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Penny Lancaster discusses her menopause 'brain fog'

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When a woman’s body goes through the natural transition, the hormone oestrogen dips, and periods can become erratic. Other symptoms can include hot flushes, chinese medicine little black balls night sweats, irritability, and weight gain. If you have found that your waistline has gradually grown wider, there are steps you can take to reverse the process. It is probable that you can lose up to two stone (within a year) if you participate in “fast walking” for 30 minutes every day.

“Thirty minutes of fast walking a day could lead to around 7kg (15lb) weight loss in a year,” the experts at BDA stated.

Other helpful habits to curb weight gain caused by the menopause include restricting portion sizes and being mindful of how many calories you consume.

Weight loss can also help to mitigate a woman’s risk of heart disease, which otherwise increases due to older age.

Higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and a loss of calcium from the bones are all risks while going through the menopause.

Other symptoms of menopause can include poor concentration, frequent headaches, and joint pains.

The severity and longevity of menopausal symptoms will differ for each woman.

“For all women, diet and lifestyle changes can help with symptoms. This can include taking dietary supplement products,” added the expert from BDA.

A balanced diet is key for improving menopausal symptoms, which should include two to three portions of calcium-rich foods every day.

Calcium-rich foods can include:

  • A third of a pint/200ml semi skimmed milk
  • A matchbox size piece of cheese
  • A small yoghurt
  • A milk-based pudding like custard or rice pudding.

Consuming calcium-rich foods can help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Furthermore, a healthy diet involves meals based on fish, nuts, beans or pulses at least once a week.

It is also helpful to reduce your intake of refined sugars, such as sweets, cakes, and soft drinks – all of which will help you to lose weight.

Plant oestrogen

Also known as phytoestrogens, if eaten regularly and in sufficient quantities, the foods can start to have oestrogen-like effects.

This is useful for menopausal women who will inevitably be experiencing a decline in the hormone oestrogen.

Consuming plant oestrogen could be sufficient to help relieve menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes.

Bear in mind it can take up to three months for the benefits of plant oestrogen to be noticeable.

Plant oestrogen foods:

  • Soya
  • Linseeds
  • Yoghurts
  • Edamame beans
  • Supplements.

Research has shown that consuming plant oestrogen foods several times a day, rather than in one large dose, is more effective at reducing menopausal symptoms.

Also bear in mind that the benefits of plant oestrogen foods can be reduced if you consume caffeine and alcohol.

Caffeine and alcohol can make hot flushes worse, so moderation or abstinence is helpful.

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