Immunity in menopause

immunity in menopause

Menopause and your immunity

One of the many challenges women face when they go through the menopause is that it can adversely affect their immune system. If we are not eating the right foods, not sleeping enough, feeling more anxious and not being as active as we used to, it can lead to us being more at risk of illness.  The good news is, even just small changes in your daily routine can help.

Why not start right now? Here is a checklist to help you boost your immunity and support your body in menopause:

 

Prioritise sleep

When we don’t get enough sleep, it can result in a number of negative impacts on our bodies including:

  • Lowering our immunity
  • Increased inflammation
  • Poor nutrition choices (caffeine, sugary snacks to keep us going)
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Stress and anxiety

Try creating a calm sleep routine – set a time to go to bed and try to stick to it every. Try unwinding with meditation or deep breathing. Keep your room cool and banish devices.  Try herbal sleep remedies within your routine to help you drift off naturally and have restful night’s sleep.1

Stay hydrated

Being sufficiently hydrated helps to support the lymphatic system, which is linked to the immune system. Being properly hydrated helps with lymphatic drainage and clears out toxins and other waste materials.

Aim to drink a minimum of 6 – 8 glasses of liquid a day, preferably water or calory-free. 

Exercise regularly.  A review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science in 2019 revealed that exercise can reduce inflammation, lower illness risk and improve your immune response. It can also improve your mood, supports weight management, bone health and reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The NHS recommends we do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week, with the exercise spread evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day.2

Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for maintaining wellbeing during menopause. Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break. Your body needs vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need vitamin D to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body. Your immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.3

Eat your greens

Eating a variety of brightly colored fruits and veggies give you phytonutrients, which have various health benefits. Plant foods are low calorie and include important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They may protect against cancer, heart disease, vision loss, hypertension and other diseases. Try for a total of portions of fruit and veg a day. This sounds like a lot, but if you plan for servings at each meal, you will smash it.4


https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-guidelines-and-food-labels/the-eatwell-guide/

Protein is important too

Proteins are needed by your body for growth and repair of tissues. Amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are also needed to make antibodies, which you need to fight infection. The average healthy adult woman over 50 requires 1-1.2 grams per kg (or 0.45–0.55 grams per pound) of body weight per day. If you exercise more, you may need more protein. Protein-rich foods include eggs, chicken, lean beef, dairy, nuts and seeds. Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are good alternatives to meat because they’re lower in fat and higher in fibre and protein, too.4

If you feel you are doing as much as you can yourself, but still feel your wellbeing and energy is lacking, you should talk to your doctor about other options.

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