Healthy Tips - Dealing With Menopause
Good nutrition and regular physical exercise are thought to improve overall health. Some doctors feel these factors can also affect menopause . Although these areas have not been well studied in women, anecdotal evidence is strongly in favor of eating well and exercising to help lower risks for CVD and osteoporosis.
While everyone agrees that a well-balanced diet is important for good health, there is still much to be learned about what constitutes "well-balanced." We do know that variety in the diet helps ensure a better mix of essential nutrients.
Nutritional requirements vary from person to person and change with age. A healthy premenopausal woman should have about 1,000 mgs of calcium per day. A 1994 Consensus Conference at the National Institutes of Health recommended that women after menopause consume 1,500 mgs per day if they are not using hormonal replacement or 1,000 mgs per day in conjunction with hormonal replacement. Foods high in calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products; oysters, sardines and canned salmon with bones; and dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli. In calcium tablets, calcium carbonate is most easily absorbed by the body. If you are lactose intolerant, acidophilus milk is more digestible. Vitamin D is also very important for calcium absorption and bone formation. A 1992 study showed that women with postmenopausal osteoporosis who took vitamin D for 3 years significantly reduced the occurrence of new spinal fractures. However, the issue is still controversial. High doses of vitamin D can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, particularly in women with existing kidney problems. Other nutritional guidelines by the National Research Council include:
As you age, your body requires less energy because of a decline in physical activity and a loss of lean body mass. Raising your activity level will increase your need for energy and help you avoid gaining weight. Weight gain often occurs in menopausal women, possibly due in part to declining estrogen. In animal studies, scientists found that estrogen is important in regulating weight gain. Animals with their ovaries surgically removed gained weight, even if they were fed the same diet as the animals with intact ovaries. They also found that progesterone counteracts the effect of estrogen. The higher their progesterone levels, the more the animals ate.
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