Learning from the Japanese and Natto

Japanese Natto Food: Our recent article explored the benefits of fermented food, particularly foods like miso, and soy sauce. A deep-dive into another fermented food, natto, shows that this particular food may have many benefits that help women going through menopause. Natto, not nearly as popular as its “cousin” tofu, has been eaten in Japan for millennia. It is made of fermented soybeans, soybeans which are fermented with the bacteria bacillus subtilus. The beans are first cooked for hours before the bacteria are introduced in a temperature-controlled fermentation room. After a day or so, the beans are cooled and stored in a refrigerator for the flavor to mature.

The beans develop into a slightly sticky texture, though they still look like gooey chickpeas. Some complain that the odor of natto is not the most appetizing, ranging from exercise socks to paint thinner, from ammonia to Camembert cheese, and yet, depending how it’s prepared, the odor does not have to be overly pungent. It is certainly an acquired taste, but with that acquisition come all of the health benefits.

Health Benefits of Natto

The active ingredient in Natto is nattokinase. This enzyme not only helps aid circulation, but it also works to clean out the blood vessels which reduce the risk of hypertension, stroke and heart disease. It is also strong in K2, a vitamin that helps with bone health. The ability to bolster bone strength is one of the reasons why natto should be considered by menopausal and postmenopausal women. One study of Japanese women who were postmenopausal showed that those who consumed natto regularly were less likely to develop bone density loss which helped protect them against osteoporosis. In comparison to other soy products like tofu, there was no correlation between improved bone density and consumption.

Superfood Benefits
A healthy Japanese old woman with his white dog
A healthy Japanese old woman

When looking at the chemical breakdown of natto, it’s easy to see why it’s such a superfood. Natto has no cholesterol, and also contains lots of potassium and dietary fiber, two of the elements responsible for cleaning out the arteries. Because natto is fermented, the bacteria it contains helps to clean out the gut while the enzyme nattokinase cleans out the blood vessels. Vitamins, protein, and iron are all abundant in natto as well, making it not only healthy food to consume, but a good weight loss food that is both filling and nutritious.

Natto Recipe Preparation

When making a dish with natto, there are many methods for preparation. In Japan, it is commonly served with rice and fermented vegetables. This way of serving natto is a traditional breakfast in Japan. Another way to eat natto is to whip it with a fork, making it into a sort of fluffy paste, and then use apple cider vinegar, mustard, and cultured vegetables to add more flavor. It is, as mentioned above, an acquired taste, so finding a way to prepare it that works for you and your loved ones is best. 

As more evidence comes out that much of menopause is influenced by lifestyle, more so than genetics, it’s important to consider healthy diet and exercise choices that can minimize any difficult symptoms of menopause. Natto is one of the foods that can best alleviate negative symptoms while working to ensure healthy flow of systems in the body.

Fermented Soy: A History

When the word ‘fermentation’ comes to mind, one might think of alcohol, of sourdough bread, of pickles. It is a word that conjures up images of bubbliness, or strange scientific processes that can’t always be understood but tend to have healthy outcomes. Fermentation has been a hot topic in American media the last few years as many folks “rediscover” the health benefits of consuming fermented foods. There are festivals and restaurants that specifically fetishize fermentation. However, like many other trends, including that of “discovering” turmeric, the benefits of fermented foods have been around for millennia, and one of the places that best exemplifies those benefits is Japan.

For generations, the Japanese people have utilized the healthy benefits of fermented food to aid in flavor-enhancement and digestion. Two of the most popular soy products, miso and soy sauce, are staples in most meals, including breakfast. To ferment soy properly, or to ferment most foods, a careful balance of skill and practice is necessary. Fermentation can happen with many different types of bacteria. In its most simple definition, fermentation is the harnessing of microorganisms and bacteria in food. 

Since Japan is surrounded by water and enjoys a warm, humid climate throughout most of the year, fermentation began naturally and has been infused into daily practice. Some of the various fermenting agents include types of mold like aspergillus, yeast fungus, lactic acid bacteria, natto bacillus, and other fungi. 

Popular Fermentation

When it comes to two of the most popular condiments in Japanese culture — miso and soy sauce — the role of fermentation cannot be underplayed. Not only does the fermentation add flavor to these condiments and to the meals, but it also aids in digestive processes, amplifies certain flavors, diminishes some of the more intense smells, and regulates the stomach and intestines. Other typical fermented foods and beverages in Japan include mirin, a sweet rice wine, fish sauces, ishiru (a sauce made from entrails and heads of squid) and Shottsuru (made from the liquid of a fermenting fish). Another example is natto, made from fermented soybeans, a health food noted for nattokinase, an enzyme that can destroy blood clots, thin blood, and improve overall circulation. 

