Menopause can be a tough time for women as it brings in a bunch of physical and mental changes. Menstruation is a process during which women at regular intervals shed the lining of the uterus, under the influence of the female sex hormone, estrogen. At about the age of 45 to 50 years, the ovaries stop producing estrogen which results in stoppage of the monthly menstrual periods. This is called menopause. It happens naturally to all women sooner or later but can also be induced if the ovaries are removed or they stop functioning for any reason.
Menopause can be a difficult phase for women as they try to cope with the transformation of their bodies. Nutritionist Lovneet Batra suggests a superfood that may offer some "symptom relief". Easily found in Indian household kitchens, Nigella Sativa, which is popularly known as kalonji, can be of great help during menopause.
According to her, kalonji contains "thymoquinone - a type of phytonutrient or plant compound" which could act like estrogen in the body and possibly "offer relief during menopause."
Some other foods beneficial for menopause, as per the nutritionist are:
1) Soy Nuggets
Soy is a valuable asset for women who are going through menopause. Soy is a phytoestrogen, plant-based compound, acting as weak estrogens in the body. They are linked to reduced menopause symptoms and healthier bones.
Flaxseeds come with a nutty flavour and are a rich source of plant lignans, which can modulate the metabolism and use of estrogen. The high concentration of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) in flaxseeds can relieve inflammation, fluid retention, depression, and irritability. Flaxseeds are helpful for minimising menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, and vaginal dryness, the nutritionist stated.
Almonds have often been linked to brain health. Munching on these nuts can also give nutritional support during menopause. The healthy fat in almonds helps to counter the drying effects of low estrogen levels. They are also rich in magnesium, Vitamin E complex, and riboflavin, which are essential for vascular integrity.
Lentils' richness comes from a nutrient called isoflavone that aids in the regulation of hormones and can also help with menopause symptoms.
Lovneet Batra highlights how spirulina, a type of edible algae, contains large amounts of gamma-linolenic, a fatty acid that is converted into prostaglandins, the precursors to hormones.
According to her, spirulina has successfully helped with menopause as it is a good source of protein, iron, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium and chlorophyll.
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