Menopause Diet: Foods To Eat & Avoid

Table of Contents

Menopause is a natural phase that occurs in a woman’s life, typically between 45 and 55. During this time, a woman’s body undergoes several physiological changes that can lead to various physical and emotional symptoms. While some women may experience mild symptoms, others may experience severe and debilitating symptoms that can affect their daily lives.

One of the most effective options to manage menopause symptoms is through a healthy and balanced diet. A menopause diet can help reduce symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain, and fatigue. Here’s what you need to consider about a menopause diet and how it can help manage your symptoms.

What is a menopause diet?
A menopause diet is a healthy and balanced diet that focuses on foods that can help reduce menopause symptoms. The diet typically includes foods rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve bone health, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease.

A menopause diet also focuses on foods that can help regulate estrogen levels. During menopause, a woman’s body produces less estrogen, which can lead to several symptoms. Foods like soy, flaxseed, and lentils contain phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that can mimic the estrogen effects in the body.

What foods should you include in your menopause diet?
Here are some foods that you should include in your menopause diet:
– Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. They contain fiber which helps regulate bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation. Try to include five servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day.
– Whole grains: Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are fiber-rich and can help regulate blood sugar levels. They can also help lower the risk of heart disease, a common risk factor during menopause.
Lean protein: Lean protein sources like fish, chicken, and turkey are rich in nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. They can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a common risk factor during menopause.
– Soy products: Soy products like tofu, tempeh, and soy milk contain phytoestrogens, which can help regulate estrogen levels in the body. They can also help lower the risk of heart disease and improve bone health.
– Flaxseed: Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, phytoestrogens that can help reduce hot flashes and improve bone health.
– Calcium-rich foods: Calcium is vital for bone health, and women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis during menopause. Include calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables.
– Vitamin D-rich foods: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone health. Include vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods.
– Water: Drinking plenty of water can help reduce the risk of dehydration and improve overall health.

What foods should you avoid in your menopause diet?
While some foods can help reduce menopause symptoms, others can worsen them. Here are some foods you should avoid in your menopause diet:
– Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that can exacerbate menopausal symptoms, and it can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. It is advisable to limit or avoid caffeine intake during menopause. Instead, opt for decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea, or water.
– Spicy foods: Spicy foods can also trigger hot flashes and exacerbate night sweats. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid spicy foods or limit their intake during menopause.
– Alcohol: Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, exacerbate hot flashes, and contribute to weight gain, a common problem during menopause. Therefore, it is advisable to limit alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
– High-fat foods: High-fat foods, such as fried foods, processed meats, and high-fat dairy products, can contribute to weight gain and thus increase the risk of heart disease. During menopause, the risk of heart disease increases due to hormonal changes. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the intake of high-fat foods.
– Sugary foods: Sugary foods, such as cakes, cookies, and candy, can contribute to weight gain, a common problem during menopause. They can also exacerbate mood swings and cause energy crashes. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the intake of sugary foods.
– Salt: Excessive salt intake can contribute to water retention and exacerbate bloating, a common symptom during menopause. Therefore, it is advisable to limit salt intake during menopause.
– Soy products: Soy products contain phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. While some women may benefit from consuming soy products, others may experience adverse effects, such as exacerbation of hot flashes. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to a healthcare provider before consuming soy products during menopause.

While diet alone cannot cure menopause, it can help manage the symptoms. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid or limit the intake of caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, high-fat foods, sugary foods, salt, and soy products during menopause. Instead, opt for a healthy, balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Here we discuss with Heather Clelland, a Menopause coach and hypnotherapist, on her thoughts on menopause diet.

How Does Diet Help Women In Menopause?

NourishDoc: Well, we are back catering to our favorite group of women, 40 plus. Today, the topic is nutrition. Women who are entering perimenopause or menopause, how can you take nutrition and help yourself with hot flashes, night sweats, and different things? We’ll also talk about this topic. We have Heather. You know she is joining me live from the UK. She is a menopause coach as well as a hypnotherapist. Welcome, Heather. Thank you so much. 

Hypnotherapist Heather: Welcome. Thank you. It’s lovely to be here. 

NourishDoc: I’m going to let you share your presentation. 

Hypnotherapist Heather: Lovely. So I’ll share my screen. It was in 2 seconds. Okay, start the slideshow. So good afternoon, everyone. It’s lovely to be here. It is, and as I said, I’m a menopause coach and hypnotherapist. I work with ladies to educate them on menopause. Because there are many symptoms, it’s changing all the time, and it’s not just about the obvious.