Mastering Fermentation 

The process of creating these perfectly balanced fermented foods is inherited through generations. Currently, there are more than 1500 local producers of soy sauce in Japan and more than 1,000 miso makers. When the tsunami and earthquake hit in 2011, many of the businesses and corporations that had their recipes for fermentations — balances and formulas of correct bacteria—were destroyed. Just like the famous sourdough bread of San Francisco that has been made with the same starter for decades, many of the recipes for fermented soy and other products are perfectly balanced formulas that have been carried for generations. As many Americans continue to learn about the benefits of fermented food, there is much we can incorporate from the Japanese culture, as well as others, that have used this method of preserving and cooking for millennia. Our digestive systems will thank us.

EFFISOY - For menopause relief and anti-aging

Medical Treatment for Hot Flashes

Medical Treatment for Hot Flashes

As 75-85%of women in the United States experience hot flashes, the industry for trying to treat this mysterious symptom of menopause has grown vastly. Behavioral options and lifestyle changes are always encouraged, but there is also an entire spectrum of hormone regulating medicines as well as non-hormonal options, both medicines and supplements, that all come with their own benefits and cautions.

Non-Hormonal Regulating Medications

Most women who try to regulate their symptoms of menopause use hormonal options, though there is a non-hormonal variation available. The FDA has approved paroxetine, “a low-dose selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant,” to help alleviate the symptoms of hot flashes. Other similar anti-depressant drugs are also being researched for their ability to help ease symptoms of menopause. As with any drugs, there can be side effects, even for women taking this drug for menopausal symptoms rather than depression. The dose is generally smaller when taking paroxetine, and side effects can include nausea, headache, dizziness, jitteriness or drowsiness. As with any medication, doctors should be consulted and a plan should be made before beginning a new regimen of medication.

Hormonal Regulation Therapies

Some women also choose to go the route of hormone therapy as a cure for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. As the body produces less estrogen, replacing that estrogen or simulating the replacement of those hormones can create changes in symptoms. There are many, many supplements available on the market, which is why it’s important to research the side effects of each. Some such hormonal remedies include estradiol, conjugated estrogen, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), and compounded or synthetic hormones. Many of these hormones work to replace or add estrogen to the body, whereas others, like Effisoy, mimic the production of estrogen without actually introducing any foreign elements into the body.

Risk Factors for Hormone Regulation Therapy

A history of blood clots, vaginal bleeding, heart disease, or various cancers can relate to a higher risk of reaction for some women looking for hormone regulation. Especially with therapies that introduce foreign hormones into the system, the body can have strong reactions. Effects can range from spottiness during menstruation to breast tenderness, cramping, bloating, and more serious effects related to stroke and cancers. These correlations were explored by the Women’s Health Initiative, funded through the NIH, in 2002. Though the study did show some correlation between hormone therapy and the increased risk of these diseases, the women most affected were older, typically above age 60, and post-menopausal. Other elements of this study showed that younger women experience more benefits thanrisks when using hormone therapy regulation.

As you navigate the range of options available, it’s important to consider the purity of the supplement, the research that has gone into it, and the effectiveness. Looking to the tradition of Japanese women, as well as the significantly lower rate of menopausal symptoms, is one of the reasons why Effisoy was created for women who are experiencing the negative symptoms of menopause. Some secrets are meant to be shared, and the wisdom behind Effisoy operates from that place. What works should be shared with others.

Exercise During Menopause: Do’s and Don’ts (Natural Anti-aging Technique by Kristen). ®Juveriente

As a woman’s body transitions through menopause, learning how the body energizes in this new cycle is important. Rather than comparing the body–changes in weight, changes in skin, changes in emotion–to how it was, this is a season for reflection, for embracing what the body is becoming. While more and more women are learning how to sync their exercise to their menstrual cycle, exercising more in their follicular and ovulatory phases and resting more during the luteal and menstruation phases, women going through menopause and perimenopause are invited to learn and listen to what their body needs regarding exercise. Do you have energy for group classes? New classes like dancing or cycling or Zumba? Or is your body craving individual activity, like running or walking, or gentler movements like stretching and yoga? A balance of cardio and strength training with flexibility work is a powerful program, and it’s important not to fall victim to some of the biggest exercise mistakes during menopause.

