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Self-Care Guide: Menopause
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Menopause Can Be Comfortable: The Ayurvedic Perspective
Menopause happens. It's a natural transition, says ayurveda, and like all transitions, menopause has to be managed to minimize discomfort.
Why menopausal discomfort occurs
The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians cites three major reasons:
Dietary tips to manage menopause
Diet can be a crucial tool in menopause management.
If you are prone to Pitta-based problems, such as hot flashes or excessive irritability, follow a Pitta-pacifying diet: avoid foods that are spicy, such as chilies, cayenne and black mustard seed. Salty foods and foods that are sour, such as yogurt (unless it is diluted and sweetened in a drink called lassi) and sour fruits such as ketchup, mustard, and other salad dressings and condiments made with vinegar should also be avoided.
Favor foods that are bitter, astringent and sweet, as these are cooling to Pitta dosha. Bitter and astringent foods include most vegetables. Sweet foods include rice, milk and cream, sweet lassi, and wheat products. Sweet, juicy fruits such as pears and plums also pacify Pitta dosha. Cook with Pitta-reducing spices, such as cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, fennel and small amounts of cumin seed.
If you experience Vata-related symptoms of menopause such as memory loss or vaginal dryness, you'll want to work at bringing Vata dosha back into balance. For this, you'll want to eat foods that are cooked, warm, and unctuous (meaning that they have a small amount of good fats such as ghee and olive oil). Eat foods that are sweet, sour and salty, as this balances Vata dosha.
Apana Vata, which governs the genito-urinary tract, elimination, and menstruation, is a key area to attend to when preparing for menopause. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens, as this helps elimination and is also a good source of calcium. For both Pitta and Vata imbalances, a breakfast of cooked apples and prunes and figs is a good way to start the day, as it balances the doshas and cleanses the digestion.
It is also important to keep your digestion strong and free of ama. Avoid eating foods that are packaged, processed, frozen, canned or left over. Eat organic foods that are cooked fresh each day. The bulk of your diet should consist of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes and light dairy products such as milk, lassi or panir for protein. This type of light but nourishing diet will aid your digestion and avoid the build-up of ama. Avoid heavy foods such as meat, cheese, yogurt and frozen desserts like ice cream, especially at night.
Lifestyle tips for balance
Herbs that heal
The entire line is targeted especially for women of the West: women who have the Western physiology, live in that environment, or work in that culture. It addresses the dietary needs, lifestyle and stress levels of women who live a fast-paced life. This line, along with the Midlife for Women I and II formulas, is designed to promote the overall emotional, physical and mental health of women. The products help keep the body free of ama and maintain the balance between soma (lunar energy) and agni (solar energy)--a balance that is vital for health during menopause and beyond.
DISCLAIMER: These results may not be typical. Results with products may vary from individual to individual. Information in this newsletter is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on ayurveda and neither the information nor the product is intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional. Before making changes to your diet or routine, it is recommended that you speak with your physician.
Shop by Health Goal: Menopause System