Helping With This Natural Phase for Older Women Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life and marks the end of her reproductive years. While it brings significant hormonal changes, it doesn’t have to be a time of discomfort or distress. By incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into their daily routine, women can manage the uncomfortable symptoms that come with menopause. Read on as we discuss the 10 best vitamins and supplements that can support women during this transitional phase. 1. Calcium and Vitamin D During menopause, there is a natural decrease in estrogen levels. This can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for maintaining good bone health. Calcium supports the formation and maintenance of strong bones, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight exposure and fortified foods, but supplements may be necessary to meet the recommended daily intake. 2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health, especially during menopause. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health and improve mood. Additionally, they can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and joint pain. Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines, is an excellent source of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements are available that can help ensure optimal intake of these fatty acids. 3. B Vitamins B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate) and B12, are crucial in maintaining energy levels and supporting emotional well-being. They can help combat fatigue, mood swings and memory lapses commonly experienced during menopause. Foods rich in B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, eggs and fortified cereals. Taking a B-complex supplement is also a good way of ensuring adequate intake. 4. Magnesium Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports many biochemical reactions in the body. During menopause, magnesium can alleviate mood swings, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It has also been shown to aid in maintaining bone density and muscle function. Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens. Women who are concerned about a lack of magnesium in their diet can also take supplements to ensure optimal intake. 5. Black Cohosh This herbal supplement has been traditionally used to manage menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disturbances. It is believed to mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. While research results are mixed, many women find relief while taking black cohosh. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal supplement, as it may interact with certain medications or have side effects. [youmaylike] 6. Soy Isoflavones These plant compounds have a similar structure to estrogen. They are known as phytoestrogens and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Products such as tofu, soy milk and tempeh are rich sources of isoflavones, but there are also supplements available. 7. Vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It works by reducing oxidative stress in the body. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli. There are also supplements available if you are concerned about achieving adequate intake. 8. Probiotics Menopause can sometimes disrupt the balance of gut flora, leading to digestive issues and a weakened immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support digestive health and immune function. They help to alleviate bloating, gas and constipation and are available in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. 9. Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. These seeds are rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and have been found to reduce hot flashes, improve skin elasticity and relieve breast pain associated with menopause. Evening primrose oil is available in capsule form and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. 10. Ginseng Ginseng, particularly the Panax ginseng variety, has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It may help reduce fatigue, improve cognitive function and enhance overall well-being. It is available as a supplement and should be used with caution as it can interact with certain medications and cause side effects in some individuals. Final Notes It's important to note that while vitamins and supplements can be beneficial during menopause, they should not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Incorporating essential vitamins and supplements into their daily routines can provide much-needed support for women during menopause. By understanding their unique needs and consulting with healthcare professionals, women can navigate this transformative stage with greater comfort and vitality.
Diet for Bariatric Surgery
If you have tried everything within your power to lose weight or you have a health condition that prevents you from losing weight, your doctor may suggest bariatric surgery. Frequently called gastric bypass, this type of procedure often involves sealing off the top of the stomach, which decreases the amount of food you can consume and reduces nutrient absorption. As a result, it’s much easier to lose any excess weight. But what should a diet for bariatric surgery include and what can help you recover? In this article, we are going to explore all the foods, supplements and vitamins you might want to consider after your bariatric surgery. Let’s dive in!
Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet Tips
After bariatric surgery, you need to be cautious about what you consume. It’s recommended to:
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.
- Delay drinking anything after a meal for 30 minutes.
- Eat slowly.
- Consume protein-rich foods.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Limit caffeine.
- Thoroughly chew each and every bite.
Initially, you will be only allowed to consume liquids. This gives your stomach (and body) time to heal and recover. Some of these liquids may include:
Broth is gentle and soothing on the digestive tract. In fact, it is frequently recommended for those with digestive issues due to its healing capabilities. Bone broth, in particular, contains protein and various minerals that help with your gut lining, ensuring you obtain adequate nutrition.
2. Unsweetened Juice
Added sugars may irritate your stomach and digestive tract. Thus, choose unsweetened juices that naturally contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that can accelerate the healing and recovery process. You can also slowly suck on a popsicle or gelatin that is sugar-free.
3. Decaffeinated Tea or Coffee
Caffeine should be avoided due to its stimulatory effects on the digestive system (which can mean you end up absorbing next to no nutrients from your food post-surgery). However, you can try decaffeinated varieties, receiving plenty of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Milk can help you obtain adequate calcium and protein. Go for skim or 1% to avoid overloading your digestive system with too much fat.
After a week of good tolerability of liquids, you will move on to pureed foods, making your diet a little more interesting! Typically, this means eating about three to six snacks or meals each day, with each meal taking about 30 minutes to consume. Here’s what this stage of the bariatric diet will include:
5. Pureed Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables boost tons of nutrients that your body needs on a regular basis. They also come jam-packed with antioxidant and gut-friendly compounds, helping your digestive tract heal and get back on track post-surgery.
6. Pureed Lean Ground Meat
While this might not sound ultra-appetizing, your body needs protein to heal and repair. Protein is the building block of the body, which means it is essential for improving your digestion as you recover.
7. Soft Scrambled Eggs
Pureed foods further include soft scrambled eggs! Make sure not to overcook them, as this may make them tricky to eat.
You can also enjoy various soups during this second week, allowing you to add variety to your daily diet.
Phase 3 and 4
From here, you can begin introducing soft foods, such as:
- Ground meat.
- Flaky fish.
- Cottage cheese.
- Cooked veggies.
The following week, if all goes well, you can then introduce solid foods a little bit at a time.
Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
Your doctor may further recommend certain supplements to guide your recovery and replace any foods you are unable to eat for the first few weeks. This is essential to prevent nutrient deficiencies and adverse health effects. Some supplements that you may be recommended include:
The intake of 1,200 milligrams to 2,000 milligrams of calcium can help prevent bone loss. This is especially important if you aren’t drinking milk (such as those that don’t tolerate lactose very well).
10. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be taken alongside calcium. It’s recommended to take 800 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D. Alternatively, you can also obtain vitamin D via the sun, which may mean your doctor can recommend sitting outside in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes each day.
11. Vitamin B12
B12 is an essential bariatric vitamin for energy production and is necessary for healing! It also may be hard to obtain initially when consuming only liquids since it is often found in meat and animal products. Aim for 500 micrograms daily.
12. Folic Acid and Iron
Your doctor may further recommend folic acid or iron, especially if you are a woman who is currently menstruating. These are commonly lost via your monthly bleed. Yet, with restrictions around what you can eat, they may be hard to replenish, so supplementation may be best.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Medications
Post-bariatric surgery medications may include:
- Omeprazole. This prevents ulcers from developing. It is usually recommended to take within the first six months post-surgery.
- Ursodiol. This helps stop the production of gallstones, which commonly occur after this type of surgery. This medication is also typically taken for at least six months after bariatric surgery.
- Multivitamins. While technically not a medication, almost every person post-bariatric surgery will be recommended a multivitamin to take in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies, as the initial bariatric diet is quite restrictive.
At the end of the day, it is important to follow your doctor’s orders and advice since they know you and your situation best.