Are you experiencing signs of menopause - occasional hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems - even before it has begun? You'll be comforted to know that there is a natural way to address these issues. Ayurveda says menopause is not a disease - it's a natural progression from your childbearing years. Yet if this is true, what causes such uncomfortable problems?
Accumulated toxins can prevent your body from adjusting to the hormonal changes of midlife. The key to a comfortable, easy transition is to cleanse the body of impurities that can build up before and during menopause. It's these accumulated toxins that lead to the uncomfortable experiences - and the more serious consequences, such as loss of bone density - that most women accept as a normal part of menopause.
Midlife for Women I helps support your body when you need it most, both before and during menopause. Taken in advance, it prepares your body by promoting the metabolism and elimination of impurities. This helps address hot flashes and mood swings when hormonal activity drops. Taken during menopause, it also promotes healthy body tissue, supports bone health and weight balance.
Tips for Staying in Balance During Menopause:
* Develop good nutritional habits and exercise regularly.
* Eat foods that are easy for your body to digest. Enjoy variety and choose fresh, organic foods. Include foods that are high in calcium, such as milk, yogurt and leafy greens.
* Eat your largest meal at noon, when your digestion is at its peak.
* Eliminate caffeine.
* Indulge in any activity you love.
* Avoid leftovers and packaged foods with preservatives.
* Give yourself a daily warm oil massage (abhyanga) to calm and balance your emotions and to help flush away toxins.
* Go to bed by 10 p.m. so your body can rest during its natural purification period, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
If you are prone to Pitta-based problems, such as hot flashes or excessive irritability, follow a Pitta-pacifying diet: avoid foods that are spicy, such as chilies, cayenne and black mustard seed. Salty foods and foods that are sour, such as yogurt (unless it is diluted and sweetened in a drink called lassi) and sour fruits such as ketchup, mustard, and other salad dressings and condiments made with vinegar should also be avoided.
Favour foods that are bitter, astringent and sweet, as these are cooling to Pitta dosha. Bitter and astringent foods include most vegetables. Sweet foods include rice, milk and cream, sweet lassi, and wheat products. Sweet, juicy fruits such as pears and plums also pacify Pitta dosha. Cook with Pitta-reducing spices, such as cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, fennel and small amounts of cumin seed.
If you experience Vata-related symptoms of menopause such as memory loss or vaginal dryness, you'll want to work at bringing Vata dosha back into balance. For this, you'll want to eat foods that are cooked, warm, and unctuous (meaning that they have a small amount of good fats such as ghee and olive oil). Eat foods that are sweet, sour and salty, as this balances Vata dosha.
Apana Vata, which governs the genito-urinary tract, elimination, and menstruation, is a key area to attend to when preparing for menopause. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens, as this helps elimination and is also a good source of calcium. For both Pitta and Vata imbalances, a breakfast of cooked apples and prunes and figs is a good way to start the day, as it balances the doshas and cleanses the digestion.
It is also important to keep your digestion strong and free of ama. Avoid eating foods that are packaged, processed, frozen, canned or left over. Eat organic foods that are cooked fresh each day. The bulk of your diet should consist of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes and light dairy products such as milk, lassi or paneer for protein. This type of light but nourishing diet will aid your digestion and avoid the build-up of ama. Avoid heavy foods such as meat, cheese, yogurt and frozen desserts like ice cream, especially at night.
Check out Lisa Coffey's video for lots more tips on how to deal with menopause, and the symptoms that come along with it.