strengthen the immune system but also normalize blood pressure;
- Dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt). These foods in the diet help make up for the calcium deficiency needed for bone strength, healthy teeth, and the cardiovascular system. In addition to dairy products, calcium is also rich in nuts, oatmeal, barley, garlic, leafy vegetables and greens, sesame seeds and poppy seeds, soy and soy products. To absorb calcium better, you need magnesium and phosphorus. These elements are found in fish, legumes, cocoa and cereal bread;
- Low-fat fish. It is perfect to have light-salted fish in your diet that contains phosphorus and polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, which prevent the development of atherosclerosis, lowering the level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood, and also contribute to the normalization of appetite and metabolism, which makes them a desirable component in weight loss diets. It is recommended to boil fish, bake or stew;
- Cereals and pasta: carbohydrates are the main source of energy. But you need to reduce the “fast” carbohydrates – sweets, bakery products, overly sweet and fatty foods, they contribute to the formation of fat deposits and should be excluded from your diet for weight loss;
- Lean meat (chicken breast, quail, turkey, rabbit). When cooking meat, remove all visible fat from it;
- Foods containing vitamin E (sprouted wheat, corn, peas, beans, unrefined vegetable oil, parsley, carrots, nuts, avocados, soy, oatmeal, etc. Vitamin E is recommended for menopause diet, as it reduces the manifestations of pain in breast, associated with hormonal changes, helps to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, the health of the cardiovascular system, and prevents thrombosis;
- Products with a high content of boron (apples, pears, apricots, carrots, grapes, beets, tomatoes, green peas, beans, lentils, raspberries, strawberries, prunes, peaches, raisins, figs, etc.). Boron performs many important functions: it helps to improve metabolic processes, accelerates protein synthesis, promotes the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and reproductive system, regulates hormones, stabilizes the central nervous system, and reduces the risks of developing diseases of the joints, spine, and kidneys.
- Food containing magnesium. This element is found in such products as wheat bran, rice, oatmeal, cocoa, nuts, buckwheat, eggs, spinach, sea kale, beans, peas. Magnesium lowers blood cholesterol, helps to cleanse the body, and improves the health of the cardiovascular system. This microelement is an important component of a menopause diet, as it is an effective antidepressant that increases resistance to stressful situations, preventing feelings of anxiety, irritability, and sudden mood swings;
- Products containing potassium (potatoes, parsley, radishes, bananas, cabbage, black currants, legumes, rye bread, dried fruits, nuts, watermelon, melon, etc.). Potassium provides elasticity of blood vessels, helps to lower cholesterol. It contributes to the normalization of kidney function, ensures the normal functioning of the muscular system.
The climax is only one of the stages in a woman’s life, which is characterized by certain changes in the body and requires a competent correction of nutrition and lifestyle. From this, the woman does not become less beautiful and attractive. Therefore, it is so important to love yourself, to take care of your health and your appearance!