posted on August 6th, 2019

What do women really want?

The eternal question. And one recently considered in a discussion on women’s health by a panel organised by Linwoods Healthfoods.

The ‘What Women Want’ panel was hosted by TV presenter Andrea McLean who was joined by nutritionist Jane McClenaghan, Irish Times columnist Roisin Ingle, and Dr Cliona Murphy. It covered subjects including the menopause, nutrition, fitness, and ageless beauty.

Andrea candidly remembered the moment she announced live on Loose Women that she would be taking time away from the show to have a hysterectomy. She was stunned to receive over ten thousand messages in response from women sharing their own experiences and thanking her for speaking about a taboo subject making it clear just how important talking about these issues really is.

Jane McClenaghan (Vital Nutrition, Belfast) discussed ways to alleviate symptoms of the menopause through healthy eating. She explained that rather than costing more, foods like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are both affordable and phytoestrogen richwhich helps balance hormones.

Jane went on to advocate the use of phytoestrogen rich flaxseed which has a similar chemical structure to our own body’s oestrogen. With oestrogen levels declining during menopause, adding some flaxseed to your diet can gently increase levels and create a betterbalance.She suggested adding a flaxseed to porridge in the morning, incorporating it into a smoothie, or adding to a salad are quick and easy ways to benefit from thisboost.

Dr Cliona Murphy took some time to discuss female fertility and the fact that higher levels of vitamin D are often associated with higher pregnancy rates. To improve fertility, start by adding omega 3 or milled flaxseed into your diet as well as a good multivitamin. Taking simple steps to unwind and de-stress are also important, with Dr. Murphy suggesting taking a holiday, or simply some time out from regular pressures in order to relax.

The panel moved on to discuss issues of female mental health and Roisin Ingle underlined just how important it is to be open about subjects that may at first feel uncomfortable. Ignoring them may lead to far more serious issues and we should all be encouraged to be confident and positive about sharing and being compassionate to other women when they share.

Positivity and compassion. Not a bad place to start!