As women approach menopause, they may start to experience a variety of symptoms. These can include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing these symptoms, there are some natural remedies for menopause symptoms that can help.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is menopause
Menopause is the biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual period.
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier or later. The average age for menopause in the United States is 51.
During menopause, your ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone — hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. This can cause a number of physical and psychological changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems. You might also notice changes in your mood and sexual desire.
Many women may also experience menopausal symptoms for several years before and after their final period.
Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms
There is no single “cure” for menopause symptoms. However, there are treatments that can help alleviate them. Traditionally, these include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which replaces the hormones that are no longer being produced by the ovaries; antidepressants; and lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
While all these approaches can help ease the symptoms, some medications may come with additional side effects. Here is how to take a more natural approach to ensure you improve your symptoms and stay in your best health.
1. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is essential for many bodily functions, including regulating body temperature. This is why drinking plenty of fluids is often recommended as a way to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Water is always the best choice for hydration, but if you’re not a fan of plain water, there are other options available. Herbal teas, fruit-infused waters, and even sparkling water can help you stay hydrated while providing additional health benefits. Just be sure to avoid sugary drinks like sodas and juices, which can actually contribute to dehydration.
In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, you can also help fight dehydration by eating high-water-content foods. Watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and oranges are all great options.
Soups and stews are also hydrating choices, just be sure to choose ones that are broth-based rather than cream-based. See, How Much Water Should You Drink A Day To Lose Weight.
2. Exercise regularly
There are a number of reasons why exercise may help to relieve menopause symptoms.
It improves sleep quality
If you’re having trouble sleeping during menopause, regular exercise can help. One study found that postmenopausal women who did aerobic and strength-training exercises three times a week for 16 weeks slept better and felt more rested during the day than those who didn’t exercise.
It relieves hot flashes and night sweats
Hot flashes and night sweats are common during menopause and can disrupt your sleep.
Research shows that regular aerobic exercise may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats.
One study found that postmenopausal women who exercised four times a week for 12 weeks had fewer hot flashes than those who didn’t exercise.
Another study found that women who did aerobic and resistance training three times a week for 16 weeks had less severe hot flashes than those who didn’t exercise.
Exercise helps with weight gain
Weight gain is common during menopause due to changes in hormones and metabolism.
Exercise can help prevent weight gain by helping you burn calories.
Additionally, exercise has many other health benefits that can help offset some of the health concerns that can come with menopause, such as osteoporosis and heart disease See, Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercises.
3. Increase your vegetable and fruit intake
Vegetables and fruits are a great way to improve menopause symptoms because they are packed with nutrients that can help alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other common symptoms.
Try incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your diet by adding them to your meals or snacking them throughout the day.
Some great options include carrots, celery, tomatoes, apples, berries, and citrus fruits.
Not only will you be getting the benefits of the nutrients in these foods, but you’ll also be staying hydrated, which is important for menopausal women. See. Best Immunity Boosting Fruits And Best Immunity Boosting Vegetables.
4. Maintain a moderate weight
It is no secret that many women struggle with their weight during menopause. The changes in hormone levels can cause a woman’s metabolism to slow down, making it more difficult to lose weight.
On the contrary, losing weight has been shown to relieve most of the symptoms. ?
In one study, postmenopausal women that lost 10 pounds of weight or 10 percent of their body weight experienced fewer night sweats and hot flashes.
Additionally, the hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. This can lead to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods, which may result in more weight gain. See, Best Diet For Weight Loss.
There are, however, some things that women can do to help themselves maintain a healthy weight during menopause.
- Eat a healthy diet: This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limiting processed foods and saturated fats.
- Get regular exercise: Even moderate amounts of exercise 30 minutes a day can help boost metabolism and offset some of the weight gain associated with menopause.
- Manage your stress levels
- Get enough sleep: Seven to eight hours per night is ideal
- Avoid yo-yo dieting or any quick fixes that promise faster weight loss: Yo-yo dieting can only lead to weight gain as it’s not an effective way to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
5. Increase foods rich in phytoestrogen
In recent years, the role of dietary phytoestrogens in improving menopausal symptoms has been widely studied. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds with a structure similar to estrogen and can bind to estrogen receptors in the body.
Foods rich in phytoestrogens, such as soybeans, tofu, flaxseeds, chickpeas, and sesame seeds, can help improve menopausal symptoms by providing the body with a plant-based source of estrogen. See, 14 Foods High In Estrogen.
Estrogen levels naturally decline during menopause, which can lead to hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other bothersome symptoms.
Phytoestrogens can help to alleviate these symptoms by supplementing the body’s dwindling supply of estrogen.