It’s not just about hot flashes and brain fog. There’s a lot. There are about 74 symptoms at the moment. Just talk a bit more in a minute. So I educate, and then I help women work through all phases of menopause. I like to call it the third phase of life because it’s not the end for us. It’s a new beginning, and we can embrace and have a new life through it, but one of my favorite subjects within menopause is nutrition because HRT has its place; it does.

But as we get older, nutrition plays a greater part because it manages general health and symptoms during menopause. So it’s just a little bit about why nutrition is involved in. It can help with the common symptoms like hot thrushes, bloating, weight gain, fractures, indigestion, mental and cognitive function, sleep, muscle mass, and the dreaded menopause tummy because it’s not always that we’ve put weight on. It’s just actually that our muscles loosen.

Because mother nature has decided we’re finished with our tummy muscles. We’ve done all the childbirth and everything. We don’t need them. So it just happens that we lose that muscle. Hair and skin, I mean, I’ve just found a new symptom this week called Candy Floss, which I’ve been moaning about my hair being fuzzy for months. I’ve seen it; it’s a menopause symptom, a new one that’s been identified as tiredness and fatigue.

So on top of that, we want to look after our heart, brain, bones, or general health, and the right nutrition can help us, and it’s not about giving things up. It isn’t. So where to start? So the first thing actually, menopause is to know your symptoms and how they affect you in your daily life because I said there are seventy-four identified symptoms at the moment, so once you know which symptoms you have, then you can do look at how they affect your life and then you can look at how to treat them and how to change your life.

Now I do have. I will share a PDF and send it through so it can be downloaded because I have the Menopause Wheel, which will help you identify those symptoms. So once you’ve done that, you look at nutrition. Now, nutrition starts with your vitamins and minerals. So, they are where you can get what you need to help your body. So the vitamins for menopause are vitamin A. So, vitamin A is for bone growth. It boosts the immune system. It also protects us from damage.

So this is great for looking after ourselves when talking about things like cancer that can get us as we get older, blood diseases, and things like that, which can be good. We can get vitamin A, sorry. We can get vitamin A through cheese and broccoli. It must be boiled broccoli, so this is the thing with nutrition. It’s not always the vegetable or the food itself. It’s how it’s cooked. So it must be boiled broccoli for this one. Baked sweet potatoes, mango, eggs, and oily fish are always good for us.

So we’re talking like salmon, mackerels, that sort of thing. milk and yogurt. So that’s for vitamin A, and bone growth is really important. We’ve got osteoporosis as we get older, and women are really at risk for that. So we need to look after our bones. So the next one is B7. It aids energy, and it’s involved in the production of hormones and cholesterol. And it reduces stress and anxiety.

Now stress and anxiety is a big issues during menopause and can quite often be misdiagnosed by GPs who think it’s depression, stress, and anxiety due to normal life. Not because menopause and menopause, stress, and anxiety are slightly different, and they can be managed by eating foods with B5. So that’s important. So this is roasted boneless chicken. Again it has to be roasted. It has to be boneless. Because otherwise, the nutrients are soaked into the bone.

seeds. Fortified breakfast cereals, fortified means it’s breakfast cereals with added vitamins and minerals added into it and then the next one. Vitamin C. We talk about vitamin C a lot because it’s through life because of our immune system. It also boosts collagen. So this is great for our general health. Also great for the skin. Because we lose collagen as we get older. So great for the skin; it helps bones, and it helps with flexibility in bones. So when talking about brittle bones, vitamin C can stop that brutality and help aid that. It boosts mood levels and energy levels. Again tiredness during menopause is a huge issue, and how fights fatigue, so take your vitamin C. Vitamin C from grapefruit, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, kiwis, oranges, garlic, and raw red peppers must be raw, not cooked.

Okay. So then we move on to vitamin D. Now, this is important. There’s an important one because it helps with other vitamins. So vitamin D helps with calcium and absorption of calcium. So it’s great for bone health, teeth health, and muscle and helps protect against osteoporosis. So again, back to up bone health. Now the best source and in the UK we don’t get much of this because the best source is sunlight, we struggle.

Especially where I am in Wales because we get rain. But if you can’t get sunlight or you can’t go into sunlight, health issues, you’ve got to protect yourself. Then there are foods. And that can be eggs. Tinned tuna in water, not brine. Carpiver oil. Fortified margarine. So back to those added minerals. Salmon and mushrooms are great tip mushrooms for vitamin D. If you pop them onto your internal for one to two hours between 10 AM and 3 PM. It multiplies the vitamin D and puts its mushrooms and vitamin D on steroids.

