We’re often told that a healthy diet is key to improving wellness and feeling our best. While it may not eradicate symptoms altogether, proper nutrition plays an important role in managing certain health frustrations, including the signs of menopause.
As you might imagine, one of the best ways to get ample vitamins and minerals to improve overall wellness is through plenty of fruits and vegetables. Yet, new research published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, suggests there are some specific choices that may have a better impact on alleviating menopausal symptoms than others.
Diet & Menopause
Previous research has indicated that certain foods influence the production of estrogen and metabolism, which can, therefore, have an effect on the severity of menopause. Specifically, diets rich in vegetables, fruits, and nuts, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been associated with fewer symptoms and complaints by women of menopausal age. Based on these findings, researchers sought out to determine whether certain vegetables and fruits could aid in reducing menopause symptoms more than others. According to their findings, the following foods appeared to improve urogenital scores, which encompass factors like urinary incontinence and vaginal atrophy.
- Citrus Fruits: Oranges often come to mind as the primary citrus fruits, but you can also incorporate grapefruit, clementine, and tangerines into your diet. When possible, incorporate lemon and limes into your cooking, too.
- Leafy Greens: Spruce up your salads by swapping out iceberg for Swiss chard, arugula, spinach, and curly kale. These leafy greens pack a powerful dose of nutrients despite having very few calories.
- Dark Yellow Vegetables: Look for in-season yellow vegetables next time you browse your local farmer’s market. Yellow bell peppers, squash, and golden beets are all excellent choices that can easily be incorporated into dishes like stir-fries or salads.
Although the effects of these dietary choices may vary from
one woman to the next, anyone seeking simple lifestyle tactics to help control
the symptoms of menopause may find it worthwhile to give these fruits and
vegetables a try. At the very least, you’ll be getting a hefty dose of
nutrients to support better overall health anyway. For more health awareness
blogs, visit our blog page at https://www.stemedix.com/blog/.
Maintaining proper nutrition is essential for optimal health. Our bodies need more than 30 vitamins and minerals to operate, with these nutrients supporting a host of processes including:
- Tissue production and regeneration
- Red blood cell production
- Nerve signaling
- Formulating chemical messages
While getting adequate amounts of these vitamins and minerals is important for supporting key body-wide mechanisms on a daily basis, it’s also critical for safeguarding our future health. Nutrition helps us minimize the risk of many serious conditions, one of which is dementia.
Can Nutritional Deficiencies Cause Dementia?
In some elderly patients, healthy dietary practices aren’t always
closely followed. This can lead to certain nutritional deficiencies, which can
actually cause cognitive impairment over time. Research shows certain forms of dementia
can be a direct result of deficiencies in specific vitamins, minerals, or
other nutrients. Here are a few nutrients in particular that are necessary for
- Vitamin B12: Without ample B12, the frontal lobes of the brain become altered, resulting in cognitive or behavioral changes. The vitamin, therefore, supports brain health while playing an important role in maintaining healthy blood and nerve cells. It also aids in the production of DNA. Animal food sources are often rich in B12, including dairy and meat.
- Niacin: B3 or niacin helps to control cholesterol levels. Elderly individuals are especially at risk of developing pellagra, a B3 deficiency characterized by dementia, dermatitis, and diarrhea. Enriched cereals, seeds, poultry, and redfish are good sources of the vitamin.
- Thiamin: Also known as vitamin B1, a deficiency in thiamin can cause damage to the nerves and muscles, including the heart. Thiamin also has such a profound effect on cognitive function that some researchers speculate the vitamin could benefit Alzheimer’s patients, but further studies are needed to support this theory. Thiamin is commonly found in eggs, nuts, seeds, beef, and enriched grain products, such as cereals.
In addition, insufficient hydration
can lead to nutrition-oriented dementia.
