I’ve been looking a little more into the “mid-life” phase lately. That is to say the peri- to post menopause period.

I think the word “menopause” strikes fear into a lot of women, because so much negativity is bandied about. The good news is that it’s not all bad – far from it! There is so much that we can do to help navigate this time of change.

Now, without wanting to start off all doom and gloom, it’s important to state the facts. You might not be aware that the risk of cardiovascular disease increases after menopause. Partly because oestrogen is cardio-protective (and of course oestrogen levels decline during menopause) and quite possibly because women also tend to have different signs and symptoms of heart attack, compared with the standard male symptoms.

There are lots of very quick wins when it comes to IMPROVING heart health:

Exercise. Managing stress. Sleep.

But I’m guessing you didn’t know that constipation is also a risk factor for post-menopausal women? Increasing dietary fibre is one simple way to manage constipation (or prevent it in the first place). Below is a lovely little recipe, shared by one of the conference presenters.

1 cup raspberries (full of fibre and polyphenols)
1/4 cup chia seeds (more fibre, protein, omega 3s)
1/2 tsp cocoa or raw cacao powder (antioxidants – and yum)
Large dollop of Greek yoghurt (probiotics)
A few hopped walnuts (more omega 3s)

Blitz the raspberries with a tiny bit of water, then mix with the seeds and cocoa. Pop in the fridge overnight (or at least 1 hour). Then top with the yoghurt (or you could used creamed coconut if you’re dairy-free) and the walnuts.