Being a woman is great. If you are like me, and want to put a positive spin on everything, one of the many beautiful things about being a woman is the unpredictability, mood swinging and confidence shifting events that occur because of our female hormones. If you want to put a dampener on the moods, these things are absolutely terrible for many reasons, but control what you can control, and roll with what you can’t.
Of course, speak with the team at the Australian Menopause Centre if you want to take more control over your hormonal changes, or if you find that your hormonal changes are negatively impacting your life.
Monthly hormonal changes and the menopause transition (and of course puberty) are peak points of hormonal focus and influence. Looking at this positively, you may find that today you will really enjoy isolating yourself, putting your phone on silent and reading a book, tomorrow you enjoy gas-bagging with friends, and the next day you enjoy dominating over your partner as you tell them what you really think. This up and down nature (which may change over weeks, not necessarily days), can keep life a little more interesting.
Female beauty is hugely personal and often changes as we age.
For me, female beauty is about your hair, your skin and your mind.
Here are my 3 favourite foods to make your hair, your skin and your mind shine.
Eat them – avocados are rich in vitamin E which may promote hair growth. It is also a great source of vitamin C, which (combined with vitamin E) helps combat oxidative stress and free radical damage, ageing skin, dry skin, and brain cell health.
Put it in your hair – try a homemade, natural, deep conditioning hair mask. Make a day of it and have a pamper party or put it in your hair while you tend to the garden (or do some other on-the-go task). Either way, avocado is great for dry, brittle or damaged hair. Add 1 ripe avocado (flesh only), 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons honey and blend until smooth and lightened in colour. Spread the mask onto damp hair, focusing on the tips, and place into a shower cap. Try to warm the hair via a blow dryer (for 15mins) or via sunlight (30mins), then rinse and wash as usual.
Spread it on your face – treat yourself with a homemade avocado face mask. Avocados are full of great fats that are perfect at hydrating the skin. Add 1 tablespoon to a blender and blend until course. Add ½ of a ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to the blender and blend until smooth. Massage onto your clean face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and follow through with your favourite facial oil.
Brain – Broccoli is a dark green and leafy vegetable that packs a great amount of B vitamins; the same B vitamins that the brain uses to function. Further to this, broccoli is a good source of both vitamin K, which helps to strengthen cognitive abilities, and choline, which has been found to help improve memory. The addition of a huge amount of vitamin C and a healthy serving of antioxidants also helps to keep the brain in great working condition.
Skin – Broccoli is rich in fibre, and any vegetable that is rich in fibre helps to keep the bowels working and the waste moving through. This movement enables toxins to leave the body via the bowels and not via skin impurities. More directly, broccoli is believed to help prevent skin damage and generate new skin cells with rapid speed. In doing this it repairs damaged cells quickly and renews the skin which is more glowing and beautiful. Lastly, the vitamin C content is significant enough to help fight free radicals that cause skin damage and wrinkles.
Hair – Broccoli is not only rich in vitamin C, but it also contains vitamin A, calcium and silicone, which can trigger the growth of hair, strengthen hair follicles and help to make it shine.
Brain – Apples are thought to help brain function via a couple of different mechanisms. The pectin content in apples place them in the prebiotic category with some even considering the fruit a prebiotic and a probiotic. The quercetin content of apples is believed to provide the antioxidant needed to defend your brain cells from free radical attacks and eventual cognitive decline. And finally, apples may help preserve acetylcholine, a brain neurotransmitter that can decline with age (and low levels of this have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease).
Skin – Apples contain a high content of vitamin C, which is helpful for collagen, and a decent amount of copper, which encourages our skin to produce melanin, the pigment responsible for colour in your skin. Couple these benefits with the digestive benefit of pre and probiotics and you are setting yourself up for clear and healthy skin. Having a bad day? Place freshly cut apple slices under your eyes and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Dark circles should lighten, and puffiness should reduce.
Hair – Apples are believed to stimulate hair growth, reduce dandruff, and prevent hair loss. An apple juice treatment is meant to remove product build-up and other funky residues from the scalp and hair, closing the cuticles and giving your hair a smooth finish.
Have fun with your food, choose wisely, and shine brightly.