Y. Vijaya Bharathi1 and G. Vijaya Durga2
1. Head of the Department Botany, Government Degree College, Salur, Vizianagaram (Dt), Andhra Pradesh (State), India.
2. Lecturer in Zoology, Government Degree College, Salur, Vizianagaram
(dt), Andhra Pradesh (state), India
Women are the back bone of family. Women health is very essential for successive role play in the family and society also. In natural conditions women born with ovaries which contain finite number of eggs. Puberty is the starting period for ovulation and menstruation. During these menstrual cycles ovaries produce hormones like estrogen and progesterone which play vital role in bone protection and balancing of blood glucose level.Generally women enter into Menopause at the age 45 and 55. Menopause is the age with follicular depletion, low circulating estrogen serum concentrations and biologically fluctuating metabolic processes (Ricki Pollycove et al., 2012). Menopause is the journey where no clear starting or ending point that could span years.
Natural menopause has three stages (Holly Earnst., 2019):
- Perimenopause –“ the period around the menopause”. Most women experience beginning of menopause symptoms at this
- Menopause- This is the point where women had no menstrual cycles for consecutive 12
- Postmenopause – These are the years after menopause. Health risks rise due to loss of
Some unusual conditions such as surgery like hysterectomy, or damage to the ovaries such as from chemotherapy induce menopause. Premature ovarian failure for unknown reason also causes premenopause.
SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE:
Due to depletion of estrogen levels the following symptoms may appear.
- Irregular periods during perimenopause stage; Hot flashes is feeling of warmth that spreads over the body most commonly head and chest, Night sweats.
- Vaginal symptoms may appear including vaginal dryness, itching or pain with sexual intercourse (dyspareunial) due to vaginal tissues lining the vagina becoming thinner, drier and less elastic.Urinary infections, tender breasts, low sex drive
- Weight gain due to metabolism slows, formation of wrinkles, adult acne are the other physical
- Unwanted hair growth at chin, upper lip, chest, or abdomen as a result of testosterone activity. In the previous age the normal production of estrogen masks the activity of testosterone. But at menopause stage there is no production of estrogen, hence testosterone exhibits its
- In some conditions osteoporosis due to decalcification from bones and atherosclerosis due to fat depositions in
- Emotional and cognitive symptoms include fatigue, memory problems, irritability and rapid mood
HEALTHY FOOD FOR WOMEN AT MENOPAUSE:
Doctors prescribe Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during or after menopause to treat menopausal hot flashes, it is not recommended for everyone. Natural remedies always preferable for relief from simple reasons. Food with nutritional support always leads human into a healthy life. To know the knowledge about what to eat and what not to eat during this period certainly give strength to defeat menopausal problems.
Phytoestrogens are dietary estrogens that occur naturally in plants and mimic body’s estrogen. They provide natural alternative to the synthetic estrogen used in hormone replacement therapies. Phytoestrogens relieves hot flashes, combatting menstrual issues, treating acne, prevents osteoporosis and promoting heart health. Foods that contain phytoestrogens also offer other nutritional benefits like protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. However, this does not mean that they are safer than synthetic estrogen and also carry the same risks like cancer, problems with reproduction and side effects like obesity (Heather B. Patisaul and Jefferson., 2010). However, getting estrogen from natural food sources is a better choice than synthetic source.
Whole grain which fibre reduce blood cholesterol and keeps your arteries healthy. Dairy products and cheese contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and vitamin D and K that keeps bone healthy. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, salmon and anchovies and seeds like flax, chia and hemp. Existing data suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce symptoms.
commonly associated with menopausal transition including depressive symptoms (Ciappolino et al., 2018).
FOODS THAT CONTAIN PHYTOESTROGENS INCLUDE: (Lana Burgess., 2018)
|Broccoli Yams Lentils
Alfalfa sprouts Mung beans Sprouts
|Apples Carrots Pomegranates Strawberries Cranberries
Wheat germ Brown rice
|Chick peas Lentils
Red kidney beans Split peas
|NUTS AND SEEDS:
|Flax seeds Sunflower seeds Sesame see Almonds Walnuts.
Chia seeds Hemp seeds
|Soybeans Tofu Tempeh
|Red clover Licorice root Hops
|Bourbon Whiskey Coffee
Red wine Olive oil Jasmine oils
ROLE OF IRON AND CALCIUM:
At menopause stage declassification is the main problem. Hence there is a need to take calcium rich foods in daily life. We can find calcium in dairy products, fish with bones, broccoli and legumes Iron is available in red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts and enriched grain products. 8 milligrams of iron is recommended at post midlife.Drink plenty of water for removal of waste through perspiration, urination and defecation. Maintain healthy weight by doing exercise and low fat diet.The benefits and results may vary from person to person. Phytoestrogens are not recommended to the women at high risk of breast cancer, or suffering with breast cancer. Soy supplements were recommended to them. Hence, it is better to speak to a doctor before starting to take any new supplements, including phytoestrogen.
FOOD TO AVOID:
- Processed foods and added sugars such as white bread, Crackers and baked goods raise blood sugar
- Alcohol and caffeine can trigger hot flashes. Research on perimenopausal women in India proved that intake of spicy foods promote hot flashes and anxiety
- At this age fat metabolism become slow. Hence, it is necessary to cut back on high-fat foods. Saturated fats enhance the risk of heart diseases. These are present in fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream and cheese. Limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams or less per
- Avoid trans fats to prevent heart disease, inflammation, higher LDL cholesterol.
Many women experience unpleasant symptoms during menopause such as hot flashes, poor sleep, mood swings etc. One can combat these problems by modifying their life style with dietary changes, good exercise and meditation.
- Ciappolino V et al“N-3 polyunsatured fatty acids in menopausal transition: a systematic review of depressive and cognitive disorders with accompanying vasomotor symptoms,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 19, no. 7 (June 23, 2018):
- Heather B. Patisaul and Jefferson., (2010). The Pros and Cons of HHS Public Access. 31(4): 400-419.
- Holly Earnst. (2019). Everything you should know about Menopause. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause
- Lana Burgess. (2018). What are phytoestrogens? Benefits and foods. Medical News Today. https://medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320630.php
- Ricki , Frederick Naftolin., and James A. Simon (2012). The evolutionary origin and significance of Menopause. HHS Public Access