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Menopause

Foods to Eat During Menopause

11 Best Foods to Eat During Menopause: Tasty and Healthy

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 17/05/2024
Best Foods to Eat During Menopause

Are you feeling the heat of menopause? Your transition may be knocking at the door with a list of symptoms. And if you are always careful about what you eat, then knowing which foods to eat during menopause is vital as you go through this change. 

Menopause is a time of health changes, affecting everything from your period cycle to your food cravings. You may have heard about staying physically active and managing your stress to ease these symptoms, but the foods you eat during menopause play a major part, too. 

During the menopause transition, hormonal fluctuations and shifts in metabolism occur like rollercoasters. This is when a well-balanced diet, and especially food options, becomes apparent. If you need clarification about what to add to your grocery list, this blog is for you. Find out how your diet helps you during menopause and a list of the 11 healthy and best foods to eat during menopause. Let’s make your transition healthy and tasty. 

The Menopause Transition 

The menopause transition marks the end of your reproductive years. It happens when your body starts producing fewer sex hormones (particularly oestrogen), and your reproductive function gradually slows down and then declines. A very common question arises here: At what age does Menopause start? According to the NHS, menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. However, the average age for a UK female is 51.

Gut and Menopause

Hormonal changes during menopause can affect the gut microbiota (microorganisms living in your digestive system). This shows a close connection between your gut and menopause. Oestrogen is the key hormone in menopause and balances your gut’s bacteria. As oestrogen levels decrease, changes in the gut microbiota composition may occur, potentially leading to digestive issues such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea.

Additionally, gut bacteria influence oestrogen levels. According to a 2017 study, these bacteria can break down certain forms of oestrogen in you. When there’s a problem with the gut bacteria, oestrogen levels can decrease, which might lead to health issues like obesity, cancer, and problems with the female reproductive system. 

Therefore, since your oestrogen levels are already low during transitions, it’s crucial to carefully consider the foods you eat during menopause to maintain gut health and avoid destroying the remaining oestrogen.

The Role of Diet During Menopause

During menopause, women are more likely to experience health issues like obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Changing your dietary habits and adding healthy foods into your routine will reduce any risks of developing such medical conditions. Nutrition counselling can help you develop healthier eating habits during perimenopause and also suggest a diet during menopause

Working with a dietitian can be especially beneficial for managing existing health issues and preventing further complications. It’s important to include foods during menopause that contain specific nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, and protein. These nutrients help maintain overall health and prevent diseases associated with menopause. 

11 Foods to Eat During Menopause

Now that you have a fair idea of how your diet plays an essential role in maintaining your gut health and fighting the bothersome symptoms of menopause, it’s time to explore the best and most healthy foods to eat during menopause. 

Here is a list of 11 foods that you can eat during menopause to stay healthy: 

  1. Fruits

Fruits are rich in calcium, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating fruits like bananas and apples keeps your blood pressure regular, as they contain potassium and other minerals. Moreover, fruits are a source of fibre that helps boost collagen production, keeps you away from weight gain, and promotes your gut health.

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, which helps support immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote collagen production. These fruits also help maintain skin elasticity and joint health. With all these benefits, you should include some fruits on your food list during menopause.

  1. Green veggies

Spinach and kale— being green leafy vegetables, can be your allies during menopause. Their rich calcium and vitamin K content directly support bone health and may prevent osteoporosis. For your reference, 3.5 oz of spinach contains 93 mg of magnesium. 

Moreover, folate-vitamin B-9, abundant in green leafy vegetables, can positively impact your mood by promoting sleep function and chemical production in your brain. These vegetables also provide dietary fibre, aiding digestion and promoting feelings of fullness. Because they are high in fibre, these vegetables can help you maintain or lose weight during menopause.

  1. Fish

Fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel contain omega-3—a chemical that reduces swelling and the risk of blood clotting in your body. It also provides energy to the cells of your body. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that fatty fish can ease symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. 

The Association of UK Dietitians recommends including at least two portions of omega-3-rich fatty fish in your weekly diet. These fish oils are beneficial for your heart health and are one of the best foods to eat during menopause.

  1. Unsalted Almonds

Unsalted almonds are a great source of healthy fats, keeping your blood vessels healthy and away from any fat buildup inside your vessels. According to the Association of UK Dietitians, you may eat 3 to 4 portions of unsalted nuts weekly. Enriched with protein, vitamin E, Magnesium and potassium, they keep the salt balance inside you and promote muscle, bone, and the immune system’s health. 

