Menopause, sometimes mysteriously referred to as the ‘change of life’, isn’t always the easiest of times to work through. While you may be excited to move on to a different phase of your life (and say goodbye to periods for good!), menopause often brings with it hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, tiredness, and irritability- and who has time for all of that?

While doctors will often rush to offer hormone replacement therapy to squash the unpleasant side effects, you may want to explore some more natural ways to ease the transition. Here are five natural ways to keep the nastier symptoms of menopause at bay…

Boost your vitamins

Menopause also brings with it bodily changes that can begin to weaken your bones, leaving you at risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Boosting your intake not only of calcium, but also vitamin D, will help ward off these changes and leave you feeling stronger and fitter. Calcium and Vitamin D work synergistically to ensure no strength is taken from your bones.

Additionally, Vitamin D has proven effects on mood. Deficiencies of Vitamin D are linked to depression, fatigue, weakness, and bone pain, and who has time for that?

As well as taking supplements (which are an easy way to boost things), you can also look at incorporating calcium-rich foods into your diet like dairy, green, leafy vegetables, tofu, oily fish, and beans. While Vitamin D is made in the skin from sunlight, it’s probably wise to avoid over-exposing your skin. Look for fortified foods, oily fish, and high-quality D3 supplements instead.

Avoid possible triggers

Remember those mood swings, night sweats, and hot flashes? There are plenty of things out there that are known to aggravate them.Caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods, and hot spices are all known triggers. You can also discover if anything is irritating you specifically through the use of a symptom diary that tracks the food you eat.

Seek natural phytoestrogens

These naturally-occurring plant compounds mimic estrogen in the body, meaning they have the ability to balance out your swinging hormones. Asian cuisine uses phytoestrogen-heavy foods, and science has noted menopausal women of these cultures rarely experience hot flashes. With that said, women with a history (or family history) of breast cancer may want to consume phytoestrogens with caution, as there’s a faint possibility it can aggravate cancerous cells. 

For preference, seek out natural soybeans, tofu, tempeh, flax- and linseeds, sesame seeds, and beans over process soy protein powders and supplements. 

Evening primrose and black cohosh

There’s some convincing evidence that black cohosh can reduce hot flashes. Evening primrose also has good anecdotal evidence of acting as a hormone regulator and easing the more aggravating menopausal symptoms. 

Stay hydrated

Your 8 glasses a day may be more important than you thought! Tissue dryness- from throat to vagina- is typical in menopause, and ensuring you keep your brain and body operating at full hydration is critical to feeling good. It will also help combat bloat. 

While menopause may not be your favourite phase of life, you don’t have to suffer through it, either! These 5 easy, natural ways to relieve menopause symptoms will help keep you feeling fighting fit and ready for action.