Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Good things to eat throughout menopause: Isoflavones

Menopause is a natural time in a woman's life during which time her periods cease. This should be a time when a woman's focus changes from the possibility of creating babies and her body working towards that every month, to a time to focus her growing energy outwardly and to enjoy becoming free of her monthly hormonal cycle. But sometimes all of a woman's energy is stolen to cope with quite severe menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, weight gain, feeling down, low energy, mood swings, bone loss and insomnia.

When a woman is healthy and her hormones are in balance there should be no symptoms of menopause. In fact women in Asia are reported to have less menopausal symptoms. This is thought to be due to their diets high in legumes (chickpeas, soya etc.), which are high in phytoestrogens (isoflavones). These compounds help to block the uptake of synthetic chemical oestrogen (not good) at the same time as helping to keep our own natural body levels of oestrogen higher (good). Luckily diet and taking certain nutritional supplements can help with hormone imbalance.

Increasing foods high in phytoestrogens, such as the isoflavones can help. These foods can be found in the soy foods such as tofu, tempeh and soy milk. Someone suffering from menopausal symptoms could swap some of their dairy foods for soy milk, soy yogurt and even soy cheese and notice a difference. Other foods high in isoflavones are chick peas, split peas and beans, alfalfa and linseeds. Also clover sprouts and red clover. Red clover supplements are useful to take as they have a higher concentration of isoflavones and so give a higher level of relief.

Sharon Kaye DipION
Writing for Promensil

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