I have realized that if you don’t do all that you can to keep yourself healthy, then you are in for a heck of a ride as you age. Recently, while attending a social event, I heard story after story about death and sickness. So much of this is going on in the world today. In the circle of folks with who I was chatting, I learned that many just don’t do the basic things to keep themselves healthy. I mean like exercise and eating a good balanced diet. Basic stuff, right?
Following is my attempt to identify some common health concerns of women and some basic things you can do to combat them and or prevent them.
Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can cause a range of symptoms such as irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes, and weight gain. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain medical conditions.
Some natural remedies for hormonal imbalances include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and consuming a balanced diet with plenty of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Herbs like maca root, ashwagandha, and black cohosh can also be helpful. A big factor with hormonal imbalances is exposure to toxic chemicals. To avoid them buy organics, replace plastics with glass, replace your Teflon pans with ceramic or cast iron
Heart disease: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in many countries. One in three American women die from heart disease. Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease. Remember women have different symptoms than men and are often misdiagnosed and have a 20 greater risk of dying within 5 years of a heart attack.
Eating a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can reduce the risk of heart disease. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also help. Doing both can lower your risk by 30 to 50 percent. Garlic, omega-3 fatty acids from fish or supplements, and hibiscus tea are some natural remedies that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Breast cancer: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Regular breast exams and mammograms can help detect breast cancer early when it is most treatable. Breast cancer deaths have dropped 40 percent since 1989, thanks to awareness, early detection and the advancements of treatments.
Some natural remedies that may help prevent breast cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Some herbs like turmeric, green tea, and milk thistle may also have anti-cancer properties. A group of German Researchers noted that vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of mortality across all cancers.
Mental health: Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress affect many women. Women are twice as likely as men to develop depression, yet fewer than half seek treatment. Seeking professional help and support from friends and family can be effective in treating mental health concerns.
Regular exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques like yoga and deep breathing can help reduce stress and improve mental health. Certain herbs like St. John's wort and chamomile may also help with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Eating at least two servings a week of wild-caught, oily fish or a daily fish oil supplement has been shown to be an effective treatment for symptoms of depression.
As always, consult with your physician before making changes to your diet, supplementation, and fitness plans.