#1 natural cure for women over 40
Feeling tired? Irritable? Blah? These all-natural expert strategies will help you outsmart the most common hormonal bothers in your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond!
Sidestep hot flashes
Fluctuating levels of female hormones trigger the release of stress chemicals that amp up anxiety. “And studies show anxiety is like lighter fluid on your hormones, intensifying hot flashes,” says gynecologist Sara Gottfried, M.D. Her Rx? Paced breathing. “It slows your heart rate, lowering stress hormones and reducing the number of hot flashes by 44%,” she reveals. To do: Twice a day for 10 minutes, breathe deeply through your nose, inhaling for five seconds, holding for 10, then exhaling for five. Says Dr. Gottfried: “I do it while driving because I’m a working mom who multitasks!” End crankiness Out-of-balance hormones can tank your mood and drain your energy. The good news: “Consuming flaxseeds—which contain lignans or ‘good estrogens’— helps restore hormonal balance, mitigating symptoms of perimenopause including fatigue, headaches and mood swings,” says nutrition coach Magdalena Wszelaki. “Flaxseeds also help remove disease-causing hormones from your body, reducing the risk of fibroids and even breast cancer.” Just add 2 Tbs. of ground flaxseeds a day to soups and salads, or follow Wszelaki’s lead and sprinkle flaxseeds on sliced avocado for a tasty snack.
Melt a menopot
Dwindling estrogen shifts fat storage from your hips and buttocks to your belly, says women’s health expert Stephanie S. Faubion, M.D. Fortunately, strength training boosts metabolism and builds muscle to ward off menofat—plus it increases testosterone to boost energy. Dr. Faubion’s sneak-a-workout-in suggestion: Curl light dumbbells (or soup cans!) while watching TV. Stop memory blips The natural remedy Dr. Gottfried swears by for brain drain? Maca. “The herb increases the sex hormone estradiol in menopausal women,” she explains. “This helps to alleviate memory problems, as well as insomnia, hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Maca has also been linked with improved bone density, which is so important in menopause,” she adds. “I add one to two teaspoons of maca powder to my daily smoothie in the morning. Just try not to go over that amount per day, as too much maca can cause breast tenderness.”
3 Postmenopausal? Nix sleepless nights
Due to a dip in sleep-regulating hormones, 61% of postmenopausal women struggle with insomnia. What’s more, says Dr. Faubion, “Lack of estrogen can affect your airway, often leading to sleep apnea.” Your dreamy Rx: dark chocolate– covered nuts. They’re rich in magnesium, which is crucial to deep sleep. And the mineral also relaxes muscles in the neck, helping to prevent apnea. Aim for a bedtime snack of about 21 nuts. Boost your mood The risk of depression rises after menopause, largely due to the lack of mood-regulating sex hormones. To lift your spirits: “Activate the positive by listing three daily ‘wins’— anything from sipping a great cup of coffee to enjoying a walk outside,” encourages Dr. Gottfried. “Jotting them down has been shown to lower cortisol by 23% and raise DHEA, the precursor to testosterone, which boosts mood in postmenopausal women.” — Kristina Mastrocola