It is important to maintain or regain fitness, especially around the time of menopause. Suitable activities are walking, dancing, bike riding, exercise bike, gardening. A suitable walking time would be 20-30 minutes at least 3 times per week. If a person is unfit, they need to start with less time and gradually build up.
- Maintain a predominance of plant foods.
- Include legumes for protein and cut down on meat.
- Cut down on starchy carbohydrates, particularly bread and white potatoes.
- Choose unrefined carbohydrates, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, legumes.
- Don’t eat wheat or products that contain wheat. Spelt or gluten free grains such as quinoa and millet are better.
- Don’t eat sugar or foods that contain sugar.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables with an emphasis on raw.
- Replace refined oils and saturated fats with food sources of good oils like avocado, nuts and seeds.
- Don’t drink homogenized milk.
- Eliminate food that is devoid of nutrition.
Some body shapes are more prone to weight gain than others. Some people have a slower metabolism than others, and convert food energy to fat rather than burning it. People who put on weight easily will need to work hard at keeping weight gain to a minimum. Thin people on the other hand need to work on supplementing the diet with foods and nutrients that can help with hormonal balance because these people may suffer more from lack of oestrogen. People who are overweight are less prone to osteoporosis than thin people because the fat cells will be producing oestrogen as well as the ovaries.
For effective weight control, eat foods with a low ‘glycemic index’. A list of these foods can be found in The Healing Poser of Food book on this website. Drink plenty of pure filtered water and maintain regular exercise.
Alternatives to HRT
In 1939 it was discovered that an ingredient in the Mexican Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) could be converted into a molecule that is identical to the body’s hormone, progesterone. This has been made into a cream that can be simply rubbed on to the skin. Natural progesterone precursors that stimulate the body’s own production of progesterone have been developed from wild yam and chaste tree (Vitex agnes-castus). These provide safe and natural hormonal balance alternatives for women of all ages.
Foods, herbs and supplements shown to relieve menopausal symptoms are:
- Mexican Wild Yam – Can be taken orally or absorbed in the form of the cream.
- Chaste tree extract – works with Mexican Wild Yam
- Calcium/magnesium – helps bones and assists good sleeping patterns.
- Vitamin C and B complex – for adrenal glands and adrenal hormones.
- Kelp – may assist in proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Zinc – may improve hormonal balance.
- Vitamin E and Bioflavonoids – may relieve hot flushes and aches and pains.
- Sarsaparilla – may help balance hormones.
- Oats – good for the nervous system and may help with depression.
- Sprouted soy beans, legumes and alfalfa – can supply additional oestrogen.
- Dong quai – has been used by the Chinese for menopause. It is said to improve liver function and metabolism.
- St. John’s Wart – for depression.
- Black cohash – to restore hormonal balance, thus alleviating mood swings and depression, heavy bleeding and other symptoms related to oestrogen decline.
- Fenugreek – may help to provide more progesterone.
A naturopath can supply you with a herbal mix or homeopathic drops that will balance your hormones.
Any oil you buy must be diluted. Never apply neat oil to the skin as it could cause an adverse reaction.
- Cypress – has cooling, drying qualities, which can help alleviate nervous tension. It has a restful, woody smell.
- Try adding it, together with a few drops each of clary sage, rosemary and lemon oils to bath water.
- To make a cooling mist, which can help to ease hot flushes, put 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar into a spray bottle and top up with 100 ml of pure water, then add 3 drops each of cypress and clary sage oils. Shake before using.
The Global Health Alert – Be Informed Productions P/L 2002
Balance those Hormones, Lyn Shand & Sheridan Morris, Aust, 1998
Food Solutions: Menopause, Sally Lewis, Hamlyn, U.K, 2001