As women, we are aware that the transition to menopause can be bumpy, and many women are quite rightly focused on the more overwhelming symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, and problems with memory and concentration.
The big 4
But, during this life stage, we find ourselves at an increased risk for four chronic health conditions that cannot be ignored.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s and dementia
I call these the big 4 – because they are serious, chronic health conditions that have the potential to shorten our life.
Having said that, they are all lifestyle-related diseases. This means we control them based on our diet and lifestyle choices – which is good news.
However, if we want to control them successfully, we must prioritise our nutrition and make effective lifestyle changes to reduce our risk.
On World Menopause Day, I want to highlight a good diet’s benefits. Nothing else will positively impact your long-term health and well-being. It is the number one way to avoid and reduce every known risk factor for heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and dementia.
Choosing foods with superpowers
Some foods contain nutrients with far greater benefits beyond just basic nutrition. Flaxseed is one of those foods, a true superfood to be included in as many ways as possible in our daily diet.
Flaxseed and lignans – some quick facts
- Flaxseed is the richest source of lignans in the plant world.
- Lignans are a component of the plant cell wall ( they make up approximately 15% of the plant cell wall).
- Lignans are also known as phytoestrogens because of their powerful anti-cancer capabilities.
- Lignans can bind to oestrogen receptors and interfere with the cancer-promoting effects of oestrogen on breast tissue.
Flaxseed has many other nutritional highlights, too, i.e. they are a good source of fibre, magnesium, potassium, manganese, minerals, iron, and copper.
Phytoestrogen lignan benefits of flaxseed
Improving blood lipid profiles by reducing total cholesterol. The following study demonstrates the effectiveness of flaxseed on blood lipid profiles.
• The significant anti-cancer benefits of lignans as demonstrated by Dr Paul Goss, the director of the breast cancer prevention program at Toronto Hospital. The results of his study are encouraging.
It involved 50 women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. While waiting for their surgery, they consumed special muffins daily containing 25g of ground linseed. Post-surgery they determined that these women had slower-growing tumours compared to the control group.
My nutritional recommendations for women in this life stage revolve around nourishing your body with key and important foods.
This is why I like to recommend Menoligna to my clients. It is a new and exciting product developed specifically for women in menopause. It contains sprouted flaxseed with 300mg of beneficial lignans per 30g serving (a dessert spoon). This makes it an easy add-in to your daily yoghurt, porridge or smoothies to experience all the benefits.
A 20g portion of Menoligna also contains:
• 30mg of CoQ10 for heart health.
• 1.3mg/96% RDA of vitamin B6 to support the reduction of tiredness.
• 354mg/100% RDA of calcium for our bones.
• 5.6g of omega 3 (ALA) essential fats for heart health and maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.
International Menopause Day is a day to take stock of your health and have a health audit. Cleaning up your diet is a good place to start. Any small actions you take now, i.e. including lignans from flaxseed in your daily smoothie or porridge, is a really easy way to support your menopause transition and potentially avoid chronic diseases in later life.
All these small daily habits add up in the end so that you see and feel the benefits of your efforts.
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