by Rebekah Scott
(last updated November 15, 2011)
One of the first things that can be done to alleviate the symptoms of menopause is to alter the diet. A focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and good proteins is not only beneficial to overall health, but can also improve the body's ability to stabilize itself during the ups and down of menopause. For example, the potassium in fruits such as bananas and oranges will reduce sodium levels, which will in turn cut down on water retention and bloating. Because many of the symptoms of menopause are caused by low estrogen levels, plants that naturally contain estrogen such as soy, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, green beans, and oats should also be added to the diet.
Just as the consumption of beneficial foods should be increased, less beneficial or harmful foods should be avoided, or eaten infrequently and in very small quantities. Among these are red meat, caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, soda and all carbonated drinks, and refined sugars and carbohydrates. All of these foods can increase the frequency and magnitude of hot flashes.
Another way to avoid hot flashes is to take a Vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E also helps decrease night sweats, which is another uncomfortable and common symptom of menopause.
Vitamin C also helps with hot flashes, and has the added benefit or encouraging the body to produce more collagen. Collagen prevents feminine itch and dryness by helping skin maintain its elastic and flexible nature. It is important to take a type of Vitamin C that is easily absorbed by the body. Any supplement that contains a bioflavonoid complex is a good choice.
Exercise is key to maintaining good health, ensuring proper circulation, and maintaining the efficient functions of body organs. Exercise also fights against osteoporosis, a common illness in menopausal women, by protecting against bone loss.
And don't underestimate the power that exercise can have on boosting good emotions. Mood swings affect almost everyone going through menopause and can make women feel emotionally weakened or out of control. Because exercise boosts the level of hormones that increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing, it acts as a natural antidepressant. Simple activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming can do a lot to improve the mood. Even though it may be hard to get started, fighting the urge to stay in front of the TV is well worth it when you consider the benefits that regular physical activity has on menopausal symptoms.
The key to fighting menopausal symptoms with natural treatments is to focus on good health. A healthy and well-rounded diet anchored in vegetables and whole grains, along with vitamin supplements and regular exercise, will help ease the transition through menopause.
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