From mood swings to hot flashes, the effects of menopause on the body can feel overwhelming and exhausting. Here are 7 easy lifestyle tips that will help ease your body during this time of transition.
Foods for Hot Flashes
Soy products are loaded with phytoestrogens, plant-based chemicals that behave like estrogen and might prove useful for the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Some studies have shown that phytoestrogens can reduce the severity of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. To get more soy in your diet, swap cow’s milk for soy milk once a day or add a half cup of tofu to your lunch or dinner. Another phytoestrogen-rich food is flaxseed: Grind one or two tablespoons in a coffee or spice grinder and sprinkle into smoothies, yogurt, or cereal.
Hot Flash No-Nos
Prone to those sneaky, sweaty hot flashes? A few lifestyle changes can help reduce their frequency and intensity: Avoid heat-inducing triggers like spicy foods, coffee, any hot beverages, and booze.
Take a Morning Soak
If you suffer from hot flashes, prepare yourself a warm morning bath and soak for about 15 minutes. The morning bath routine can tone down and even prevent hot flashes throughout the day.
The loss of estrogen during menopause makes you more susceptible to heart disease and osteoporosis. To counteract these higher risks, boost your intake of nutritious Omega-3 fats from fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines. Omega-3s are known to help reduce bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure while increasing your good cholesterol—therefore lowering your risk of heart disease. These magical fatty acids also play a role in the maintenance and regeneration of strong bones, so they may help ward off osteoporosis. Reach for the fatty fish three days per week for optimal benefits.
Take Care of Your Bones
The increased risk of osteoporosis during and after menopause means you’ll need to take extra care of your bones. Naturally, calcium should be a top priority—but don’t forget magnesium! Magnesium enables your body to absorb calcium efficiently, so the two should really go hand in hand. Get your magnesium from a range of foods including legumes, dark leafy greens, bananas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and oatmeal.
Choose Your Clothing Wisely
If you’re suffering from hot flashes, try to wear light, loose-fitting, breathable fabrics like cotton in pale colors, which will hide sweat marks.
Bust a Move
If you don’t already exercise regularly, menopause is a great time to start! Not only does exercising help you shed pounds and keep your heart in shape, only 20 minutes per day can also improve symptoms of menopause. Work out every day to reduce the severity of mood swings, night sweats, and hot flashes, and also to help rebalance your fluctuating hormone levels. You can get a fantastic workout from brisk walks, swimming laps, aerobics classes, or even yoga. Speak with your doctor about exercise plans that can work for you.