In addition, foods rich in phytoestrogens are also high in fiber and nutrients like calcium and iron, which can help to support overall health during menopause.
6. Healthy fats
Research has shown that healthy fats can help lower the symptoms of menopause.
Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats. They can also help to improve your mood and keep your energy levels up.
Of course, you don’t want to overdo it on the fat intake. But including a few servings of healthy fats in your diet, each day can make a big difference in how you feel during menopause. See, Healthy Fats To Consume.
7. Get enough protein
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps keep our bodies functioning properly.
It’s especially important during menopause because it helps offset the loss of muscle mass that can occur during this time.
Getting enough protein can also help with weight management, as it helps you feel full longer and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
There are plenty of ways to get more protein into your diet—incorporate legumes like beans, nuts, and seeds into your meals and snacks. You can also find protein powders and bars that make it easy to get your fix.
Just remember to consume moderate amounts and pair protein with other healthy foods to create balanced meals. See, Best Vegan Protein Sources.
Trigger foods that make menopause worse
There are a number of foods that can trigger menopause symptoms. Avoiding these trigger foods can help decrease the severity and frequency of these symptoms.
For many women, menopause is a time of increased anxiety and stress. And while alcohol may seem like a “good” way to relax, it can actually make menopause symptoms worse.
Alcohol can cause hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep problems—all of which are already common during menopause. It can also lead to weight gain, which can worsen other symptoms like fatigue and mood swings.
So if you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
If you’re like most women going through menopause, you probably turn to caffeine to help you get through the day. Unfortunately, caffeine can make your menopause symptoms worse.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause your body to feel more anxious and stressed. This can exacerbate hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Caffeine can also disrupt your sleep, which can lead to fatigue and moodiness.
If you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, it’s best to eliminate caffeine.
The main reason why spicy food can make menopause symptoms worse is that it can trigger hot flashes. Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, and they can be triggered by anything that raises your body temperature. Spicy food like chili peppers does just that, so it’s best to avoid them if you’re dealing with hot flashes.
In addition to hot flashes, spicy food can also cause night sweats.
If you find that spicy food is worsening your night sweats, it’s best to cut back or eliminate it from your diet.
Finally, spicy food can also aggravate other menopause symptoms like mood swings and fatigue. If you find that your menopause symptoms are getting worse after eating spicy food, it’s best to avoid it and see if your symptoms improve.
It’s no secret that sugar can have some pretty negative effects on our health. But did you know that it can also make menopause symptoms worse? Here’s why:
Sugar can cause weight gain.
During menopause, many women experience changes in their hormones that can lead to weight gain. And since sugar is a high-calorie food, eating too much of it can contribute to weight gain and worsen menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Sugar can trigger mood swings.
If you’re already dealing with the mood swings that come with menopause, adding sugar into the mix is only going to make things worse. That’s because sugar can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, which can leave you feeling irritable, anxious, and depressed.
Sugar can disrupt sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping during menopause, it could be due in part to your sugar intake. That’s because sugar can interfere with your body’s ability to produce the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate sleep. So if you’re reaching for sugary snacks late at night, it could be doing more harm than good. See, Warning Signs That You Are Eating Too Much Sugar.
When your body breaks down refined carbohydrates, it turns them into sugar.
Sugar is known to cause inflammation, and inflammation can exacerbate menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Also, refined carbs are often high in unhealthy fats and chemicals that can also contribute to inflammation.
Additionally, refined carbs tend to be low in fiber, which means they don’t fill you up as much and can leave you feeling tired and cranky. So if you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, cutting back on refined carbs may help ease your symptoms.
High salt foods
One food group that you may want to limit or avoid altogether during menopause is high-salt foods. While a little salt is necessary for our bodies to function properly, too much salt can lead to a variety of problems – including making menopause symptoms worse.
Salt can cause bloating and water retention, which can exacerbate hot flashes and night sweats.
Additionally, salt can raise blood pressure, which is already a common issue for women during menopause.
Also, sodium can interfere with calcium absorption, leading to bone loss and an increased risk for osteoporosis.
So if you’re dealing with menopause symptoms, it’s best to avoid high-salt foods as much as possible.
As we age, our bodies undergo changes that can sometimes be difficult to manage. Menopause is one of those changes, and while it’s a natural part of life, the symptoms can be disruptive.
Thankfully, there are a number of natural approaches that can help ease menopause symptoms and make the transition a little bit easier.
These may include, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a moderate weight, and increasing your intake of phytoestrogen foods, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits.
In addition, avoid triggers such as sugar, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and foods with too much salt.
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