To Your Health
March, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 03)
Leading the way in this more holistic approach are natural products that work to create an environment for optimal health in women's bodies, specifically by affecting their own hormone production across the entire endocrine system.
According to recent clinical research, these products may do more than merely increase hormone levels; they also may increase bone density; elevate iron and calcium levels, due to improved absorption of vitamins and minerals; reduce "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) increase "good" cholesterol (HDL), reduce body weight and increase energy.
Diet and Lifestyle: Your Allies in the Fight Against Menopause
These holistic effects mentioned above are further enhanced with the recognition that the distressing symptoms that affect 75 percent of Western women at menopause can largely be considered as diet and lifestyle-related. As the baby boomers reach this stage of life, and as wellness-focused care becomes the catch-cry of this generation, women are not only willing and eager to adopt the health-promotion measures that can make menopausal symptoms a thing of the past, but also will seek out the products that best support their own efforts and address their core or foundation health.
So, what exactly is core or foundation health, and what are these self-help efforts? First of all, women should know that all of the hormones, neurotransmitters, endorphins and other factors that can reduce menopausal symptoms depend on an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals, aminos and essential fatty acids. These building blocks come from, or have precursors in, the food and drinks women consume. Unfortunately, most modern diets are unlikely to supply an adequate complement of all those building blocks.
Maximize minerals. One simple way to supply some of them is to replace common table salt with a mineral-laden salt. A further simple step can involve drinking water that is mineral-rich, rather than mineral-deficient.
It is important to point out that drinking water which has been purified to the extent there is neither good nor bad left (e.g., reverse osmosis) can lead to significant mineral loss, because the "empty" water leaches minerals from the body.
Eat the right foods. Nutritional status also is compromised by a diet that contains too many carbohydrates and too little protein. Most modern diets are too high in grain-based products, such as bread, cereals, pasta, rice, pastries, cakes and biscuits. However, when women eat the appropriate balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat, they get a host of benefits - normal appetite, emotional stability, mental clarity, more energy and even loss of fat - just from eating the right foods.
Get detoxified. Women also need to get rid of pre-existing accumulated toxicity. Just like landfill sites that become overloaded and wreak havoc in the environment, bodies can become a toxic waste dump and wreak havoc with health. For example, accumulated toxicity will trigger biochemical processes that tell the body to store fat. And unfortunately, being overweight, with the poor body image that may accompany it, can contribute to the depressed state many women experience during menopause. Good detoxification processes require that you consume an abundance of essential nutrients (particularly antioxidants such as vitamins C, E and zinc) and drink at least 2 liters of purified water every day.
Build lean muscle mass. Another contributing factor to healthy aging and reduced experience of menopausal symptoms is the amount of lean muscle in the body. In fact, muscle mass is actually the number-one biomarker for vitality and longevity. Muscle does much more than just move the body around; it is a very important organ - as important as the heart, the liver and the kidneys. It is like the engine that powers the car. But without a conscious effort to maintain muscle mass, it is lost at the rate of 3 kg per decade from the early 20s on, and the loss accelerates after age 45. As muscle is lost, fat levels increase. Reduced muscle mass also means poor blood glucose control, with the potential for mood swings and emotional instability - common symptoms of menopause. Reduced muscle mass also means compromised mobility and reduced levels of activity, which further translates into some of the issues of menopause. The good news is that it's possible to build muscle at any age.