My menopause ABC: B…amboo
A 360 ally
From shoots in our food and used for their medicinal properties to fibers and their industrial use, bamboo, a plant with more than 1,200 different species, is part of the daily life of a growing number of people around the world.
And it is one of the surprising allies of the postmenopausal woman.
An ally in terms of both nutrition and health, but also to strongly mitigate one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of menopause, night sweats.
Against night sweats
Let’s start with a topical issue, sleep disorders linked to the heatwaves striking us in succession during summertime.
Indeed, we are now entering the summer period. For the postmenopausal woman prone to hot flashes and othel vasomotor disorders, this is often a particularly difficult time, where sleep is even more disturbed than usual.
And this is where bamboo comes to the rescue.
Bamboo is known for its strong moisture absorption and thermal regulation capacities (50% greater than those of cotton, for example).
More and more manufacturers are selling bamboo fiber mattresses and toppers.
In Asian countries, sleeping on bamboo mats in summer is a practice that dates back to “the dawn of time”, with proven effectiveness1 in rural and urban areas with a humid climate and where air conditioning is not available. to everyone.
Let’s also note that bamboo has natural antibacterial properties, a real plus against allergies.
Bamboo is therefore a real ally against night sweats and to improve the quality of sleep.
The so many assets of bamboo
Bamboo shoots are traditionally used mainly in the cuisines of countries in Southeast Asia. Over 2 million tonnes of bamboo shoots are produced annually worldide, of which about two-thirds are in China2.
Bamboo shoots are about 90% water.
They are low in fat but rich in protein and dietary fiber3.
A real plus in the fight against weight gain, one of the frequent problems for postmenopausal women.
And the fats they contain are largely essential fatty acids, the « good » type of fat, the one which is beneficial for health.
Still talking about nutrients beneficial to health, bamboo shoots contain 17 types of amino acids, including 8 amino acids essential for humans, and are rich in minerals, including potassium and zinc2.
They are also rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C, but also to a lesser degree vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
Let’s remember that when vitamin C is combined with vitamin E and zinc, the positive effects for skin quality are significantly increased4.
And fighting against the loss in skin quality which often comes with menopause is a problem common to many postmenopausal women.
Bamboo is traditionally known to have medicinal properties in many countries in Asia.
For example, in Korea bamboo salt tablets are used for their detoxifying properties. In China, decoctions are used to fight infections. In the Ayurveda system preparations made from bamboo shoots are used against respiratory disorders3.
Contemporary scientific studies have shown that bamboo has many beneficial properties for health2 :
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects and the protection of neurons against oxidative stress are of particular importance for postmenopausal women.
The high potassium content of bamboo shoots can also help normalize blood pressure, reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Let’s remember that for postmenopausal women, cardiovascular disease, along with osteoporosis, is one of the most important health risks.
The too often overlooked bamboo is therefore an ally to immediately co-opt for this new stage in our life, which is menopause !
Are you interested in the experiences of women at different stages of their menopause? Would you like a reminder of the physiology of menopause and the main symptoms? Download our free ebook, Menopause Story(ies).
1: the author of these lines has personally tested such bedding in Paris, which has just had its first really hot week in 2021; the feedback is quite positive for the time being, with a real improvement in terms of sleep comfort, but the test should be continued in a real heatwave situation
2: source: Chongtham, N., Bisht, M.S. and Haorongbam, S. (2011), Nutritional Properties of Bamboo Shoots: Potential and Prospects for Utilization as a Health Food. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 10: 153-168. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00147.x
3: source: Choudhury, Debangana et al. “Value addition to bamboo shoots: a review.” Journal of food science and technology vol. 49,4 (2012): 407-14. doi:10.1007/s13197-011-0379-z
4: source: source Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center, « Vitamine C and Skin Health »
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