Beyond cognitive symptoms,
nutritional deficiencies may also manifest physically in the following ways:
- Sensorimotor challenges
- Poor reflexes
- Extreme thirst
- Numbed sense of touch
- Gastrointestinal issues
Fortunately, these and other nutrition-oriented symptoms can
be avoided with a healthy,
well-rounded diet. In addition, certain individuals may benefit from
supplements if key nutrients can’t be acquired through diet alone. Talk to your
doctor if you think you could benefit from a supplement regimen.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by difficulty getting or maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It affects up to 30 million men and can stem from a broad range of causes, including stress, limited blood flow to the penis, and underlying conditions such as high blood pressure. While addressing any existing health issues that could be contributing to ED is important, addressing ED itself is also critical to supporting sexual health and quality of life. You may be asking yourself can stem cell therapy treat erectile dysfunction?
Traditionally, treatments for ED have included PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra. Yet, these drugs are among the most controversial on the market. They relax the blood vessel walls in certain areas of the body and, while typically effective in addressing ED, are linked to both minor and serious side effects. Common side effects include nasal congestion, vision impairment and light sensitivity, indigestion, and headaches. More serious side effects include painful and long-lasting erections, damage to the optic nerve, hearing loss, and heart attack, among others.
When oral medications fail, treatments such as injection therapy and penile implants may be explored as a last resort. Yet, these treatments also have their own set of potentially serious side effects. For this reason, experts have been exploring alternative options for treating ED.
Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction
One promising treatment for ED which has emerged recently is stem cell therapy. In one clinical trial, men who have experienced ED after prostatectomy for prostate cancer experienced improved erectile function, even after all previously attempted treatments showed no results. The treatment has also shown promise for improving erections in men whose ED is caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes.
Stem cells work to promote tissue regeneration and healing, due to their ability to either become new cells through self-renewal or give rise to virtually any other cell type in the body. No other cells have these remarkable capabilities. When administered strategically, they can, therefore, promote the repair of almost any type of damaged or injured tissue.
Researchers are encouraged by their findings and believe that the treatment offers a powerful alternative to traditional therapies for ED, as well as a viable solution for patients who have not responded to other treatments. Men experiencing the frustrations of ED may therefore once again be able to achieve and maintain spontaneous erections without invasive surgeries, injections, or medications, thereby improving their sexual satisfaction and relationships.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) may seem like an issue that exclusively affects sexual health, but it could actually be a telling indicator of larger issues with overall wellness. The issue could simply be a result of a lifestyle change, such as a new medication. For the majority of men, however, the underlying cause of ED is related to a physical issue, such as high cholesterol, clogged arteries, or high blood pressure.
The remedy for ED could, therefore, lie in making changes to promote better overall health. Here are some natural tactics you could try to improve both your wellness and your sex life:
Be Mindful of Heart Health
Your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels all
influence the arteries in the heart, brain, and penis. It’s therefore essential
to both your sexual and overall health that you monitor and control these
levels. Meet with your doctor regularly to discuss your vascular health, and if
needed, pursue lifestyle changes and medications to get on track.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
is a known cause of ED, so losing weight if needed and maintaining a
healthy body mass index (BMI) are some ways to combat the issue. Being
overweight also contributes to diabetes and vascular disease risk, which are
also causes of ED. Moreover, excess fat can alter hormone levels, which can
play a role in the condition. Set a goal to reach and maintain a healthy weight
to prevent or alleviate ED.
Men who exercise regularly are 20-30%
less likely to develop ED than their sedentary peers, according to a
Harvard Health study. While participants in the study either ran or completed
vigorous outdoor work, moderate and low-impact workouts can be beneficial, too.
In fact, walking just 30 minutes a day is linked to a 41%
drop in ED risk – proof that you don’t need to become a marathoner to enjoy
the health benefits of physical activity.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet influences many aspects of health, and sexual wellness
is no exception. According to the Massachusetts
Male Aging Study, men who follow a diet rich in natural foods including
vegetables, whole grains, and fish were less likely to experience ED than their
peers. Limiting or avoiding refined grains and red or processed meats is also
beneficial, according to the study.
Strengthen the Pelvic Floor
If you think Kegels are just for women, think again. Pelvic
floor strength is important for both men and women. Men, in particular, need
strength in this area to maintain rigid erections and prevent blood from
leaving the penis. One study in the UK
even showed that doing Kegels twice a day for three months, combined with
healthy habits like weight loss and smoking cessation, showed better results
than lifestyle changes alone.
