Welcome to another episode of Winter Wellness Podcast with Dr. Jack and Jean Winter. And today we have Jean Winter, how are you doing Jean?
Hi Mike. I’m doing great. Sun shining outside and the rain seems to be… Have evaded for a little while, so I’m good.
All right, excellent. Well today the question that we have that we’re going to cover is how can nutrition help women either starting or already in the midst of menopause? What do you recommend that they can do with their nutrition? And of course whatever others tips you can have to make that better for those folks.
Well, I’m glad you picked that topic because that has been quite a topic here recently. And I know myself personally, I’m in my 70s and I passed menopause way back in my early 50s so I understand the ups and downs of menopause. And before we talk about the nutritional aspects, I want you to know that menopause should not be the scary time that most women have to deal with. It actually is a natural part of the normal reproductive cycle in a woman’s life. Now we have our reproductive years where we have the female menstrual cycle and then that goes away and we have menopause, which is the time of our life where we’re not reproducing, we’re not getting pregnant and therefore we don’t have menstrual cycles. And the key to having a healthy either entrance into menopause or full swing into menopause or even a post-menopause is hormonal balance.
And we find during that timeframe, we really cannot get away with not getting sleep, over stressed, eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods. We cannot get away with that anymore. Our body literally will force us to treat it better and to stop the abuse that we have gone through from in our younger days. Let’s talk just a little bit about how do you know that you are in menopause? Well, if you’re a female and you’re no longer having menstrual periods, then you know you’re into menopause. And that can happen either by natural course of the change of your life or it can happen because there has been a hysterectomy.
Once the ovaries are not functioning, then you now are in menopause. Now what I mean by not functioning, don’t get me wrong, the ovaries will continue to function if they are in your body, if they have not been removed. They just will not make and release any eggs anymore, but they continue to make smaller amounts of certain hormones, so they’re very important to have those ovaries in there if at all possible. Some of the symptoms that women experience are hot flashes or feeling hot or sweaty at night, dryness, severe dryness, loss of sex drive, emotional mood swings, going from crying to very angry in a flash. I mean, those are just some of the things that women can experience, there are many more that we don’t have time to mention. We can talk about them in the future, but I wanted to talk more about the nutritional aspect of how to have a healthy menopause.
Obviously, one of the main foods that you want to minimize or avoid if you can, are white sugars, processed sugars. I’m not talking about all sugars because with the onset or the menopausal transition that occurs later in our life, and that’s during the same time that that insulin resistance begins to rear its ugly head and that creates inflammation in the body and any concentrated sugars just really inflame and cause insulin elevation in the bloodstream and cause a resistance of the cells to absorb that. What happens then is through menopause we get this weight gain problem where our weight goes up and down and it takes a lot more effort to get it to go down and it doesn’t stay down very long. You see what I’m saying? Most women have a weight gain problem when they’re in menopause and going through menopause.
And this can also happen a couple of years or a few years even before menopause, we call that perimenopause or pre-menopause. That’s the time it’s very important to keep insulin resistance under control by keeping sugars out of your diet. And you can successfully do that and you’ll enjoy weight loss and mental clarity as you go through. If you follow a modified keto type of a diet, and I don’t mean you don’t have to do that forever. You just do it in phases. And then you can switch to a paleo type diet, in phases and everyone is very different. I’m not saying this is across the board, but it’s on an average.
Basically is we want to eat the foods that really support health. And by that I mean proteins, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or you eat meats. I myself enjoy chicken and fish and steak, protein is extremely important. You want to have vegetables, vegetables in abundance. You think of vegetables in their natural state, not frozen, not canned, but vegetables like they have come out of the garden and you can get them at your grocery store. I like to get a variety of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, the red bells, green bell peppers. I like carrots and zucchinis, yellow squashes, onions. And what I’ll do is I’ll go to the grocery store and see what they have and I’ll get an assortment and I’ll cut them in smaller pieces and then I’ll wash them and I’ll put them in a bag. And then when it’s time to prepare them, put them in a steaming basket over boiling water. Put about half an inch of boiling of water in a pot, turn it on and put the steam basket in the pot.
Let the water start to boil and steam and then put your vegetables in the basket. Put the lid on, set your timer for eight minutes if you like them a little firm but not mushy. And then turn the heat off when the timer goes off and take them off the stove eye. And then you put a few pats of butter in there, dump them into a bowl, toss the butter, a little sea salt and pepper, and they are absolutely delicious. You’re just going to be amazed at the flavors a little steaming brings out, so you pair that up with some chicken or some fish or some lean meat or if you’re a vegetarian you would use tofu ‘ve got a wonderful meal and you’ll find that you’re not hungry. You don’t have the blood sugar drops that you had when you were eating on the run.
Diet is extremely important. During this period of time, supplements are important as well. To balance the hormones, one of my favorite supplements is wild yam. That’s a great balance and that can be purchased in most any health food store. I don’t recommend you run out and start taking wild yam on your own without consulting your practitioner. You can talk to your… Usually your holistic practitioners will understand how wild yam works. You can talk to your nutritionist, you can talk to your nature path, you can talk to your chiropractor, there are a lot of chiropractors that understand nutrition, and if you have a medical doctor who is well versed in nutrition and herbs, especially an OBGYN, they would also be able to advise you on that.
Well, that’s amazing information, Jean, and obviously if folks want to come to Winter Wellness and make an appointment with you, you can really give Them a great evaluation to help them with whatever issues, especially concerning menopause and how nutrition and supplements can help that, obviously. Thank you so much for this great information today and I look forward to our next podcast, Jean.
All right, sounds great Mike.