Strength Training Vs. Cardio

As some women experience weight gain during menopause, an increase to cardio and strength training exercises is a great way to burn extra calories while still enjoying movement and increasing muscle. Many women make the mistake of just doing cardio, hoping to avoid weight gain, but that’s missing the vital component of increasing muscle mass. Strength training in short intervals, 30 minutes of squats, lunges, and weightlifting, is a great place to start. Focusing on the large leg muscles is also recommended by researchers who study menopause. If weight lifting is new to you, starting with light weights is recommended. There are also many classes at gyms that are introductions to strength training, as well as libraries of videos online.

menopause exercise benefits

menopause exercise benefits

Walking Vs. Swimming

Similarly, many women who prefer cardio exercises like swimming and cycling miss the importance of putting weight on the muscles, doing exercises like walking and running. The more weight the skeleton can bear, the less likely studies say it is for menopausal women to develop osteoporosis. One study of 60,000 postmenopausal women showed that when they walked at a fast pace 4+ times a week, they had a lower risk of hip fractures compared to those who did not walk as fast or as much during the week. While exercises like swimming and cycling are also important, aim for a balance of aerobic activity that impacts the skeletal system as well as improves muscle mass.

Preparing the Body: Warming Up and Stretching

When beginning a new exercise regimen, or continuing the regimen that’s been in place for decades or years, it is recommended that women going through menopause spend more targeted time warming up and stretching after a workout. Research done by the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City found that older bodies need a longer warm-up to prepare and loosen muscles and joints. 10 minutes of quick activity can suffice. Jogging in place, active stretching, exaggerated knee lifts, and arm swinging can all help get the blood flowing. Similarly, it’s important to stretch after exercise to properly transition the body to a more stagnant state. One of the ways to do this is through yoga and balancing activities.

Yoga and Balance

Accompanying the physical changes of menopause, there can be moments of tension with the changes that occur. Yoga and meditation are possible modes of calming the mind through those transition times. Not only can these practices which focus on daily presence, deeper breathing, and targeted strengthening help the mind, but a study by the Journal of Sexual Function showed that they can help increase sexual function for women over the age of 45. Incorporating stretching along with a yoga practice is important to keep joints loose and flexible, and stretching can be woven into any exercise regime. Stretches also help the body improve its balance which, studies have shown, can decrease as women enter menopause.

menopause exercise routines

menopause exercise routines

Getting Started with Weekly Exercise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women under 65 should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, like walking, cycling, or swimming. On top of that, doing 30 minutes of strength training twice a week, as long as there’s a day of rest between these sessions, is also encouraged. Yoga can be added according to what each individual feels they need, but balance stretches, warm ups, and stretching after exercise should be practiced frequently. These recommendations don’t have to be followed exactly, but they are a great place to begin when thinking about what a body needs as it transitions through menopause.

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Reducing Inflammation Naturally (Natural Anti-aging Technique by Kristen Sawyer). ®Juveriente’s Blog

Creators, teachers, and health enthusiasts often say that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; most things have already been tested, proved, and experienced. When it comes to combating inflammation, a difficult effect of aging and a product of older injuries, gastrointestinal challenges, and other bodily shifts, it is important to stick to the secrets of centuries past.

Turmeric as Anti-Inflammatory

India produces over 95% of the world’s turmeric, and Indians have used turmeric for millennia. The active compound of turmeric, curcumin, holds most of the healing and anti-inflammatory power. Through ayurvedic medicine, the oldest known system of medicine, turmeric has factored into various healing remedies. When a child falls, the mother will often give her a cup of warm milk with turmeric. Daily doses of turmeric, the yellow-gold spice that can be bought in most grocery and health stores in the U.S. now, have been noted for their ability to minimize inflammation. Curcumin, the active compound, has been studied for reducing effects of osteoarthritis and arthritis.

How to Consume Turmeric

Consumption of turmeric can occur in many forms. Ayurvedic doctors often recommend incorporating it into daily cooking practices, rather than taking a capsule. The spice, slightly spicy, pairs well with curry, cinnamon, and cloves. You can drink it with warm milk or water, or in a tea, as many companies now sell turmeric tea. In general, it’s recommended not to have more than 3 mg/kg per day. Also, turmeric is best absorbed into the body when it is taken with a healthy fat source, like avocado, or when it is paired with black pepper which has an activating compound, piperine, which helps the turmeric infuse into the body.

