Menopause is a natural transition that happens when your menstrual cycles come to an end.
It’s confirmed 12 months after your last period. But the transition and symptoms associated with menopause can last for
While menopause is linked to many uncomfortable symptoms and increases your risk for certain diseases, consuming certain foods may help reduce your symptoms and ease the transition.
Learn more about how what you eat may affect your symptoms.
During the transition to menopause and beyond, your levels of the hormone estrogen begin to decline, disrupting your usual cyclical patterns of estrogen and progesterone.
Many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes and
Additionally, hormonal changes lead to decreased bone density, which
However, making changes in your diet may help relieve menopause symptoms and promote optimal health during this phase of life.
Menopause is a natural transition that happens when your menstrual cycles come to an end. Changes in hormone levels can cause symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances and may negatively affect metabolism and bone density.
There is evidence that certain foods may help relieve some symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and low bone density.
The decline in estrogen levels during menopause can increase your risk of fractures.
In a 2017 study of nearly 750 women in postmenopause, those who ate more dairy and animal protein had significantly higher bone density than those who ate less.
Dairy may also help improve sleep. A
Furthermore, some evidence links dairy consumption to a decreased risk of premature menopause (menopause that happens before age 45).
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may benefit women going through menopause.
According to a 2020 review, higher omega-3 fatty acid levels are associated with better health among women in postmenopause. Additionally, women in postmenopause who have diabetes or coronary heart disease tend to have lower omega-3 levels than women without those conditions.
Foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish (such as mackerel, salmon, and anchovies) and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds).
Whole grains are high in nutrients, including fiber and B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
A diet high in whole grains has been
Some examples of whole grain foods are brown rice, whole wheat bread, barley, quinoa, oats, Khorasan wheat (Kamut), and rye. Look for “whole grain” listed as the first ingredient on the label when evaluating which packaged foods contain primarily whole grains.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
A 2020 study found that women who ate more fruits and vegetables had fewer menopausal symptoms than women who ate less of those foods.
Dark berries may be especially beneficial among women going through menopause. In a small 8-week
However, it’s generally recommended to “eat the rainbow” of fruits and vegetables in order to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals
Phytoestrogens are compounds in foods that act as weak estrogens in your body.
While there has been some controversy around including these in your diet, the most recent research suggests that they may benefit postmenopausal health, particularly by improving bone health and lowering cardiovascular risk. However, more research is needed to better understand the connection.
For this reason, women going through menopause should eat more protein.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.
In a large
Foods high in protein include eggs, meat, fish, legumes, and dairy products. Additionally, you can add protein powders to smoothies or baked goods.
Incorporating dairy products, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, foods high in phytoestrogens, and quality protein sources into your diet may help relieve some menopause symptoms.
Limiting certain foods may help reduce some of the symptoms linked to menopause, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and sleep problems.
Some of the most important foods and drinks to limit are:
Menopause is linked to changes in metabolism, reduced bone density, and increased risk of heart disease.
Additionally, many women going through menopause experience unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep problems.
A whole-food diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high quality protein, and dairy products may reduce menopause symptoms. Consuming phytoestrogens and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, may also help.
You may want to limit your consumption of added sugars, processed high carb foods, alcohol, caffeine, and high sodium foods as well. These dietary changes might help make this important transition in your life easier.