Are you ready to thrive past 45, into your 50s, and beyond?
Our Naturopath Diane gives her tips.
50 is the new 40, and women are expecting more from their bodies than ever. Appearance, fitness and wellness are very important – women want to face their older years active and feeling well.
Digestion: the annoying bloated abdomen
As the body matures, the volume and quality of digestive secretions reduce. This makes the gut more susceptible to wind, flatulence, boating and the sensation of heaviness. Who has a flat stomach on waking, then starts to look pregnant as the day goes on?!
One way to tackle this is to eat a simple breakfast: avoid multigrains, and smoothies with too many ingredients.
Eating a group of grains in a cereal such as muesli is often too difficult to break down, leading to partially undigested food finding its way through the intestinal tract, and triggering reactions.
Smoothies with a number of components (fruit, fats, vegetables, protein and seeds) is very nutrient-dense… however, usually way too complex for the body to digest, and also very high in calories.
Eat simply by reducing the number of food groups eaten in one sitting: try eggs and spinach, or fruit and yoghurt, or oats on their own.
Thickening around the middle
Hormonal changes – such as lowered metabolic rate, peri-menopausal changes – such as oestrogen dominance, and the fact that the body needs less calories as it matures can very quickly lead to the deposition of fat around the middle.
The BEST THING for reducing abdominal fat is exercise, particularly weight-based exercise.
It is worthwhile being assessed by a health professional and having hormone levels checked, as there might be a need for supplements that clear estrogens and/or improve metabolic rate. Dietary advice is worthwhile too – determining what the body really needs, and getting guidance on the most nutrient rich foods, can be very helpful. There’s no point in lifting lots of weights and taking lots of supplements if the diet isn’t right!
The bad news is is that the horse has bolted by the time a woman reaches her 40s. Bone strength and the laying down of calcium in bone reaches its peak by the age of 25. Consuming lots of calcium rich foods and supplementation does not do much for bone regeneration, as, quite simply: it’s too late.
The prime objective needs to be prevention of bone/calcium loss. The BEST THING for bone strength and prevention of bone loss is weight-bearing exercise. Bones are a dynamic organ; if you don’t use it…you lose it.
Dietary factors have huge influence on bone loss; maintaining proper blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, avoiding junk food high in phosphates, and maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance. A body that is too acidic causes the leaching of calcium from the bones, as the calcium acts as a buffer.
The scientific evidence about the benefits of exercise is HUGE. Intense exercise has been shown to help prevent dementia and cognitive decline. Exercise that focuses on increasing muscle strength and mass of the thighs greatly improves blood sugar levels. Exercise helps prevent breast cancer and has been shown to improve recovery from cancer treatment. Intermittent and intense exercise reduces menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, anxiety and palpitations.
Need some support as you navigate the next phase of your life?
Diane has years of experience in helping women to thrive – no matter their life stage!