If you are a female between 45 to 55 years old, brace yourself to face the inevitable in a woman’s rites of life – menopause.
About 1 in 3 women in Singapore do not prepare for menopause, according to a study by Synovate with support from Menopause Support Group at KK Women’s And Children’s Hospital.
How to be prepared? Are there telltale signs of menopause?
Yes, there is a perimenopause stage, a transition to menopause, about 4-5 years before actual menopause, where you may experience some of these changes:
Here are some natural food remedies and lifestyle changes that can be used, if your symptoms are not severe, and you don’t want to resort to hormone replacement therapy, which can increase your risk of heart diseases and breast cancer.
Maca has been consumed for centuries in the Peruvian Andes due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. It is a turnip root-like superfoods, one of the few considered to be an “adaptogen“, that is able to raise overall life force, energy and vitality, and support what your body needs to balance – especially your hormonal system. Because of these adaptive properties, it is also called the Peruvian Ginseng.
However, not all Maca varieties are the same. Yellow is the most common variety, followed by Red and Black Maca.
Red Maca, also called Purple Maca, is recommended for women undergoing perimenopause and menopause, because:
- it contains the highest antioxidant content
- It has unique polyunsaturated fatty acids called macaenes and macamides, which stimulate our body to balance our homornal system.
- it is packed with nutrients (vit A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, minerals, iron, calcium, etc) needed by women coping with menopause, more than any other roots.
- its calcium content is even higher than other plants.
- scientific evidence has showed that Red Maca resulted in a larger increase in energy compared with placebo, more than black maca.
- scientific evidence has showed that Red Maca has protective effects on bone architecture.
Be careful when sourcing for Red Maca supplements.
Choose only those grown in the high Peruvian Andes mountains, where the plant originated.
Worldwide demands has seen maca been being introduced in other regions and countries (e.g. China) but the quality of maca is just not reproducible or comparable to that grown in the high Andes.
This is a useful checklist (right) when choosing good quality red maca and starting your red maca supplementation.
Where can I get real Peruvian Red Maca from the Andes?
Maca Vitae® is a trademark that guarantees the authenticity of Andean maca, imported directly from the Peruvian highlands (departments of Junin 4500 meters of altitude) where maca’s reputation was born. There grows the best and highest quality maca.
Click on the picture to learn more about this Organic Peruvian Red Maca.
Contains phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) which may help with hot flushes and night sweats. Only food forms of soy, like tofu and soy milk, are recommended. Soy in tablet or powder form is not advised.
3. Calcium and Vitamin D
Whilst Red Maca has protective effect on bone density and you can get some calcium from soy-based foods, supplementation of calcium and Vitamin D is still recommended to protect against bone loss (may lead to osteoporosis) as a result of decreasing estrogen levels during menopause.
4. Vitamin E
Topical Vitamin E oil applied to the vagina may help improve dryness and provide lubrication. Taken orally, Vitamin E capsules may help with hot flushes.
5. Black cohosh
A species of buttercup, may help mild hot flushes for short-term treatment.
- Exercise – helps to often improve symptoms of mild to moderate hot flushes, instills a wellbeing that may increase your energy level and help relieve depression or mood swings
- Get more sleep, practise sleep hygiene (sleep and wake up at a fixed time every day) as hot flushes and night sweats may affect sleep quality. If need be, turning on the air-conditioning may aid you to fall asleep better and longer.
- Drink less alcohol
- Get to a healthy weight and stay there
If you are experiencing severe symptoms, it is best to talk to your doctor and assess the pros and cons of starting hormone replacement therapy.