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"Understanding Menopause: Impact on Health and Wellness"


I love talking with and listening to adults with more life experience than me. Recently I was helping others prepare meals that would serve local community members. One older woman who helps wash all the dishes was telling me how she lives a healthy life and doesn't deal with all the health issues that her peers deal with. I asked her more about how she lives her life. She said she was walking daily, eating a mostly plant-based diet, avoiding alcohol, volunteering in the community, and more. Here is an example of how the blue zones around the world show how some people live well be a Centurian (those who live to be at least 100). What also interested me was that she said she did not experience the typical menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.


More studies are revealing that there is a link between plant-based diets rich in soy and reduced menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes. The Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine states "The WAVS trial—the Women’s Study for the Alleviation of Vasomotor Symptoms—found that a plant-based diet rich in soy reduced moderate to severe hot flashes by 88% and helped women lose, on average, eight pounds in 12 weeks."

When I spoke about soy consumption with my best friend who had early onset breast cancer at age 34, she was under the misinformation that people should avoid soy products due to the estrogen connection to cancer. There have been numerous studies and Medical providers explaining how this is the opposite of the truth, we are better off eating soy than not. Soy contains a high concentration of phytoestrogen that blocks estrogen receptors.


Changing to a Plant-based diet usually does not happen quickly. As you learn how to change your current diet you have time to learn how to eat a good balanced nutrient diet as you study cookbooks and recipes you find online. There are plant-based nutritionists on social media providing free recipes and how to videos. It is always a good idea to schedule with your doctor to have blood tests ordered to see how your body is responding and if there are any deficits to address.


So what foods are high in soy? Foods made from soybeans are in the gut healthy fermented foods and unfermented foods. Miso paste has a wide variety of uses which are flavorful and a boost to our health. Unfermented soy foods include edamame (also high in iron, equal to 4 ounces of chicken), tofu (has multiple ways to prepare not just soggy chunks!) soynuts, and soymilk.


There are many aspects of health related to reducing Menopause symptoms. Eating a plant-based diet has a significant role in reducing symptoms of Menopause and is known to reduce heart disease, Diabetes, and strokes. Definitely worth the effort.


Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT, Owner Garage Training & Rehab Gym






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