Menopause can be difficult to deal with. But one can control some factors such as lifestyle, habits, and behaviour that can significantly reduce the detrimental effects of menopausal symptoms. Dr Hasmukh Ravat, Senior Interventional Cardiologist & Ms Minal Shah Senior Nutrition Therapist Fortis Hospital Mulund offer some vital tips:
– Stay on top of your health. Get annual checkups, including blood pressure and cholesterol check- you may consider getting a home monitoring device. If you have existing conditions like Diabetes or High Blood Pressure, manage them early so your body can cope effectively.
– Stop smoking! Women who smoke have a high risk of Heart Disease, and they may experience symptoms of Heart Disease much sooner than women who don’t smoke. Find resources that help you quit smoking, follow your resolution and quit smoking.
– Diet and exercise. Consume a low-fat diet which will help bring down the risk of Heart Disease, and possibly add years to your life.
– Manage your stress. Stress and Depression are hard on your heart, so working on your stress and mood swings is part of a good ‘heart-healthy lifestyle’.
– Knowing your family history, especially Heart Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension history, etc. can be of assistance and your physician can asses your risk factors and plan your treatment accordingly.
Ensuring that you consume an ideal ‘menopause diet’ can help to reduce or even avert menopause symptoms and protect you from illnesses, such as Cardiovascular Disease. The earlier you make sure that these foods are a part of your diet, the easier menopause phase and the years beyond:
– Calcium: Include good portions of dairy products and calcium-rich foods in your diet that include sesame seeds, soya, ragi and fortified food items like juice, cereal, etc
– Iron: Iron is found in Niger seeds, sesame seeds, garden cress seeds (halim), black raisins, and chicken liver. It is always advisable to have iron in between a meal with a vitamin c rich source like lemon juice or orange juice to enhance absorption. Avoid consumption of calcium and fibre rich food with iron-rich food items together as it inhibits iron absorption.
– Fibre: Help yourself to foods rich in fibre, such as raw and cooked vegetables, cut fruits (with edible peel), whole grains, nuts and seeds.
– Eat fruits & vegetables: Have at least 2-3 portion of fruit and 3-4 cups of vegetables each day.
– Water: Drink plenty of water or oral liquids throughout the day for best results.