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Foods for menopause – what to eat, what to avoid

Menopause nutrition Jean Jarrett Natural Health

Foods for menopause – what to eat, what to avoid

Good nutrition and specific foods for menopause provide the key to healthy ageing and are beneficial for addressing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, fluctuating mood, insomnia, weight gain, brain fog, elevated triglycerides and more.   So what foods should you eat and what foods should you avoid?

Diet, lifestyle, exercise and stress all influence how a woman responds to the hormonal changes of perimenopause and the transition to menopause.   Diet has a direct influence on menopausal symptoms and their severity.

Foods for menopause – What to eat

Phytoestrogens:

Research shows increasing foods rich in phytoestrogens can be beneficial for managing hot flashes and vaginal dryness.  These foods include:

Calcium rich foods:

Bone mineral density can decrease in menopause therefore having a regular intake of calcium rich foods can protect against conditions such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.   These foods include:

  • Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach and brussel sprouts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Raw nuts and seeds – chia seeds, almonds, hazelnut, pistachio, walnut, pecan, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Fish such as sardines and tinned salmon – when the bones are consumed
  • Dairy
  • Dried figs (Natural)

Fibre rich foods:

Dietary fibre will help support digestion, healthy cholesterol levels and protect your heart health.  Fibre also keeps us feeling full longer and feeds our microbiome.  These foods include:

  • Flaxseeds and LSA i
  • Nuts and seeds – walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Dried figs (natural)
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans and black beans
  • Broccoli and brussel sprouts
  • Raw carrots
  • Sweet potato – skin on
  • Lentils
  • Slippery elm and psyllium husks

Good fats:

Fats and oils are essential for vitamin absorption, cognition, hormone production and cardiovascular health.  Sources of good fats include:

  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • cold pressed nut oils such as macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil.
  • Avocado
  • Oily fish
  • Grass fed meat
  • Dairy
  • Nuts and seeds

Cruciferous vegetables:

Cruciferous vegetable are especially helpful for postmenopausal women.  Research shows regular consumption of these vegetables results in a lower risk of menopausal breast cancer and may reduce night sweats due to a group of phytonutrients called glucosinolates which improve liver function and detoxification pathways.   Sources include green leafy vegetables such as:

  • Broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Silver beet
  • Dandelion greens
  • Rocket
  • Amaranth

Foods for menopause – What to avoid

Some foods can worsen symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia and mood swings.  It is important to limit or avoid these foods.

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine – tea, coffee, energy drinks and soft drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy foods
  • Bad fats which include trans fats and hydrogenated oils such as vegetable oil and canola oil.

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If you are struggling with menopausal symptoms or would just like advice on healthy ageing, book at appointment with Jean.  Call 04244 075 60 to make an appointment or book online via her website or Elemental Health