PMS and Menopause

Many women seek medical help for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While nutrition advice often varies, there is insufficient scientific evidence that any diet modifications will prevent or relieve PMS symptoms. A combination of good nutrition, exercise, and stress management may be the best way to relieve the symptoms of PMS.

stress: heightened state of nervousness or unease isoflavones: estrogen-like compounds in plants metabolism: the sum total of reactions in a cell or an organism

Soy has garnered much attention in recent years as a dietary treatment for menopausal symptoms. Soy is a rich source of isoflavones, an estrogenlike substance found in plants. Some studies suggest that regularly eating moderate amounts of soy-based food products can help decrease menopausal symptoms; however, other studies do not support the idea. More research is needed to gain a better understanding of the effects of soy on menopausal symptoms.

During menopause, a woman's metabolism slows down and weight gain can occur. The accumulation of body fat around the abdomen also increases. Exercise and careful food choices can minimize both of these occurrences.

overweight: weight above the accepted norm based on height, sex, and age lifestyle: set of choices about diet, exercise, job type, leisure activities, and other aspects of life genetics: inheritance through genes hormone: molecules produced by one set of cells that influence the function of another set of cells vitamin D: nutrient needed for calcium uptake and therefore proper bone formation protein: complex molecule composed of amino acids that performs vital functions in the cell; necessary part of the diet obese: above accepted standards of weight for sex, height, and age sedentary: not active antioxidant: substance that prevents oxidation, a damaging reaction with oxygen

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