Menopause is a difficult time for many women. It is a time when the menses stop and are replaced by hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. Besides hormone replacement therapy, there are few medical options for the management of this time in a woman’s life. This leaves us with natural remedies to combat the symptoms until the menopausal symptoms stop.
Juicing for Menopause
While there are no scientific research studies out there that prove that juicing is beneficial for women undergoing menopause, there are plenty of anecdotal reports that show that drinking vegetable and fruit juices can help a woman suffering from menopausal symptoms.
For one, juicing can easily result in a loss of weight. Menopause is, unfortunately, a time when many women gain weight, which can lead them to an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke. By juicing, the weight gain can be prevented and perhaps some weight can be lost so that these diseases can be prevented.
Just about any kind of juice will result in weight loss but the vegetable juices are believed to be the best. Vegetable juices are low in sugar and calories and can be sweetened slightly be adding carrots to the mixture or by adding a small amount of apple to the juice. This makes the juice more palatable so that it can be taken in by the woman several times per day, resulting in weight loss and a reduction in risk factors for the above diseases.
Juices, especially carrot juices, have been found to be preventative against breast cancer, which reaches its peak right around menopause. Research has shown that the daily intake of carrots can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In one study alone, it was found that woman who consumed raw carrots daily had a 5 to 8 times decreased risk of getting breast cancer when compared to women who did not consume any carrots.
The reasons for this are unclear but it is believed that the beta-carotene in the carrots is what prevents breast cancer. Other types of cancer, including lung cancer and colon cancer are prevented by eating carrots.
Juicing and Constipation
Many women in menopause suffer from a slowing of their metabolism leading to chronic constipation. When juices are made with a blender rather than with a juicer, the insoluble fiber remains in the juice and this allows for an increase in the bulk of the stool. Peristalsis is increased and the woman will have a reduction in the symptoms of constipation.
The juices that work best for this are the vegetable juices that are naturally high in fiber when blended. Juices made from berries also have a high amount of insoluble fiber in it and will also be preventative against constipation in menopause if they are blended so as to retain the insoluble fiber in the juice.
Juices and Heart Disease Prevention
Women who enter menopause begin to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease because of the loss of the protective effect of estrogen normally produced by the ovaries. Many juices are high in potassium, which lowers blood pressure and therefore puts less stress on the heart. Carrot juice is particularly high in potassium and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering the blood pressure. Other vegetable juices contain potassium and other substances that are protective against inflammation, which is believed to be related to getting heart disease.
Juices also cause weight loss, which is protective against heart disease. Weight loss brought on by juicing can reduce the risk of diabetes in menopause, which is one of the risk factors for heart disease.
Does juicing help menopausal symptoms?
There is no study showing that juicing helps reduce the hot flashes and night sweats seen in the menopausal period but many women swear that juicing positively impacted their symptoms of menopause. Juicing provides the body with excellent nutrition that is easily absorbed by the body. This improved nutrition could be why a woman in the perimenopausal years suffers from fewer menopausal symptoms.
If you are in menopause and want to try juicing to reduce your menopausal symptoms, try the vegetable juices over the fruit juices, as the fruit juices are higher in calories and cause fluctuations in blood sugar. If you are suffering from constipation, use a blender rather than a juicer in order to get the insoluble fiber that can counteract the constipation brought on by the lowered metabolism seen in menopausal women.