Diet In the Menopause

diet in the menopause

Why is diet so important in the Menopause?

Simply, food is our life-force. Mother Nature has provided for every single nutrient that our body needs to thrive and if we restrict or deprive our body of these nutrients, it may well be the underlying cause of the symptoms we face in the Menopause.

So, it is extremely important to be aware of our own relationship to our health, our wellbeing and how our body is responding to the foods that we habitually consume on a day to day basis, because our diet is the best chance we have at supporting our body when journeying into the menopause.

What foods should we include in the Menopause?

First of all, it is really important to recognise how much our diet has evolved through the ages; we have gone from a wholesome vegetarian intake as the mainstay of our consumption, to large amounts of animal products. This has meant that we have changed from a really high fibre intake, to a really high animal fat intake, especially saturated fat.

We have also traded in our traditional  ‘sit-down dinnertime’ with convenience, on-the-go pre-packaged meals that contain low quality, processed ingredients and we tend to exercise much less, and have more sedentary lifestyles.

Overall, the outcome has resulted in conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea with painful gas, bloated abdomen, migraine headaches, nervous tension, irritability, insomnia and feelings of aggression and fatigue, increasing dramatically, in comparison to past generations.

More research has shown that western women who have followed high-animal fat, low- plant fibre diets are more likely to experience a higher duration, intensity and frequency of symptoms experienced in the menopause because they have higher levels of excess oestrogen circulating in the body and women who follow a high fibre, plant based, vegetarian intake, have lower levels of excess oestrogen circulating in the body.

This is because, all food stuff from animal origin contains hormones, and as we are consuming more animal products, the more excess hormones we are inviting into our system, and disrupting our body’s own natural production, which by default, causes more menopausal symptoms.

Dietary fibre from plants actually work to scrub excess hormones from the body, so a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, root vegetables, grains and pulses are fantastic for lowering excess circulating oestrogen and keeping natural hormones in balance.

Food of this calibre proves to be a fantastic alternative to hormone therapy for the menopause, as well as a preventative for cancers and diseases.

Aim for:

  • A plant-rich food intake with minimal meat, dairy and eggs.
  • Two portions of fish per week (oily fish is more nutrient dense)
  • Five to ten portions of fruit and veg a day
  • Exercise frequently
  • Stay hydrated with good quality water
  • Avoid alcohol or no more than 2 units of alcohol a day
  • Avoid smoking or second hand smoking

If you feel you are due to make dietary changes to a low-animal fat, high-plant fibre diet to support you body in the menopause, please do so gradually. When the body has been accommodated with many animal products, taking them away suddenly can be a shock for the body’s oestrogen levels. So, please make diet changes slowly and include more fruits, veggies, grains, and pulses week by week, as you gradually taper down animal products.


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