So that’s a really good tip for that one, and then we move on to vitamin E. Now vitamin P is a good one because vitamin E helps with hot flashes. So this is great for looking at 80% of women going through menopause either having hot flashes, night sweats, or both. So vitamin is very important, and it also helps painful periods. Now many ladies who’re going through perimenopause and the menopause stage have very painful high blood flow periods, and this can help that pain.

Physical endurance because we do have to exercise, and it reduces muscle damage which again, as we get older, is important. So it means we can exercise without the risk of muscle damage and ill and muscle damage and injury. That’s the word I’m looking for. So for food for vitamin E, it’s the wheat gin to add into smoothies, nuts, avocado, and plant oils. Plant oils are very, very important for menopause. So that’s our vitamins; we look at minerals after our vitamins. I say minerals sometimes get missed, but they’re so important.

Starting with calcium, we all know calcium is amazing for strong bones that help with the vitamins help that absorbs. It encouraged communication between the brain and the rest of the body. So this is great for you; know we talk about brain fog often during menopause. I know I suffer from it all the time, so this is good to have against brain fog and helps communication between other body parts. Now you can get this.

Now, this is one it can get from white bread. Now white bread is not something I would usually say to put into a diet or for good health. But it does have its place. So it’s everything in moderation. So white bread, Freshly cooked kale and broccoli are fresh because they lose their minerals otherwise. Now, this is a good one, vanilla ice cream. So if you like your ice cream, you’ve got an excuse now to have ice cream. Figs, cheddar cheese, and low-fat calcium yogurt. Okay, it’s to do with them taking that fat out, boosting the calcium.

Foods good for bone health

So it has to be low fat. Moving on to the copper. Another good one for bone health. We’re looking after our bones. it boosts the immune function. So again, this protects us moving forward. Because if we don’t have the right vitamins and minerals, we become more susceptible to many different promises. and then the production of collagen again. So looking after our skin and all the bone health in our body, you can get this from dried figs.

Raw avocados. They don’t cook your avocados with this one; cooked potatoes and sesame seeds and again with the potatoes, everything in moderation. The next one is iodine. Now, this is the one that’s not talked about a lot. So iodine is again great for the immune system. Great for healthy skin. I don’t know about everyone else, but my skin went dry and itchy. This will help with that and teeth and hair. So no candy floss hair, and you can get iodine in apple juice, eggs, cheddar cheese, and chocolate ice cream.

So you have that with your vanilla and cooked baked, and the next mineral is iron. Now iron is huge. Many women come from anemic for a lot of their life. It’s certainly when they’re going into menopause because our period flow can be so heavy, and many of us have gynecological problems that drain us of the blood restrainers of our iron. So iron is important for that, and it also boosts energy. If anybody’s had any iron issues, you’ll know the first thing that goes is your energy. You don’t even want to get up in the morning a lot of the time.

So this is good. Baked potato, this time cooked spinach; again, surfy spinach as soon as you can, and with cooking, we only mean wilted. Don’t boil it. Just wilt it on down, dark chocolate. Put that with your ice cream, Tinned stewed tomatoes, Soybeans, and lentils. Okay. So that’s our iron. Now I will say you can take these in supplements as well, but if you’re doing anything with supplements, always check with your doctors first. I think it’s better to get it through your nutrition where possible. Now, this is for women in menopause.


Every woman should be taking this if they can. Because it’s just so much for us, I will talk about getting it nutritionally. However, I’ll give you another tip as well. So this is great for bone health. It calms the nervous system. So that is important for women who get jittery, anxious, stressed, and itchiness on their skin. I get something called electric shock syndrome, which is my skin going mad. So it helps calm all that. It energizes, and it can help with sleep issues. So it’s got huge benefits. Now you also need this to convert vitamin D into the active form.

So if you’re trying to absorb vitamin D, you must also have magnesium in your system, which enhances calcium absorption. So those three work very much together and reduce achy joints, especially first thing in the morning. So if you suffer in the morning with your knees or a bad back, which is fantastic for that, and of where you can get magnesium is avocado. Boiled spinach again. So this is boiled, actually not wilted, leafy green veg.

Nuts, seeds, and whole wheat bread.

But another tip is if you, especially if you have a bath, is to use bath salts, and Epsom salts contain magnesium. So a good tip is to use Epsom salts with some Himalayan pink salt. If you feel like treating yourself, add a couple of essential oils to get the magnesium into your body. So I’m absorbed into your body. So you’re getting that, and you also get the benefits of some beautiful essential oils.

