Menopause marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycling and fertility and is a condition that all women experience as they age. It occurs when the ovaries cease producing oestrogen and progesterone, two necessary hormones for a woman's reproductive cycle to function.
Menopause typically occurs in a woman's late forties or early fifties. The decreasing levels of oestrogen associated with menopause may cause more distressing symptoms that include: - Mood swings - Decreased sex drive - Hot flashes and night sweats - Sweating - Racing heart (palpitations) - Headaches - Vaginal dryness and soreness - Trouble sleeping - Bone thinning (osteoporosis)
Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of menopause and perimenopause. Soy products are high in isoflavones (phytoestrogen) and work in the body like a weak form of oestrogen that may help relieve symptoms. For some women, lowering their cholesterol level may help as it has may relieve hot flashes and night sweats. Traditional Asian diets are high in soy, ranging from 40 to 80mg of isoflavones each day. The average person in the US eats very little soy - less than 3mg of isoflavones each day. It is recommended to consume a range of 40 to 80mg of isoflavones per day for adequate relief.
Five nutrition tips that can prevent long-term health risks associated with menopause 1. OSTEOPOROSIS
Get enough calcium. An adequate intake of calcium for women aged 51 and older is 1,000 (Thai DRI) _1.2g per day. Eating and drinking two to four servings of dairy products (300mg of calcium per serving) and calcium-rich foods such as sardines, canned salmon, broccoli and legumes will help ensure enough calcium in a daily diet. Also soy isoflavones help promote better bone health and have a positive effect on bone density. 2.CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
Reduce foods high in fat. Fat should provide 30% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 10% of your total daily calories. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is found in fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream, and cheese. Limit cholesterol intake to 300mg or less per day. Also try to limit your intake of trans fat, found in vegetable oils, many baked goods and some margarines. Trans fat also raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease. 3.EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Include at least two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables in your daily diet to get adequate fibre, vitamins and minerals. 4.USE SALT IN MODERATION
Too much sodium in a diet has been linked to high blood pressure. Limit adding salt, fish sauce and soy sauce to food and minimise cured foods (bacon and ham), foods packed in brine (pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, sauerkraut), and condiments (mustard, horseradish, ketchup, barbecue sauce). 5.LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE
Women should limit their consumption of alcohol to one drink a day or less. One drink is a glass of wine (150ml), can of beer (360ml) or glass of whisky (45ml).