Unsalted almonds are low in salt, such as sodium, which makes them heart-friendly snacks. For a midday or evening snack, include them in your diet and stay healthy.

  1. Oats

Oats cause a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels, helping to stabilise energy levels and mood swings often experienced during menopause. As whole grains, oats contain phyto-oestrogens, plant compounds that may help regulate oestrogen levels and calm hot flashes and mood swings during menopause. 

The British Nutrition Foundation has recommended eating plenty of whole grains during menopause, like oats. 

  1. Low-fat yoghurt

Low-fat yoghurt is one of the best foods to eat during menopause. The probiotics found in yoghurt can also help promote gut health and digestion, which may be beneficial for managing digestive issues during menopause. Low-fat yoghurt is lower in calories and saturated fat than full-fat varieties, making it a heart-healthy option to help manage weight and cholesterol levels.

The Association of UK Dietitians recommends having low-fat yoghurt 2–3 days a week during menopause. Because it is high in calcium, it keeps your bones healthy and prevents joint pain.

  1. Linseed bread

Linseed bread, also known as flax seed bread, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy and have anti-swelling properties. Additionally, linseeds contain lignans, plant compounds that act as phyto-oestrogens and may help regulate oestrogen levels, potentially alleviating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. 

UK dietitians say that before you opt for supplements, try eating linseed bread two to three times a day to resolve pesky menopause symptoms. Keep it at the top of your food list during menopause. 

  1. Edamame beans

Edamame beans, young soybeans, are a nutritious option for your diet during menopause. These beans are rich in plant-based protein, providing all the important acids needed for muscle repair.

You can take them two to three times daily as a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin K, and manganese. This nutritional status says that edamame beans are a protein-rich food during menopause.

  1. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are an excellent addition to your diet during menopause. With a low glycemic index, they help stabilise blood sugar levels and manage mood swings. Packed with important nutrients like iron and magnesium, chickpeas contribute to overall well-being. 

Add them to salads and soups, or enjoy them as a crunchy snack for nourishment. They are one of the healthiest foods to eat during menopause.

  1. Turkey

Turkey is an excellent source of getting lean proteins during menopause. Its low-fat content makes it heart-healthy and ideal for managing weight, which can be challenging during this stage of life. 

Additionally, turkey is rich in essential nutrients like zinc and vitamin B12, which support immune function and energy levels, helping to combat menopause fatigue. Incorporate turkey into your meals as a lean and nutritious protein source to support your health and well-being during menopause. 

  1. Eggs 

Eggs are a beneficial food to eat during menopause. They are rich in high-quality protein essential for muscle maintenance and repair, significantly as oestrogen levels decline. Additionally, eggs contain vitamin D, which supports bone health and may help alleviate the symptoms of menopausal osteoporosis. 

These are a good source of choline, a nutrient that helps boost brain health and cognitive function, which can be particularly important during menopause when cognitive changes occur. The Association of UK Dietitians recommends incorporating eggs into your diet as a great source of vitamin D.

Final Word!

The menopause transition can be challenging, but making smart dietary choices can help ease symptoms and support overall health. By adding nutrient-rich foods into your diet, such as fruits, green veggies, fish, unsalted almonds, oats, low-fat yoghurt, linseed bread, edamame beans, chickpeas, turkey, and eggs, you can provide your body with essential nutrients needed during this stage of life. 

The foods mentioned above to eat during menopause will help you maintain bone health, manage weight and stabilise mood swings. Additionally, they can help address specific symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, joint pain, and fatigue. By prioritising a balanced diet and adding these foods to your meals, you can better manage the menopause symptoms and improve your overall well-being. If you find any difficulties or severe issues during menopause, you should immediately consult for menopause treatment from a good doctor.

FAQ’s

What are the best foods to eat during menopause?

Fruits, green vegetables, unsalted nuts, oats, salmon, eggs, and edamame beans are the best foods to eat during menopause. 

Are eggs a good food to eat during menopause? 

Yes, include eggs in the foods to eat during menopause, as they are rich in vitamin D and iron. They help reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. 

What foods should be avoided during menopause?

Foods high in fat, sugar and calories should be avoided during menopause. Also, avoid alcohol, smoking and eating canned/processed foods. 

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