For years, women around the world have been trying to find the answer to menopause symptoms. While some have had success, we know that women living in Japan have about one-third less symptoms than any other women do. Why? Well, we will first go over what menopause is and why women are scrambling to find relief, and then talk about differences in the Japanese diet, specifically the link between menopause and fish.
The word “menopause” actually translates into “end of menstruation.” While not always pleasant, menopause is a normal part of the aging process for every woman who has ever had a period. Although menopause can occur in the early 30s or late 50s, it is most commonly seen from the ages of 42 and 58.
Keep in mind that just because women experience the same condition does not mean they experience the same symptoms or the same intensity of symptoms. In fact, some women breeze right through menopause, never having much trouble while other women are not so fortunate.
As you can imagine, living every day with some level of hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, sleep disturbance, dry skin and hair, headaches, joint pain, and heart palpitations is not a walk in the park.
In fact, some women have worse symptoms such as vaginal dryness that can make intercourse painful or an increased risk of infection or urinary problems to include incontinence.
Okay, now that you know what menopause is and the symptoms it produces, what can be done to make it easier to live with? Well, the first thing a woman can do is change the way she eats. Menopause and fish can play a huge role in that.
Eat your way to Feeling Better
Yes, diet makes a huge difference by reducing the symptoms but also health risks associated with menopause that would include things like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Again, remember that just as different women experience different symptoms, women also respond to treatments differently so these are general guidelines to consider. However, when it comes to menopause and fish, this is a proven fact.
For diet, any woman going through any stage of menopause should take 1500 mg of calcium daily. Most of this can be consumed through normal diet of dairy products, canned fish with bones such as mackerel or sardines, and green, leafy vegetables.
However, if those things are not your favorite, then you can take a good calcium supplement. Vitamin D is just as important, which will help fight against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, problems commonly associated with menopause.
Other foods that will help with the symptoms of menopause include lots of fruit and vegetables, fiber, lentils, beans, peas, and wholegrain cereals. Phytoestrogens can help, which would come from beetroot, parsley, soy products, yams, and root fennel.
If you are going through menopause, then just as there are certain foods you want to eat, you also want to avoid some things such as saturated fats found in butter and meat. Instead, go with fish, olive oil, or low fat dairy products.
Menopause and Fish – The Japanese Advantage
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, women living in Japan have one-third less symptoms associated with the change of life than other women do. The reason is that these women live on a diet consisting largely of coldwater fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, halibut, and herring, among other foods.
The fascinating thing is that study after study shows us that Japanese women are among the healthiest in the world, especially when it comes to dealing with the symptoms of menopause! Okay, so what is their secret – a diet rich in calcium and foods high in phytoestrogens.
One particular study took 120 non-Japanese women, encouraging each to increase dietary phytoestrogens up to 40 mg daily by eating more grains and soy-based foods, increase calcium intake up to 1500 mg a day, eat more coldwater fish, and drink a full eight glasses of water daily. In addition, these women were encouraged to exercise daily, even if just walking for 15 minutes.
The results of this particular study were amazing. Not only were the menopausal symptoms greatly reduced but the women also enjoyed a reduction in body fat, specifically around the abdomen, and reduced blood pressure!
The benefits of these changes were so dramatic that some of the women who had been taking the controversial Hormone Replacement Therapy stopped, staying with the new regimen instead with better results.
If you are dealing with menopause and all the symptoms and health risks that go along with it, you can do what the Japanese women do by changing your diet, drinking more water, exercising, and taking calcium.
Not only will you enjoy fewer and less intense menopausal symptoms but you will also help extend your life by as much as five years! Menopause and fish do go hand-in-hand so why struggle when you can feel better and live longer simply by eating more fish!