When you reach menopause, chances are you’ll still have one-third of your lifetime to sit-back and enjoy. For this reason, menopause isn’t just about hormonal changes, but highlights the health choices that can benefit you for years to come.
There are some common health impacts often associated with menopause, but with proper nutrition and exercise, you can minimise these risks. Taking regular supplements may also assist in your post-menopausal journey, although it’s important to visit your GP for medical advice tailored to you.
Osteoporosis affects over 2 million Australians, and this bone condition is more prevalent in women over 60. Symptoms of osteoporosis can include broken or brittle bones, along with skeletal cracks and aches. Osteoporosis is caused by an oestrogen deficiency, as lower hormones gradually reduce your bone density. To minimise your risk of osteoporosis, it’s important to maintain a diet rich in calcium, or take appropriate supplements. Calcium supplements can increase your bone density, resulting in stronger bones that are less prone to breaks and injuries.
2. Vitamin D
More than 50% of people are Vitamin D deficient, even though it’s a major health booster. Vitamin D is particularly useful for post-menopausal women who are at risk of diabetes, because Vitamin D helps to regulate insulin levels. Vitamin D also supports cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes and other heart conditions typically associated with the over 60s bracket.
3. Omega 3
Omega 3 can improve your brain function, and delay cognitive disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Omega 3 is also beneficial for post-menopausal women suffering muscular aches or pains, because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. A diet that includes high-protein fish (such as salmon or tuna) twice a week can improve your Omega 3 intake. Alternatively, it may be important to take regular fish oil tablets after menopause.
4. Vitamin B
Vitamin B can improve the overall health of your hair, skin and nails. This is especially important post-menopause, as cellular reproduction begins to slow. A diet rich in dairy, eggs and poultry can boost your intake of B12. Meanwhile, colourful vegetables such as fresh carrots, spinach and peas can improve your B6 levels. Alternatively, a B-Complex supplement can ensure your hair still shines, while your skin and nails stay strong.
5. St John’s Wort
Derived from a flower of the same name, St John’s Wort is a widely prescribed natural anti-depressant. St John’s Wort is often recommended for post-menopausal women, because it eases hot flushes, mood swings and depression. Studies have also shown that just 12 weeks taking St John’s Wort can improve your sexual desire and wellbeing, whilst brightening your overall psychological health.