• From Almonds to Wellness: Nut Milk for Menopausal Women

    Are you looking for milk alternatives to eliminate dairy during menopause? Well good news there are some very yummy and nutritious alternatives that you can make at home. In this article we will discuss briefly about the advantages and disadvantages of cow’s milk and alternative milks during menopause, after that I will give some easy recipes to make the alternative milks yourself at home, totally natural and cheaper than the ones you buy in the grocery store. This article is very long so I will divide in three parts: 1 part Which is better cow’s milk or alternative milks. 2 part: Should you go dairy free during menopause 3- Part alternative milk recipes, alternative cream recipe, Nice cream recipe and additional comments.     

    As you know our food takes center stage during menopause. Here is where alternative milks such as almond milk, cashew milk, oats, rice milks and many other come into play. For many women drinking cow’s milk is not healthy, for others is a matter of preference. In any case you can make your own delicious alternative milks at home.

    Advantages and disadvantages of dairy and alternative milks

    As you the movement against consuming cow’s milk or animal’s milk in general is very strong right now. I like to give an objective view of the trade-offs and the benefits of giving up dairy for alternative milks. These benefits are for all dairy products including milk

    Health benefits of dairy

    These benefits are for all dairy products including milk

    • The health benefits of dairy include being a rich source of calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and providing high-quality protein, necessary for tissue repair and immune system support.
    • Dairy products also contain vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, and other essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
    • Additionally, the protein and fat content in dairy can contribute to satiety and weight management.
    • Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics that promote a healthy gut microbiome.

    Disadvantages of dairy Products during menopause and perimenopause

    • The hormones naturally present in dairy could potentially interfere with hormonal balance during menopause, leading to symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
    • Digestive issues such as lactose intolerance or decreased lactase production can cause bloating and discomfort.
    • Dairy consumption has also been linked to inflammation, which may exacerbate joint pain and stiffness during menopause.
    • Some individuals may develop allergies or sensitivities to dairy products, and excessive dairy consumption may not necessarily improve bone health.

    Advantages of alternative milks during menopause

    • Alternative milks offer advantages such as being lactose-free, plant-based, and providing a variety of options for different dietary needs and preferences.
    • Store bought milks can be fortified with essential nutrients, making them comparable or to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value.
    • Perfect for individuals with dairy allergies or sensitivities to enjoy milk-like beverages
    • Moreover, choosing alternative milks can have environmental sustainability benefits.

    Disadvantages of alternative milks during menopause

    • The nutrient content may vary.
    • People with allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients used in alternative milks need to be cautious.
    • Most store bought alternative milks may contain additives, stabilizers, or sweeteners, so it’s important to read labels and choose options with minimal additives if desired.
    • Availability and cost may be considerations.
    • The taste and texture of alternative milks can differ from cow’s milk, requiring adjustment.
    • Environmental factors related to farming practices, water resources, and packaging need consideration.

    Most popular alternatives milks

    •  Almond milk: Made from ground almonds and water. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture.
    • Soy milk: Derived from soybeans, it is rich in protein. It has a mild taste and is used in beverages and cooking.
    • Oat milk: Made from oats and water. It has a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness.
    • Coconut milk: It has a rich and tropical flavor. It is commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines and adds a distinct taste to dishes.
    • Rice milk: Made from milled rice and water. It is a good option for individuals with allergies or intolerances to nuts, soy, or dairy.
    • Cashew milk: Made from ground cashews and water, cashew milk has a creamy consistency and a naturally sweet flavor.

    The most nutritive milks are made from nuts or soy.

    About soy milk in menopause and perimenopause

    Soy milk is rich in plant-based proteins and it is often fortified with essential nutrients. Soy milk also contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

    There has been some debate regarding the potential effects of soy and its isoflavones on hormone levels in menopausal women. Some studies suggest that consuming moderate amounts of soy products, including soy milk, may provide benefits such as alleviating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and supporting cardiovascular health.

    Soy milk during perimenopause is more complex. Some women during this time have what is called estrogen dominance. This condition happens when there are weaker estrogens, normally from environmental toxins circulating in the body. If the person has symptoms of estrogen dominance it is better not to consume soy products.   

    Should you go dairy-free in menopause?

    If you are having menopause symptoms, excess weight, difficulty losing weight, indigestion, gases, skin issues (pimples, hives etc.), you can experiment going dairy free for a week or a month and see how you feel. If you experience relief avoid dairy for a while. After a few months you can return to dairy and observe if the symptoms come back. Of course you can consult with your doctor.

    If you decide to go dairy free make sure you are consuming enough calcium rich food or taking a supplement. 

    There is insufficient evidence to say that all woman benefit from a dairy free lifestyle. However many women consume excess milk products and that will cause problems. The dairy propaganda that every person needs 5 servings of dairy is false. Every person needs the recommended amount of calcium, but milk is not the only source of calcium. That amount of milk products every day can be excessive.

    In general fermented milk such as in the case of some cheeses, kefir and yogurt is a healthier alternative to unfermented milk such as the one people drink and the one contained in ice cream.

