There are many natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy to reduce menopausal symptoms. These include: healthier diet, using of herbs, taking of natural supplements and regular exercises.
During menopause it is important to eat as natural as possible. Good nutrition is important to help your body to control hormone levels and reduce the risk for diseases. Eat plenty of healthy wholesome food including whole wheat bread, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds. These will provide your body with fiber, vitamins, minerals, slow carbohydrates and other nutrients. You should eat daily a few portions of soy products, which are rich in isoflavones. It is also important to drink enough water. On the other hand spicy foods, alcohol and refined foods should be avoided. Intake of dairy products and meat should be reduced. In order to control blood sugar levels it is better to eat smaller quantities and more frequently.
To absorb as much calcium as possible try to avoid eating too much animal protein (meat or dairy) and select foods which are rich in calcium such as almonds, sesame seeds, green vegetables and whole grains.
Herbs can help to reduce menopause symptoms. They can be used as tea (extract with hot water) or tincture (alcoholic extracts). Some herbs are also available in the form of tablets.
There are many herbs that can help to reduce hot flushes such as yarrow, hops, wild yam, red clover, dandelion and vitex. Mood swings can be controlled by drink tea made from valerian, St. John’s wort, hawthorn and damiana. Herbs that will help to improve the quality of your sleep include hops, valerian, chamomile and passion fruit plant. Following herbs are traditionally used to reduce the risk of osteoporosis: boneset leaf, marshmallow root and stinging nettle tea.
To reduce the risk of osteoporosis it’s important to take vitamin D supplement, especially during winter time when there’s not much contact with direct sunlight. Calcium and magnesium supplements can also be beneficial to reduce menopause symptoms. If for some reason you don’t like to eat soy products you can use isoflavones supplements based on soy or red clover.
It’s essential to be active throughout your life and also during menopause. Being inactive will significantly increase the risk for osteoporosis and hearth disease. It’s not necessary to do very active sports, instead walking, swimming or even yoga will improve your condition. Exercise will release endorphins in our blood which creates a feeling of happiness and will improve our mental health.
Intake of Fermented Soybeans, Natto, Is Associated with Reduced Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women: Japanese Population-Based Osteoporosis (JPOS) Study. Journal of Nutrition. 136:1323-1328, May 2006