Ginger and Gingerol: Soothe the Body

Ginger, when consumed in powdered or the raw root form, is an excellent source of anti-inflammation properties for the body. The active compounds in the root, gingerol and zingerone, have been studied for their abilities to reduce the effects of colitis, kidney damage, diabetes and cancer. It also can fight oxidative damage, the accumulation of harmful free radicals, or toxins, in the body through food, the environment, and cleaning and beauty products. Ginger, like many spices and roots, must be taken in doses. It is recommended not to consume more than 2-3 grams, as an excess can cause digestive issues or heartburn. It is a warming flavor, often paired well with clove, cinnamon, curry, and cayenne pepper. When cooking with ginger, it can easily be used to coat poultry, fish, or vegetables. There are also many teas that are infused with ginger, or a simple boiled water with ginger can suffice.

Cayenne Pepper: Spice of Life

turmeric cayenne pepper anti inflammatory
Cayenne pepper anti inflammatory

 

Though a spicy food doesn’t typically conjure images of anti-inflammation, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, the compound that makes the pepper hot, and that also helps with inflammation. The pepper also contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phytonutrients that break down free radicals at a cellular level, leading to less inflammation. Recommended doses, according to University of Maryland’s Medical Center, is between 30-120 mg. It can be consumed in powder form, added to food, or taken as a supplement.

Getting Started with Anti-Inflammation

These three sources of anti-inflammatory properties can be incorporated into the daily diet in a variety of ways. Start with one and notice if there are any improved effects in the body. From there, begin to incorporate other foods that can reduce inflammation and, combined with a healthy diet and exercise and plentiful amount of water, enjoy the benefits of a more relaxed body.

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Serving Up Love with Ginger Lemon Tea (Natural Anti-Aging Techniques #2). ®Juveriente’s Blog

When talking with Ayurvedic doctors in New Delhi, India, there are many daily practices that are encouraged based on each individual’s particular body make-up. Ayurveda, one of the oldest medicinal systems, is based on the notion of doshas, that each person has a certain combination of elements that influence the body: the types of food to be eaten, the best times of day for work or for rest, the forms of exercise that benefit the body most. For those who have often struggled with digestive problems, be it a slow constitution or frequent stomach cramping and aches, one remedy prescribed is a morning brew of ginger and lemon tea.

natural anti aging secrets - ginger lemon tea benefits

The word tea doesn’t really even apply to this simple tincture, a combination of boiled water, lemon, and sliced and peeled ginger. It is a daily tonic that not only warms the intestinal system, but also can spark digestion for the day ahead. As women age, the body too find new methods of processing, of slowing down. A slow digestive system is one of the problems many women report. A survey in 2013 showed that almost 75% of Americans struggle with digestive problems symptoms. The factors are multifold, and require a longer commitment to a healthier lifestyle, including elements of exercise, cooking, intentional grocery shopping, and other environmental and mental factors. But one solution to jumpstarting a slow digestive system is a simple brew of ginger and lemon tea.

Ginger Lemon Tea benefits – Juveriente ®

Preparing Lemon Ginger Tea

Boil 2-4 cups of water.

Peel a portion of the ginger root about the size of half a finger’s length.

Slice the ginger into small pieces.

When the water is boiling, add the ginger and steep for 5-10 minutes in a covered pot.

Drain the ginger water into a mug and squeeze half a lemon into the mug.

Stir and drink, slowly, with intention.

You will see that in a week you already getting positive lemon ginger tea benefits.

The Benefits of Ginger and Lemon

Ginger, a rhizome of the zingiber family, is packed with antioxidants that combat the attack of free radicals on the body, uncharged molecules that can cause oxidative stress and undermine the body’s strength. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and antimicrobial. Think of it as a broom sweeping through and scrubbing at the intestinal lining, searching for and eliminating signs of oxidative stress and bacterial build-up. When the ginger can help the body better absorb nutrients, the fresh lemon juice targets indigestion and heartburn. Both lemon and ginger also contain large quantities of vitamins A and C, which can help improve hair quality as well as dry skin. Most impressively, however, is that this concoction, while helpful for digestion, also targets cognitive function.

Good for the Body and Mind

Lemon, being high in potassium, stimulates the nervous system in the brain, providing an extra jolt of mental energy. Ginger, simultaneously, improves blood function, increasing the body’s circulation and carrying important vitamins, minerals and nutrients to the body’s cells.

