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Right nutrition for women post 40

Posted on Mar 11 2014 | IBNS

By Ajay Khanna, Kolkata, Mar 11 : If you are on the wrong side of forty and continuously exposed to stress at work and family life and still choose to ignore a healthy life style and good nutrition in your daily rigmarole of responsibility and encourage in binge eating, then it is high time to sit back, relax and plan your diet and lifestyle to brace up for the next phase in life.

Menopause - the very word carries a negative connotation for women. But it is inevitable and every woman has to experience it. In fact Indian women spends one third of her life after menopause.

Menopause is a transformational process, a letting go of the old self with birth of new self when ovaries stop producing eggs and levels of hormones, estrogen and progesterone starts depleting. The passage is a different experience for each woman but it is an inevitable journey for every woman.

Women tend to put on weight and run the risk of Heart diseases and even skin clarity gets affected. Certain nutrients like Soy Protein, Calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids should form essential part of diet of women who are passing this phase of transition. Though the menopause starts from 48 years in India, Onset of early menopause is commonplace among Indian women nowadays.

May be hectic lifestyle, binge eating, and lack of adequate exercises are to be blamed for it. Therefore women should start taking care of their health from early 30s with balanced diet, adequate exercise and proper supplementation that would ease this transition.

Nutrition Tips for Women above 40

· Increase Calcium intake: Calcium is one such nutrient that women would need in higher amount over men as woman possesses 33pc less calcium than a man of equal weight. Moreover certain life stages like pregnancy/lactation and menopause calls for more calcium. Calcium supports bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis. Also make sure you're getting plenty of vitamin D and magnesium, both of which support calcium absorption.

· Eat more good fats : Omega 3 Fatty acid : A very important nutrient which the body cannot manufacture. It is vital for heart health, brain health, IQ and nerve health and vision health. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids can help boost hormone production and give your skin a healthy glow. It also helps maintain a healthy cholesterol level protecting our heart.

· Iron : A woman loses 60mg of iron every month after she attains puberty and therefore she may risk turning anaemic. At this stage after 35 years of age, there should be more emphasis on iron supplementation that boosts metabolism and keep fatigue at bay.

· Limit sugar, white flour products, and coffee. Hot flashes improved in almost all cases when those foods are reduced or eliminated.

· Eat more soy. Soy products are high in phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that are similar to estrogen produced by the body. Some studies suggest that soy may help manage menopausal symptoms. Try natural soy sources such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and soy nuts. Nutrilite Protein contains all essential amino acids and naturally occurring calcium, iron and soy isoflavones. Soy isoflavones helps maintain healthy heart and healthy bones.

Importance of Supplementation

In order to stay healthy, Indian women should increase the intake of unprocessed food, vegetables and fruits rich in these nutrients. However increased use of pesticides in farming causes depletion of the nutrients in vegetables and fruits, hence dietary supplements if used sensibly can help bridge the gap of nutrients in the diet.

Besides bridging the gap of nutrients in diet, Dietary supplements can also help women to deal with the phases like Menopause. Nutrilite Black Cohosh and Soy is a supplement for menopausal women that supports the overall wellbeing of women during menopause by easing out symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Research suggests that supplementation can reduce post-menopausal symptoms and increase the quality of life.

The roots of Black Cohosh can help relieve menopausal troubles in women. In fact it is the most commonly used herb in USA and Europe. Black cohosh provides overall wellbeing during the phase and helps lower luteinizing hormone production which in turn lowers the symptoms associated with menopause. It provides an estrogen-like effect because of which it has been referred to as a phytoestrogen.

Also certain stages like Pregnancy and Menopause, call for more nutrients like Calcium and Iron in the body. Nutrilite Tri Iron Folic helps to maintain a healthy Iron level. Nutrilite Cal Mag D also helps support bone mineral density.

Poor nutrition is an important reason for lifestyle diseases associated with Menopause. A study by WHO shares alarming findings that Osteoporosis-a global health challenge has worst hit Indians. 36 million people in India are estimated to suffer from Osteoporosis by 2013 and one in three women are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture. There are more alarming findings that estimate that three fourth of women in India are anaemic.

It is therefore imperative for women to focus more on nutrition and balanced diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes physical exercise and positive thinking.

But it is also crucial to raise the awareness level among women about the need to stay healthy in life even after menopause.

(The writer Ajay Khanna is Associate Vice President, Marketing and Category Head, Nutrition and Wellness, Amway India)

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