When you hit 40, the saying goes that “life begins”. This is actually true in more ways than you think.
You have probably talked to your friends or your mother about Perimenopause and Menopause” and its cascade of symptoms. Did you know that there are At least 22 symptoms of Perimenopause (which are the years leading up to Menopause) and possibly more. It is possible to have very little or minimal symptoms and be able to live your life and feel great inside and out during Perimenopause and Menopause. Most women do not realise that their symptoms are not due to “old age” and they don’t have to put up with them. Ageing doesn’t have to be daunting at all.
HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE SYMPTOMS YOU COULD BE EXPERIENCING DURING PERIMENOPAUSE
Your sleep can be disrupted and you dream of sleeping like a baby. Hot flashes can disrupt sleep or you could be waking up in the early hours of the morning. Stress can affect cortisol levels which puts out your circadium rhythm and so you are waking up at 2 am or 3 am.
You may have just started with your own personal sauna ie hot flashes and they can happen at any time, not just at night. This can disrupt your day to day life as you never know when an attack is going to happen.
You may start to notice that you just don’t feel like your old self or start to feel no emotion, too much emotion or even anxiety.
You may have noticed that everyone around you is acting strangely and getting on your nerves. Your husband or partner is suddenly agreeing to everything you say or your box of paracetamol is empty and you only bought it yesterday.
In the Perimenopause years, your hormones – in particular estrogen and progesterone, are on a rollercoaster ride, one minute up and the other down. Its no surprise that you feel like you have lost your sense of identity and feel like you are out of control. This can affect your relationships with your friends, family and colleagues, you just can’t focus at work, you feel bloated and have sugar cravings that you can’t seem to control and you lack the energy to even get sexy with your husband and enjoy family life.
There are so many things that you can do but here are my favourite 5 things to start right now:-
Eggs are powerhouses of nutrition and help to control your appetite because they contain protein, selenium, which is essential for thyroid health and your thyroid helps you to control hormone balance. Eggs also contain amino acids to help support mental health by regulating the release or serotonin which is our feel good hormone. They contain cholesterol which is critical for healthy hormone levels, they help to reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. They contain choline which is great for brain health to help you feel more focused during perimenopause. They contain Vitamin D which is essential for bone health and immune system health. The last thing is that eggs contain B vitamins which we need for energy and metabolism.
Green tea can help you to lose weight which compliments a healthy diet and reduces fatigue as it contains a catechin called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a fabulous antioxidant. Green tea contains polyphenols too, so the antioxidant and polyphenols together can help against breast cancer. The tea also contains L-theanine which helps with anxiousness and to promote good sleep. Green tea can also help to keep your bones strong and keep your heart healthy too.
The caffeine content of green tea is low so does not cause over stimulation of the adrenal glands like coffee does. There are lots of different varieties of green tea such as china or Japanese green teas. Buy a few different varieties so you can choose which one is your favourite. You can buy caffeine free green tea but during the de-caffeine process some of the polyphenols are lost.
Cinnamon is great at balancing blood sugar levels and controlling sugar cravings. It is also loaded with antioxidants and helps to reduce inflammation. It is also great to regulate the menstrual cycle and calm menstrual cramps and supports mood and anxiety.
It is not only essential every day to keep us hydrated, it also can help to burn calories and if you drink a glass of water 30 minutes before you eat it can reduce the amount of food that you eat. It could increase your metabolism by as much as 30%. This is a great help to control extra weight gain during perimenopause and hormonal imbalance. It also helps with digestion and keeping things moving through the digestive tract to keep the toxins out of your body which helps with hormone balancing and to stop constipation. When our hormones are on a rollercoaster ride this causes stress and can cause a disruption on the digestion too.
A Peruvian Root which is classed as a food rather than a supplement. It is an excellent adaptogen. Adaptogens can help to balance the body due to stress without causing any major side effects and is excellent for hormonal balancing.
Maca is raw and it can be hard on a sensitive digestion. You can buy powder or capsules. If you have a sensitive digestion, I would recommend gelatinized Maca powder. The starch in the gelatinized Maca has been broken down slightly to make digestion much easier. By breaking down the starch some of the nutrient content is removed.
Maca contains B vitamins, Vitamin C, E, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. It is good for mood and brain health, increases bone density and is an energy enhancer but does not stress the adrenals. It can also increase libido and enhance fertility.
There are three types of Maca, yellow, red and black. The yellow type can be used by both men and women. The red Maca is most suited to women and has a high phytonutrient content. The black Maca is most suited to men as it can boosts libido and sperm count.
A study revealed that Maca powder, at a dosage of 500 mg capsules twice a day, reduced psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression and lowered measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women after 2 months of taking it by 74% to 87%.
Maca may not be suited to every women. You need to try it and see what works for you.