Foods for heart health

My other love in life, so moving on to that, we’ve got potassium. Now I think we know how the potassium is in bananas. But what does it what do we use it for? So biltong and mineral density. So again, helping our bones is important because, with the density, we’re less likely to have fractures and get osteoporosis. It can reduce calcium loss back to the bones and muscle traction. It helps with that as well, digestion and heart rhythm, so all really important things. Many women suffer many digestion issues moving into menopause.

This is where nutrition can help just by having the right diet and the right minerals in your diet. We want to look after our hearts. So you can get your potassium through bananas, milk, raisins, and dried apricots. Again in my duration and then onto sulfur. Now sulfur is known as a beauty mineral. Oh, the beauty mineral, and it again produces collagen. So great for the skin and helps joint health. That’s a really important one as well.

And one that gets missed along with a couple of the others and but this is easy to get. Most of us will have this in our diet. Turkey, beef, fish, eggs, lentils, oats, cheese, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. So that is a nice easy one to get into the system, and that’s our minerals. phone, booster avoids. Now, I say avoid. I believe that you can have everything as long as one, you take it in moderation, and two, you know that it might better some of the symptoms.

Foods To Avoid: Caffeine, Sugary Drinks

So, if you want a cup of coffee, you want a glass of coffee if you want as well. If you want a cup of coffee, then you may have a hot flush, and as long as you know that’s going to happen and you still prefer a cup of coffee, then go for it. But again, keep your coffee to the in. I tried decaffeinating. Now some really good decaffeinated coffees. I have up to 22% caffeine in them. So they’re a good way to drop your caffeine and still get that coffee hit.

I would stay away from Cola’s because sugar certainly has no sweeteners. be sensible with the alcohol. Don’t have to stop it altogether. It will it can have again cause light sweats and hot flushes. But it doesn’t do it if I have a couple of glasses. So it’s again knowing your own body. Just try it out, and if you want tonight and the time knows, you might have to heart flush. and there are other ways you can make a nice hot flush spray or something instead.

Say No To Spicy Foods

Spicy food again for hot flushes and always go easy now on the carbs, which is what I would say about the white bread and the potatoes and up the protein; very important that we have our protein. How am I going to do this? It does not sound very easy. It isn’t complicated and a great way to start; I am doing a course on this. But a great way to start is to look at the Mediterranean diet. Because the Mediterranean diet is high in protein, low on carbs, and uses great vegetable oils, vegetables, and fruit. That’s a good way to get started. Nice and simple, just by over a Mediterranean diet and see where you go from there, and that is me finished. I’m not sure how I got on with time there. 

NourishDoc: All right. We have a live attendee, and Melanie is welcome; you’re welcome to ask questions if you like. 

Melanie: No, I found that very informative. Thank you very much. It’s much good information there. Thank you. 

NourishDoc: Okay. All right. We’re presenting these educational sessions daily for ten to 15 minutes to help women in their mid-40s and beyond, and we are also launching programs. I was talking to Heather on the first of the year. So any questions, comments, feedback, how we are doing, how we can improve, or your thoughts? 

Melanie: No, it’s a fantastic thing because getting the information across, because even though I’ve read some stuff and looked at some websites, the information that comes from a professional is always better because they’ve done all the research. So, something like this is great for going forward. Thank you very much. 

Personalized Nutrition For Menopause

NourishDoc: Thank you. Any last comments from you, Heather? It was an excellent presentation, very concise, precise, and telling actionable items, right? That is the key here because we don’t know, and we start, I know, I start putting in all my herbs, you know, in my body without understanding the consequences, but that’s not the right way. Putting the right kind of nutrition in your body is the key. Can you comment on that before I wrap up today? 

Hypnotherapist Heather: Of course, I think this is the thing with menopause. One proposition has come to the forefront and allows us to speak about it now, which is amazing. But also, there are many myths out there. So it’s getting through that. It’s doing your research. So if you can work with somebody that’s done all that research for you, that’s amazing.

So look for people you have a good rapport with and work with that person and make sure that you understand, ask the questions, have a good report, and trust them. That’s the main thing. And I’ve got the two PDFs. So I’ve got the Menopause wheel which is fantastic because it’s got all seventy-four nose symptoms on there at the moment, which you can have and then look at how it affects your life. I’ve also got a PDF with all this information and some recipes you can start with. So I will share that so I can put it on the site. 

NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much. I great share as much as you can; as I told you, we will put it on our platform, which we will make available on the first of the year. So stay tuned for everyone with that. Thank you so much. I’m humbled by all the support from experts like you, people like yourself, Melanie, and all the people in the community we are building for beautiful women in their 40s and above. Namaste. Thank you. 

Hypnotherapist Heather: Thank you so much for having me. 


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