Addressing ED isn’t always simple since it often involves a complex interplay of physical, hormonal, and psychological factors. Yet, trying these tactics can’t hurt, as their benefits will extend to your overall health while increasing your odds of combatting ED.
Whether it’s from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or another chronic condition, persistent pain is frustrating at best. There are many therapies available to help reduce discomfort, but one often overlooked lifestyle change is refining your diet. In particular, there are a few foods known for combatting inflammation, a key agent behind chronic pain. Try incorporating some of these foods and ingredients into your diet to see if it makes a difference with your pain levels. Here are some of the best foods to relieve chronic pain:
Soybeans have an anti-inflammatory
effect, which could be a result of their powerful, protective
phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids. While soybeans are commonly found in
prepared products like tofu and soy milk, you can also enjoy them as a
protein-rich snack in the form of steamed edamame.
Experts have been touting the benefits of fish for decades
due to the food’s many health-boosting qualities. Cold-water fish, in
particular, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to curb
inflammation. Reach for varieties like tuna or salmon for the greatest
Delicious tart cherries are convenient, low-calorie snacks
loaded with antioxidants. They’re also good sources of cyanidin, which has
anti-inflammatory effects even stronger than that of vitamin E. The compound is
known for reducing pain caused by arthritis and gout, in particular.
Turmeric’s most active compound, curcumin,
is a potent anti-inflammatory agent which is believed to help control the
symptoms of arthritis. It can also help to improve depression symptoms and even
aid in the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s
disease, and heart disease. Try the seasoning with your eggs, rice, or even
in a smoothie.
Foods with Vitamin D
Interestingly, vitamin D deficiencies are very
common among people with chronic pain. While experts are still unsure as to
whether a deficiency could exacerbate existing pain or actually cause it in the
first place, getting ample intake of this nutrient is clearly important for
keeping discomfort at bay. With your doctor’s approval, consider taking
supplements or getting vitamin D from sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks.
Just try to steer clear of cow’s milk, which has inflammatory properties that
may worsen pain.
Experts have been researching the potential causes of dementia
for quite some time. Like many conditions, it’s believed to result from a
combination of lifestyle, hereditary, and environmental factors. Recently,
however, there’s been one dietary factor catching the attention of researchers:
excess salt. Discover the connection between table salt and dementia risk
Dietary Salt & Cognitive Impairment
According to research published
in October 2019 in Nature Neuroscience,
a link has been established between excessive salt intake and elevated dementia
risk. While experts have long associated poor cerebrovascular function with high
salt diets, this new study suggests high sodium levels don’t just restrict
blood flow to the brain; they can actually affect tau protein levels in the
Tau supports neurons under normal circumstances. It does so
by stabilizing microtubules, the structures which carry nutrients to neurons.
When tau becomes unstable, it can build up in the brain. The buildup
of tau is a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
In the rodent study, scientists used nitric oxide to
stabilize the tau, which in turn led to normal cognitive function – even though
blood flow to the brain was still restricted. This suggests that the tau
buildup caused by salt – and not the restricted blood flow – is the true
causative agent behind dementia.
Reducing Salt Intake
Based on these findings, experts are now urging individuals to be mindful of their salt intake. Although further research needs to be completed to confirm the connection between sodium and dementia in humans, reducing salt consumption is a good idea anyhow. Excess sodium can accumulate in the blood when the kidneys can no longer keep up with it, which causes the body to hold onto excess water. This, in turn, increases fluid and blood volume, which puts added pressure on the heart and blood vessels. As a result, the risk for blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke increases.
American Heart Association recommends adults take in no more than 2,300 mg
of salt per day, but suggests aiming for an ideal limit of 1,500 mg. The
majority of sodium comes from packaged and prepared foods, so making your own
meals at home with whole ingredients such as fresh vegetables, whole grains,
and lean protein is one of the best ways to reduce salt intake.