Natural Food Helps With Menopause Symptoms

As women go into menopause their estrogen levels dip causing unpleasant symptoms of all sorts. But many women would rather suffer than take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which carries slight risks for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, what's a woman to do?

Indulge in soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh, and miso which contain isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, or plant-based estrogen. Soy foods are a natural, healthy choice for topping up your estrogen levels. Think of soy as natural HRT.

Some studies have been performed to try and pinpoint how much soy a woman needs to consume to bring about a reduction in hot flashes. These studies have shown that 40-50 mg of soy isoflavones every day will bring you relief from this unpleasant symptom. That's 1-4 servings of soy-based foods on a daily basis. Here's a chart that tells you how many mg of isoflavones are present in a given soy-based food:

Soy Good

1 cup of soy milk = 40 mg isoflavones

4 oz. of tofu = 40 mg isoflavones

1/2 cup of roasted soy nuts = 20 mg of isoflavones.

1/2 cup of TVP (texturized vegetable (soy) protein meat substitute) = 35 mg isoflavones

1/2 cup of soy flour = 25 mg isoflavones

4 oz. tempeh = 40 mg isoflavones

1/2 cup miso = 40 mg isoflavones

Fruit Smoothies!

You can find soy powder in health food stores and this can be mixed with other liquids such as juice or water, or even blended into fruit smoothies. The powder gives you a great nutritional boost. Here are some other ways to bring soy joy into your diet:

*Substitute soy milk that has been fortified with calcium and vitamin D and use it instead of milk for cereal and in soups or puddings.

*Tofu is a bland food, but you can add cubes to spicy chili or hot pasta Arabbiata. The tofu will drink up the seasonings in these dishes and add nutrition.

Adds Protein

*Replace some of all of the cottage or ricotta cheese in pasta dishes and casseroles. The texture is very similar and tofu adds protein without the fat.

*Use TVP instead of ground beef, turkey, or chicken for meat sauces, chili, meat loaf, and meatballs. TVP comes dry and needs reconstitution. Start by substituting part TVP. Use 1/2 lb. of ground meat and one cup of TVP. Moisten the TVP with milk, tomato juice, or canned chopped tomatoes and proceed as usual with your recipe. No one will spot the difference.

*Substitute soy flour for some of the wheat flour in cookies, muffins, and breads. In recipes containing yeast, place 2 tablespoons of soy flour into the measuring cup before topping up with regular wheat flour. In quick breads you can replace up to half of the flour with soy flour.

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