The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause
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It’s no secret that the menopause can bring with it uncomfortable symptoms including hot flushes and the dreaded weight gain. These symptoms can last for an average duration of seven years for some women, with one in three experiencing symptoms beyond this time, according to the British Menopause Society.
But women shouldn’t have to live with unwanted weight, which tends to gather around their waist.
Now, health experts have found a diet that could help shift the midlife belly fat and maintain it.
Lucy Murray, Vegan Lifestyle Expert at Free Soul, explained: “There are a whole host of benefits associated with a vegan diet and so many of them can help to support women during the menopausal period.
“When done in the form of a balanced mix of foods, a plant-based diet can provide the appropriate amounts of protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins to support women going through menopause.”
According to Healthline, there are a number of science-based benefits for going vegan in general, including:
Rich in nutrients
Can help lose excess weight
Reduce diabetes risk by lowering AC1 levels
Could prevent certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer
Reduces heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol
Reduce arthritis pain
A recent study has uncovered that menopausal women who followed a vegan diet with no other restrictions lost more weight at a higher rate overall than those following a low-fat restricted diet.
Researchers concluded that this indicates a balanced vegan diet “could help to support” a healthier lifestyle for those concerned with weight gain during menopause.
Dr Jeffrey Soble, a cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center, explained that it could be the way forward for menopausal women.
A vegan diet doesn’t warrant food from animals, such as dairy and meat, so Dr Soble recommended finding new ways to incorporate alternatives into a diet.
He warned that sensible choices must be made to ensure people are still consuming important nutrients.
“Refined grains, sweets and junk food are troublemakers for everyone, not just vegans,” he said.
“And vegans and non-vegans alike can fall into the habit of making these items the mainstays of their diet.”
During menopause, women experience weight gain due to declining oestrogen levels, age-related loss of muscle tissue and lifestyle factors such as their diet.
The visceral fat can encourage insulin resistance and lead to health issues such as type 2 diabetes.
Therefore health experts suggest that during menopause, it’s important to opt for a balanced diet including wholefoods, fruits and vegetables.
What should be included in a vegan diet:
Protein-rich foods such as tofu, edamame, soy, chickpeas lentils and nutritional yeast. Vegan protein powder can also be a popular choice for supplementing protein intake.
Vitamin B12 cannot be found in plants but can be found in fortified cereals, rice and soy drinks to promote muscle repair and energy.
Essential fatty acids from greens and whole grains, iron and vitamin D to boost cognitive function and mood.
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