The Macrobiotic approach to health reflects thousands of years of experience, observation and research in Asia. The medicine of the Far East understood that the body is a self-healing organism when treated well. Our bodies are designed to strive toward a special balance referred to in Western science as homeostasis. Macrobiotics is about stimulating the body’s natural desire for well-being and capacity to heal itself rather than attacking the symptoms of ill health and disease. In this process of self-generated healing every aspect of life is considered to play a part. The food you eat, the type of physical activity, the emotional state, family relationships and spiritual outlook are all-important aspects of the healing process.
Many clients that I see have some serious ailments before, during and after menopause. I sailed through it by eating a hormone balanced diet i.e. a wholefoods plant based diet without the many debilitating symptoms that these women suffer from. Weight gain, night sweats, mood swings, low energy, low sex drive, skin complaints, insomnia and much more. Menopause as you know is a totally natural stage in the reproductive cycle. It’s when changing estrogen levels produce both physical and mental changes and can result in changes to cholesterol levels and bone density to name but a few.
Every woman is unique and the menopause has a different impact on each individual. Many believe that dietary differences may be influential. Nutrients called isoflavones have been shown to be beneficial to menopausal health. However, while ‘eastern’ diets deliver between 20-50mg of isoflavones a day, the typical ‘western’ diet provides only 2-5mg of isoflavones a day.
Previous studies have suggested that Soya-rich foods can help cut women’s risk of developing breast cancer. Soybeans contain isoflavones. Although isoflavones are found in other plants, they are most concentrated in soybeans. They are believed to prevent breast tumours developing by blocking the cancer-causing effects of estrogen.
Isoflavones are a specific group of plan estrogens or phytoestrogens – chemicals found in plants, which mimic the action of the female sex hormone estrogen that are found only in legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, soybeans (non-GMO) and red clover that can help to maintain health and well-being during and after the menopause. The highest amounts of soy isoflavones can be found in tempeh. Try some tempeh recipes and make this a regular food in your diet. Another natural source of isoflavones is red clover. Caffeine (coffee, tea), alcohol, smoking, warm environments and stress are all known to make it harder to manage the menopause.
Red Clover Tea
Red clover blossoms can easily be used fresh or dried to make herbal tea. Red clover tea has traditionally been drunk to treat the following ailments: breathing problems, problems of the female reproductive system such as menopause and heavy bleeding, cancer of the female reproductive organs, and to purify the blood. Red clover tea is also used externally to treat itchy skin conditions.
Fresh Red Clover Tea
To prepare herbal tea from fresh red clover blossoms, steep 3 fresh blossoms in 1 cup of hot water for 15 minutes.
Dried Red Clover Tea
To prepare herbal tea from dried red clover blossoms, steep 2-3 teaspoons of the dried herb in hot water for 15 minutes.
It’s important to take care of yourself always but even more important to safe guard your health as you journey through menopause.
In good health,