Top Foods that Help with Menopause

Fight For Your Fitness Through Menopause!

Fight for Your Fitness in Menopause
Stay Fit Through Menopause. Gary John Norman/Getty Images

 Menopause can be a very difficult time and no woman escapes this journey in life.  The body begins to decrease in estrogen and typically testosterone and progesterone levels follow that pattern.  The transition of no longer having cycles sounds fabulous but the hormone imbalances that accompany the change are far from enjoyable.  Hot flashes can be an all-day annoyance, night sweats disrupt our sleep, decreased libido along with vaginal dryness, foggy thinking, anxiety, mood swings and weight gain are just a few of the ​menopausal symptoms that plague a high percentage of women.  I am an over 50 woman experiencing menopausal symptoms and understand how it feels not being able to control the event.  However, what I have done to help me and you is extensive research on the best foods proven to reduce menopausal symptoms. 

Protect Your Bone Health with High Calcium Foods

Calcium Rich Foods
Protect Your Bone Health with Calcium Rich Foods. Noe Montes Photolibrary/Getty Images

 Menopause decreases our estrogen putting us more at risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.  Research shows women taking calcium along with vitamin D had stronger bones and less incidence of hip fracture.  The recommended daily allowance of calcium for women aged 19 to 50 is 1000 milligrams per day and postmenopausal women over 50 should aim for 1200 milligrams.  Eating a wide variety of calcium-rich foods will help ensure strong bones during menopause and can include low-fat yogurt (1 cup = 415 mg), low-fat milk (1 cup = 295 mg), calcium-fortified orange juice (1 cup = 500 mg), sardines (3 ounces with bones = 270 mg), canned salmon (3 ounces = 270 mg), broccoli (1 cup, cooked = 60 mg), and firm tofu (1/2 cup = 227 mg).  Some women concerned about weight gain and restricting calories may not be getting enough calcium from foods and should talk with their doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplements as an option.  

Eat Healthy Fats for Mood Swings

Salmon Contains Omega 3 Fats
Help Moods Swings Eating Omega 3 Fats Like Salmon. Creativ Studio Heinemann Westend61/Getty Images

 Mood swings and anxiety can feel overwhelming during menopause and increase our vitamin B and Omega-3 fats can be helpful to ease those symptoms.  It's important not to be hard on yourself and realize you're not going crazy.  Hormone imbalance requires action on our parts to feel our best and eating foods rich in healthy fats and vitamin B will help accomplish that goal.  Increase your Omega-3 fats naturally by consuming fatty fish like salmon 2 or 3 times per week.  Ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are also great sources of Omega fats.  Foods containing vitamin B can help with the stresses of menopause and include whole, unprocessed lean meats and poultry, along with whole grains and lentils. 

Increase Fiber to Reduce Weight Gain

High Fiber Foods
Eat High Fiber Foods to Reduce Weight Gain During Menopause. Annabelle Breakey Photodisc/Getty Images

 Estrogen decrease during menopause sends the body searching to replace the precious hormone and since the adipose tissue is a natural carrier of estrogen, fat gets placed around the belly to make up for the loss.  Many women suffer from the dreaded “menapot” and are frantically searching for answers to reduce the size of their menopause middles.  Fortunately, foods high in fiber are shown to reduce weight gain during menopause by allowing us to feel full on less.  Superfoods like beans and lentils are lower in calories, high in fiber and protein helping menopausal women maintain a healthy body weight during what is typically a time of creeping weight gain.  Other high fiber foods sources include quinoa, vegetables, and fruits like apples or berries.  It's recommended women eat between 25 and 35 grams of fiber each day.   

Include Mediterranean Foods to Reduce Hot Flashes

Mediterranean Foods
Eat Mediterranean Foods to Reduce Hot Flashes. fatihhoca/Getty Images

 Hot flashes can feel overwhelming and night sweats unbearable especially if frequently occurring.  Decreased estrogen short circuits our hormones during menopause and can cause quick feelings of heat, flushed faces and sweating.  Suffering from recurrent hot flashes disrupts the lives of many menopausal women and knowing relief can be found eating Mediterranean foods is promising.  Recent studies show a 20% decrease in hot flashes for menopausal women eating Mediterranean foods and also associated with healthier hearts and slimmer waists.  Mediterranean foods include lots of fruits, vegetables, olive oil and red wine.  It's reported the high fiber content of Mediterranean type foods may stabilize estrogen levels and lessen symptoms. 


The North American Menopause Society,, Calcium and Vitamin D Improve Cholesterol in Postmenopausal Women, 3/5/14, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Menopausal changes in calcium balance performance, RP Heaney, 12/78, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Women and omega-3 Fatty acids, P Saldeen, 10/04, Mediterranean Diet Benefits Perimenopausal Women with Hot Flashes, Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD, 5/2/13, Diet and Nutrition for Women, Melinda Smith, M.A., Maya W. Paul, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. , 5/15

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