Natural Remedies to Ease Menopausal Stress

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Chronic stress can be quite debilitating.  If you are perimenopausal or postmenopausal it can become even trickier to deal with.

According to Dr. Caroline Apovian, Director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center, Boston Medical Center, Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and Vice President of The Obesity Society stress is not only uncomfortable, it also inhibits weight loss, interferes with focus, causes memory problems, and can lead to poor judgment and anxiety.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my go-to stress reliever is food.  I am not talking about the green leafy kind!

What if you could help that stress by reaching for a tension-taming choice instead of that comfort food. Would you try it?

Here are Dr. Apovian’s natural remedies for treating anxiety:

Chamomile Tea – That soothing effect isn’t just in your mind. Chamomile has demonstrated anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects in clinical studies. In addition, it is a calorie-free drink and counts toward meeting your optimal daily water intake. Enjoy a couple of unsweetened cups each day, or one of my fiber-filled, super soothing Raspberry Chamomile Smoothies.

Bananas – America’s favorite fruit contains tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin. Serotonin is one of the primary neurotransmitters responsible for mood balance, a sense of wellbeing, and happiness.  Bananas also contain high amounts of B vitamins, which soothe anxiety. Natural sugars add a bonus energy boost.

Turkey – I always recommend fat-free or lean ground turkey to my patients for weight loss. You receive a stunning amount of protein for relatively few calories. It is delicious and comes together quickly in a range of diverse recipes. Turkey, as you probably know, is also high in tryptophan, which translates into higher serotonin. You know that calm, happy feeling you get after Thanksgiving dinner? Attribute it to turkey.

Oatmeal – Start your day off with a bowl of oatmeal. The less processed, the better, and refrain from the sweetened varieties. Add some fruit if you need a sweetener. This complex carb triggers the production of serotonin and keeps you feeling full and satisfied throughout the morning due to its high fiber content.  For an easy and delicious breakfast idea, try my Peanut Butter Protein Overnight Oats.

Oranges – A high level of vitamin C in the body slows down cortisol production, one of our primarily stress hormones.  It also helps us to recuperate more quickly after experiencing stress. Oranges, grapefruit, peppers and many other foods contain high amounts and act as a low calorie, calming snack. Stash some in your desk at the office and feel calmer all day.

Dark Chocolate – In a study coming from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology in Melbourne Australia, participants who consumed dark chocolate for 30 days reported significant improvements in calmness and contentedness, compared to those who did not. For all my dieters out there, choose a variety that is high in dark chocolate content, contains little to no sugar, and be conscious of portion size. Chocolate is a calorie-dense food.

Spinach – Packed with nutrients, spinach is known and loved as one of the world’s healthiest foods. It is rich in folate, a B-vitamin that is partially responsible for the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, three essential neurotransmitters for mood balance. Insufficient amounts of folate in the diet is linked with anxiety and depression. Try some in a high protein smoothie for the ultimate anxiety-fighting, weight loss meal. Don’t like the taste? If you add in a half-cup to a cup of spinach along with some whole fruits, you won’t even taste it.

Dr. Apovian also has a wonderful Menopause Soothing Smoothie Recipe:

Remember:  Suffering in silence is OUT!  Reaching out is IN.

For more great tips on how to find a menopause specialist and deal with menopause download my free ebook: MENOPAUSE MONDAYS  the Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.    

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After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

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