There are many things you can do to ease the process. Now, more than ever, you need to embrace a lifestyle that is healthy and balanced, even if you do feel off-kilter on some days. And because menopause is a time associated with weight gain, hot flushes, water retention and emotional see-saws, the healthier your lifestyle, the fewer the symptoms. Here’s what you can do:
For Weight Gain
This is the phase when (what I call) your fat ‘storage cupboards’ change and your body starts to store fat in different places. From always having a flattish stomach, for example, it suddenly may be distressing to find it becoming bigger, possibly altering your shape. You can effectively combat this by good nutrition and exercise as tools.
Menopause is also a time to introduce calcium-rich foods because the drop in oestrogen is associated with a drop in calcium levels. While calcium-rich foods like kale, milk, dahi, cheese (use judiciously), broccoli go a long way in helping with calcium deficiency, this is also a time to chomp on antioxidant foods and nourishing vegetable juices. Antioxidant foods include beans, fish, nuts, whole grains and dark leafy green vegetables. Blend vegetable juice in a mixie, not a juicer – three raw vegetables with water. Then, add about half the pulp back to the glass. Top up with water and season to taste.
For Mood Swings
Stay off sugary foods — no matter how much you crave them — is a good idea. Healthier foods are better for your blood sugar, as the sugars in these foods slowly release in your body, leading to more stability in your mood. Eating every two hours keeps your sugar levels stable. Don’t forget to exercise. The endorphins released are a mood booster and stabilises — and reverses — osteoporosis.
Natural supplements that help combat menopausal symptoms include those with soya, soya protein isolates/isoflavones. Also, take a closer look at supplements with primosa oil, healthy omegas, Vitamin B and calcium