By: Guest Author
Published: February 15, 2018
Contributed by Lena Hemsworth- Guest Contributor
You might snicker even at the thought, but believe it or not, your menopause could be the door to creative inspiration, a time of productivity and new interests. How? Well, as the changes your body is going through are exasperating, to say the least, your search for relief from the endlessly exhausting symptoms might just bring you to a pot of gold. And this pot of gold for a menopausal woman, we find, could be gardening.
Organic gardening is one of the best stress-relieving activities out there, as you create your own little peaceful haven and get lost in it every day, tending to your plants and not thinking about the changes your body is going through. On top of that, you’ll be doing some hard work and building up the sweat: digging, mowing, weeding, planting, bending over to pick up debris, etc. The activities that gardening entails count as the legitimate exercise that can burn between 250 and 400 calories per hour. Your body will thank you for that, as studies have shown that women who exercise daily suffer far fewer severe hot flashes.
Being physically active in a tranquil environment will positively affect your body’s levels of serotonin and endorphins and elevate your mood. All the while, you’ll be growing your own vegetables and ensuring you have organic, fresh produce on the table. Aside from eating healthfully, this is the part where a sense of pride and fulfilment kicks in: You’ve done it; you planted that and cared for it, and now it’s grown and healthy.
So roll up your sleeves and get ready for some liberating mud on your hands. You know the importance of adequate diet during menopause, so we’ve singled out some the healthiest vegetables just to get you started.
This is one of the most important vegetables to consume during menopause, as it is extremely high in fiber and calcium. You need fiber for good digestion, which is usually an issue during these changes, plus it helps you feel full longer, so you’re at a lower risk of menopausal weight gain. An ounce of broccoli has the amount of calcium as an ounce of milk, necessary for your bone health. Broccoli can germinate in soil with very low temperatures; the important thing is to have full sun and slightly acidic fertile soil. See the specifics of planting, growing and harvesting broccoli here.
Beans and legumes
Kidney beans, green beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas, lentils – you name it, foods from the legume family are heaven-sent. They’re high in protein and dietary fiber, low in calories but packed with nutrients. They are important for heart health and they maintain blood sugar levels, and so the list goes on. They’re not difficult for gardening, and they require less fertilizer than other vegetables, but they do need a lot of water – about one inch of water weekly, so you’ll need to have a proper hose on hand frequently and do some thorough soaking of the soil.
These vegetables are extremely important for sufficient intake of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and a number of other things. Particularly during menopause, the omega-3 fats can stabilize mood and lower anxiety. So get ready to plant your kale, spinach, lettuce and swiss chards – these vegetables are shallow-rooted so they don’t demand particularly rich soil. The most important thing for them is plenty of sun and constant watering.
These are just some of the healthiest veggies to get you inspired and planting. Remember to start small to see how it works and what tempo suits you best. You can always expand later and eventually grow a very wide variety of nutritious fruits and veggies that can provide relief from the symptoms of menopause. Expect some discomfort in the beginning, because you will be sweating, after all, and it’s something new and different. But when you get frustrated, pull up a garden chair, sink into it while sipping on some cool lemonade and remind yourself that it’s better to be sweating here, in your comfy work clothes, than anywhere else. The most important thing is to take it easy, enjoy yourself and time spent in your garden will be truly meditational. Plus, you’ll be basking in the sun and getting that much-needed vitamin D.
Lena is blogger inspired by woman power, and she enjoys reading books about historically important women from all over the world. She believes in constant progress and she is always trying to learn something new. Right now she is learning about healthy diets and web design at the same time. When she is offline, she enjoys spending time in her backyard with her friends and her dog.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.