    Notice that there is milk in a lot of products. If you decide to go dairy free you will need to read labels and make sure that the product doesn’t contain milk.      

    Should you buy or make alternative milks?

    I prefer to make my own milks as they are more natural and I know what they have. The disadvantage is that your own homemade milk is not fortify with nutrients but you can compensate for this with your own supplements.

    Another disadvantage is that you have to make it so it cannot be practical for some people.
    If you don’t have a powerful blender to have to experiment to get the right texture.

    Now here are some great recipes to make your own milk, cream and plant-based ice cream (called nice cream).

     I invite you to get your free menopause symptoms tracker and join my Facebook group where you can ask questions and find community support. And of course feel free to leave me a comment below

  • Bone broth after 50 to look younger

    Bone broth is having is a kale moment. It is in fashion, just like acai berry, pomegranate, cauliflower and so many other super foods were. Among the claims: healthier bones, teeth and nails. At 50 years of age, that sounds really good. We all need help with our bones, skin, hair, etc.

    Are the bone broth claims real?

    Is bone broth full of absorbable or bio-available calcium? Absorbable or bio-available being the key attributes here. Calcium, as you know, is a very important mineral, and although we take supplements, it is a difficult mineral to get, to get it in the right places and to avoid it in the wrong places. There are many reasons for this:

    There are many types of calcium and if we take the wrong type it can go to the wrong places and instead of helping us, it can cause problems.

    In addition, calcium is not easy to absorb, and other nutrients can take it out of the body. The calcium from bone broth is supposed to be easy to absorb. The claim is that bone broth is not the only good source of calcium, but it is a very good one. Everything sounds good but … one recent study says that bone broth does not have much calcium, but wait, there is another reason it can make you younger.

    Why does bone broth make you look younger?

    One word: collagen. Bone broth may lack in calcium, but it has great collagen. Although there is controversy about the role of ingested collagen, many people (including myself) think it has helped us and there is some promising science behind the claims, but not everyone believes this. In my case I feel it has helped me to eliminate a funny pain I was having in my lower back. Many people in the natural medicine community think that collagen is good for bone, skin, hair, nails, teeth, and cartilage health.

    We have been putting collagen on our skin and hair for years. However, it is believed that it does not help to use collagen externally, the molecules do not penetrate the skin. Most doctors think that eating collagen is also not effective, but there are not many studies to prove if collagen can help or not.

    Should you take collagen or have bone broth?

    Collagen is a connective tissue, abundant in our bodies. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Self magazine that, “Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, giving it strength and shape….

    Collagen is like the frame of your mattress, while elastin is the springs and hyaluronic acid is the padding.

    Like most things in the skin, collagen diminishes as we age, which is why skin can start to sag. Around 30, natural collagen production starts to slow down. Many people take collagen supplements to help the skin and hair. But we have to remember that in most cases beauty supplements do not live up to the hype.

    Our face and body get smaller as we age. This is one of the reasons for wrinkles and flaccidity, we lose volume in muscle mass as well as in bone mass. If we keep the right level of calcium, our teeth and face bones will retain their original shape and size for longer time. This is very important, and it is something that no surgery or cosmetic product can give you, it has to come from your food and supplements.

    However, our bodies do not absorb collagen as collagen, either from bone broth or in any another form. Collagen is broken down in the stomach and the body absorbs the components, in this case amino acids.

    Those amino acids can come from a great variety of food not necessarily from collagen or bone broth. If you eat a diet rich in nutrients you will get the necessary amino acids and you do not need to eat collagen. Some people say that bone broth provides amino acids that meat does not, and due to this it helps to balance our intake of amino acids, the medical community mostly disagree with this claim.

    Bone broth supporters say that it has many other minerals. The studies have found that it is not the case. The minerals in bone broth come mostly from the vegetables added to it.

    My own experience with collagen and bone broth

    I take collagen, and sometimes I drink bone broth. I love broths, but somehow I do not like bone broth. However, I have concluded that if I am going to have bone broth I have to make it myself. Commercials broths do not specify the collagen contents and it is easy to add more water and dilute the nutrients. If you want to buy already made bone broth you need to buy a respected brand.

    To make bone broth at home is not difficult. But the whole house will smell of the broth, because you need to cook it for several hours especially if you make it from large bones. If you do not have a problem with this, I think it is a good idea to make it yourself. Natural gelatin is another good source of collagen and you can buy it online.

    Bone broth is a good thing, but I prefer the powdered collagen, because it is easier to use. I put it in pancakes and other recipes. I take it only once or twice a week.

    With or without bone broth?

    There are no guidelines on how much bone broth you may need. Bone broth sadly does not live up to the hype. The calcium content is not there, but the collagen components are good for you. But remember that you can get the same nutrients from your regular meals. However collagen is good, and after 50 it is something worth trying. You can pick if you want collagen from bone broth or from another source. I am not sure if bone broth is worth the effort, it is not bad for you if it made from the bones of healthy animals, it may have nutrients, but it is not a wonder food.

    Do you take collagen supplements or bone broth? Do you think it is helping you?

    Photo by Laura Olsen on Unsplash