Hope my friends and readers are doing fine.
Last few days have been chaotic in my life, as I mentioned in my last post that there are health issues which I need to sort out before I get to a steady blogging.
I’ve written articles in my blog related to hormones especially ‘the feel good ones’ here and here in my blog and which have been appreciated by many. I love to read articles on food with their health benefits and that helps me apply the knowledge that I’ve gained in the food that I cook for the family.
As we all know that the hormones play a vital role in our body and understanding their role and effect can help us minimize their negative effect and increase the positive ones. There are two major hormones that regulate a female body, Progesterone and Oestrogen/ Estrogen. Being a female in her thirties, I’m always worried about keeping a track and balance of the calcium level in my body so that my bones can stay strong and I can avoid osteoporosis in my old age. I know that my worry is also the worry for many women across the globe and hence I decided to write this post highlighting one aspect that can be controlled to avoid osteoporosis..
A woman is said to have reached the menopause when she has not had a period for one year. The average age for women to get menopause is around 50-52yrs. At this time the normal functioning of her ovaries begins to deteriorate, this brings change in the duration of her cycle, which may become shorter or longer. The periods can also become heavy or lighter. Because of the gradual drop in the estrogen level produced by the ovaries, the lining of the womb fails to thicken up and so gradually the periods stop altogether.
For most of a woman's life, estrogen helps to protect the heart and bones, as well as maintaining the breasts, womb, vagina and bladder in their healthy state. The marked loss of estrogen in a woman's body that occurs around, and after, the menopause can, therefore, have detrimental effects on her health; as well as causing uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats (physical signs) or (psychological changes) mood swings. The effect on the bones won't be as obvious, but the loss of estrogen will certainly affect them. Lack of estrogen can increase the risk of heart disease and the bone disorder osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is where the amount of bone tissue in the body is below what is normal for a person, taking into account their sex and age.
If you looked at bone under a microscope, you'd see two types of specialized cells scattered throughout:
- cells that continually make new bone, called osteoblasts
- cells that continuously dissolve bone into its component materials, called osteoclasts.
Bone is therefore not a static tissue, but is always on the go. The actions of bone manufacture and disassembly are usually exactly balanced. (Ref www.netdoctor.co.uk)
The bones of the human skeleton contain 99.5% of the total calcium in the body. It is the calcium within the bones which makes them strong.The calcium within bones is available to the body should the body need it for other purposes. It is the activity of bone osteoclasts which absorb the calcium in the bone and release it into the blood stream.
Estrogen is a sex hormone that is essential to female bone health because it promotes the activity of osteoblasts, which are cells that produce bone. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the osteoblasts aren't able to effectively produce bone. Today a large number of drugs and medications are available to cure osteoporosis but estrogen remains a fairly common treatment to conserve bone mass and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures in post-menopausal women.
By now you all must have realized how important the estrogens are in a female body and now I will tell you how easily you can replenish them in your body but before that let me introduce you to this month’s event, ‘Only’ – Cooking With Soya which is guest hosted by Preeti through the month of September, so please check her blog for the event details.www.tarladalal.com as giveaway is
Coming back to replenishing estrogen in the body and also explaining the nutritional aspects of Soy..
Soy is a high quality protein. It is one of only two known plant foods to contain all the essential amino acids, similar to those found in meat (the other plant food is amaranth seed, a wild green). The soybean is:
- High in fibre
- High in protein
- Low in saturated fat
- A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- High in phytoestrogens.
The phytoestrogens are hormone like substances that mimic the action of the hormone estrogen. The health benefits of soy for menopausal women could include fewer hot flushes, protection from coronary heart disease and lowered risk of osteoporosis.
A study shows that women in Japan and China typically have fewer hot flushes during menopause than their Western counterparts. This observation led to research into dietary differences, including the fact that Asian women tend to have soy-rich diets, while Western women have meat-rich diets. ( Ref: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcsite.nsf)
I’ve tried to explain in this post how easily we women can control the estrogen levels in our body and help fight heart diseases and osteoporosis through eating soy and soy products. I also hope we all can cook interesting dishes with this versatile ingredient and make ourselves more healthy.