Hitting menopause isn’t one of the easiest or the best things to go through, at least not for most women. Once your menstrual periods stop, the hot flashes hit, terrible mood swings, not to mention the night sweats and the sudden weight gain!
Unfortunately, there is no cure to stop or treat menopause. Well, you may get relief from hormone replacement therapy but even this medical technique doesn’t come with promises of better days. For this reason, women and endocrinologists all over the world are looking for alternative coping solutions, one of which is juicing – an all-natural alternative.
The big question however is, does it work? Will you feel like you felt in your twenties with a juicing regimen?
Juicing for Menopause
No scientific research or studies are proving that juicing can be the solution to all the symptoms that come with menopause. However, anecdotal reports point in that direction – consuming fruits and vegetables in juice form alleviates the symptoms associated with menopause.
Why is juicing considered an option?
Menopause and weight gain
With age, the rate of metabolism decreases for both men and women. However, the effects are more significant in women once they hit forty/ fifty because menopause causes women’s hormones to go haywire.
As a result of hormonal changes (decreased estrogen and progesterone, the female sex hormones), weight gain is one of the main effects. This gain in weight comes about because the hormones encourage fat storage and less fat breakdown. In turn, the fats accumulated around the organs predispose you to health risks such as Type II diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke.
Juicing is becoming more than a diet fad showing that it helps in weight loss and weight management. It does this by improving the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients needed for metabolism. The nutrients are also important in disease prevention as they boost the functioning of the immune system. By drinking more juices, you also get to control your cravings, helping you manage your weight.
Vegetable juices have few calories and sugars. In case you can’t stand the taste, you can slightly sweeten the juice by adding a tiny amount of apple juice or any other favorite fruit as long as it isn’t too sugary. Sweetening the juice will make it possible for you to take the juice several times a day. The use of extra sugary fruits only spikes your blood sugar because of the high fructose content which will only sabotage your attempts at weight loss.
Menopause and breast cancer
At the menopausal age, you are at a higher risk of getting breast cancers. This is often a possible case when you go to hormone replacement therapy to get the symptoms under control. It is also the case when you reach menopause late in life, say at age 55 or if you begin menstruating before 12. The latter results from the increase in the number of ovulation that causes prolonged exposure to hormones.
Scientists believe that daily consumption of carrots helps diminish the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, adding carrot juice as part of their daily intake can be very beneficial for women in their menopausal years.
In one study, women who ate raw carrots daily reduced the risk of getting breast cancer 5 to 8 times compared to women who didn’t consume carrots at all. Researchers believe that the beta-carotene in carrots has a protective effect for breast cancer. Other types of cancer, like colon and lung cancer can also be prevented by consuming raw carrots. You can also eat mangoes, red peppers, and spinach.
Can Juicing Relieve Constipation?
As mentioned above, slowed metabolism is an effect of menopause. And, with slowed metabolism comes constipation. You can supplement juicing with blending. The use of a blender instead of a juicer means that you consume the insoluble fiber from the vegetables and fruits. Insoluble fiber allows an increase in the bulk of stool. Insoluble fiber increases peristalsis which then reduces constipation.
Vegetables have naturally high fiber when blended which makes them work best to relieve constipation. Juices prepared from berries also have insoluble fiber that will also prevent constipation.
Can Juices Prevent Heart Disease?
Another significant effect of menopause is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because you lose the defensive effect of estrogen produced by ovaries.
Juiced vegetables and fruits are high in potassium which in turn drops blood pressure, hence putting less stress on the heart. Estrogen has been shown to increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL), decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL), and the hormone also helps relax, smooth and dilate blood vessels increasing blood flow.
Also, estrogen has been shown to soak up naturally occurring free radicals preventing tissue damage, and it also promotes the formation of blood clots.
While hormone replacement therapy is a viable solution for prevention of cardiovascular disease in menopausal women, juicing does help too.
Carrot juice is high in potassium which reduces cardiovascular risks by dropping the blood pressure. Vegetable juices also have other minerals that protect the body against inflammation, which can also cause heart disease.
As mentioned above, juicing helps with weight loss keeping cardiovascular disease at bay.
Can Juicing Help Menopausal Symptoms?
While there is no real scientific proof, juicing can alleviate the symptoms of menopause by making you healthier and more resistant to diseases that crop up when your hormones fluctuate. Several women in their forties and fifties laud juicing as a remedy for most symptoms that come with menopause.
So, if you are a forty-something lady worried sick about weight gain and hot flashes, you should reconsider your decision against juicing and even blending those vegetables you can’t gobble down your throat despite their known nutritional values.
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