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Every woman will begin to feel the effects of the menopause at some stage in life, but it needn’t be the end of the world. By keeping a careful check on the foods you eat to ensure you get the right levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, you can help make the transition far smoother.
“Obviously supplements can play a role but I think you’ve got to get the basic diet right,” food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson told The Hour. “As we get to menopause we have a decline in our progesterone and oestrogen and if you’ve got nutrient insufficiencies then you’re much more likely to experience the symptoms of menopause.”
Fruit may be an obvious healthy choice, but it has particular benefits during the menopause. It is high in fibre, which is excellent for digestion, and also helps eliminate excess hormones.
Tamari soy sauce is another excellent foodstuff because it includes phytoestrogens, which help fool the body into thinking it has higher oestrogen levels than it actually has. This can reduce symptoms like hot flashes. In China, where Tamari sauce is more popular, only 14% of women have hot flushes compared with the 80% in the West.
Green, leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, which helps promote bone mass. After the menopause the rate of bone breakdown becomes faster than the rate that new bone grows, resulting in osteoporosis. Eating beans, dairy products and green veg will also help combat this.
Sushi can counterbalance an iron deficiency and flaxseeds can give you your necessary omega 3 fatty acids, reducing the risk of breast cancer and heart disease in post-menopausal women.
Broccoli in particular contains indole-3-carbinol which is thought to stop the growth of cancer cells and also helps your liver detoxify, getting rid of old hormones.
Despite these many foods that can help reduce menopausal symptoms, it’s important not to wait for the signs of menopause to appear. Starting early, and drinking plenty of water, will all help combat symptoms before they begin.
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