The Power of New Habits

A simple glass of this warming liquid in the morning can help jump start the day in a way that is both energizing and calming. The stomach is activated, ready to consume the healthy foods that will follow, and the mind is alert, prepared to tackle the tasks of the day. Also, the simple practice of morning ritual is known to have a calming effect on times of transition, which is the best way to describe the cycle of menopause. New habits are a science, a practice of identifying what the body needs and giving it an accompanying reward. They can be created at any age, and any new habit that serves the body’s greater good can be implemented during the menopausal cycle. It is a time when the body asks for more love, more kindness, and more nurturing, and that can be given even in a simple glass of morning tea.

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Ease the Mind, Love the Self (Natural Anti-Aging Techniques #1 by Kristen Sawyer).™Juveriente’s Blog

Are you struggling to fall asleep at night? Do you feel like your mind is running on overdrive with all that you have to do? For women entering into their menopausal cycle, at whatever age that cycle begins, estrogen depletion can cause a series of symptoms. At the neurological level, menopause can manifestas loss of memory, mood swings, fatigue, and irritability. This process of the body fluctuating is natural, but it doesn’t have to be life-changing. It requires is more attention to the self, an opportunity to take time to better understand what your body and mind really need.

One of the best ways to do this is to create time in your day for personal reflection and mental exercises. There are many benefits that are proven when the mind activates through various activities, like crossword puzzles or mind games, but one of the timeless practices that can truly help during this time of transition is meditation. Meditation, and the accompanying practice of mindfulness, have been buzz words in the United States for the last few years. Though they may seem like a trendy solution, the history of these practices is rooted in daily integration.

There is nothing new that you need to become more mindful. There is no program you need to buy, nor any class you need to take. Becoming mindful, and carving out time to meditate, is really just giving the mind time to relax, to recharge, to accept the changes that are happening at a hormonal and personal level.

A Mindfulness Exercise for the Mind

Menopause Meditation

menopause meditation

During menopause, many women question their own identity. What does it mean to be woman without the cycle that has governed, in some extent, your body for the last few decades? What it means is that you are at a time of redefining, of clearing out the old to make room for the new. A meditation exercise can be woven into the morning or evening routine. These practices help align the mind with intention of the body. They can also help focus the brain so that the feelings of irritability, of moodiness, of lack of focus can be addressed.

Body Scan

As one of the core practices of mindfulness-based stress reduction, a method of mindfulness pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the body scanis an opportunity to check in with each part of the body, to reconnect all of the parts. This exercise can take as long as you have, from 5 minutes to 20 minutes.

Materials: A comfortable chair, yoga mat, or place on the floor; a timer if wanted

The Practice

Find a comfortable seat or lie down on the ground. However you want to be is fine. Close your eyes and begin by slowly counting your breaths, in and out. A breath in and a breath out count as one. The second breath in and out count as two. Do this up until ten full breath cycles, and then repeat. After counting for a few cycles of ten breaths, you will notice your mind feels more malleable, less chaotic with its thoughts. Now, it is time to check in with the body.

Begin with your left foot. Draw your attention to that foot. Envision it. What is it feeling now? Is it cold? Warm? Tingly? Whatever you feel, that is fine. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Just note the feeling. Then move your mental gaze up to your left calf, your knee, your thigh. Ask yourself as you scan each part of your body–How is this part of my body feeling?

Work your way from your legs to you abdomen, your stomach, your chest, your arms, your neck and shoulders, and finally your face and your mind. If you feel your thoughts begin to wander, just let them do so. You don’t have to corral your thoughts as if you’re training a wild stallion. Let the thoughts pass. Keep bringing your focus back to where you are in your body. When you conclude scanning your whole body, before you open your eyes, pay attention to how your body in general feels. Is it lighter? Do you feel less stressed? Open your eyes slowly, smile at yourself, at the time you’ve taken for you.

Love Mind, Love Self

This exercise can be repeated whenever you need to take a few moments to reconnect with yourself. Remember, more than anything, that during this time of transition it is important to be gentle with yourself. Approach the process of menopause through the lens of curiosity, trying to better understand what is happening in your body and what it wants as it changes into this new season of life. It is a season that is full of new blossoming, of new opportunities. It is a rejuvenation into the next phase, and a clear mind is one of the ways you can best support yourself as you transition.

Menopause brings many changes in your body, and rapid aging after menopause is also a big problem for women. Therefore to treat your aging after menopause, Juveriente have the best all natural solution for you at it’s online amazon shop.