Menopause Nutrition Advice

General Advice:

  • Adopt a predominantly whole food plant based (WFPB) way of eating. Eating a range of whole plant foods helps with much more than just the symptoms of menopause. The same diet that helps with menopausal symptoms, also helps with better aging, reduced dementia and Alzheimer’s risk, reduced heart disease and diabetes and reduced breast, prostate, bowel, womb and ovarian cancer risks, the biggest killers in the modern day.
  • Eating a whole food plant based diet means you will eat calorie light, nutrient dense, gut microbiome promoting fibre rich colourful foods. 
  • Focus on eating a plant strong diet full of colourful micronutrient and antioxidant rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds and intact minimally processed whole grains. To this way of eating, one should add plenty of herbs and spices as these increase the antioxidant power of any dish by as much as 200%. Make water the drink of choice.
  • As this way of eating is rich in fibre, it helps promote healthy gut bacteria (healthy gut microbiome) and reduces the incidence of common but serious life threatening diseases such as heart disease and cancer as well as dementia through complex mechanisms. Learn how to improve gut health.
  • Avoid a diet high in trans fats found in junk and ultra processed foods (biscuits/cakes/chocolates/ready meals) as they promote inflammation. 
  • Avoid saturated fats found almost exclusively in animal products (eggs, dairy, fish, chicken and red meat which along with the growth hormone, insulin growth factor, hormones, chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics promote oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, the latter being the base from where most lifestyle diseases arise.
  • The less processed a food is, the better it is for you. That is why it is best to avoid highly refined foods and stick to fibre rich whole plant foods.
  • Avoid oils and fruit juices as they tend to be devoid of fibre and as a result do not have the same amount or variety of micronutrients that are so good for our health.

To help reduce hot flushes and night sweats: 

  • Breakfast: 250 ml of soya milk with steel cut porridge oats. Add 1-2 tbsp of flaxseed powder and 1 tsp of chia seeds to the oats and soak in hot water. Cook with a cup of soya milk (organic, unsweetened or homemade if possible). Add nuts and fresh and dried fruit. This gives you a good start with the fibre rich, plant oestrogen rich, omega-3 rich plant-based breakfast or brunch.
  • Mid-morning snack: handful of edamame beans or soya nuts or berries or hummus with crudités.
  • Lunch: Large rainbow coloured salad with beans or chickpeas or hummus or vegetable bean soups, minestrone soups or dals.
  • Dinner: Hearty Lentil Stew , pan fried tofu with steamed greens and tofu,
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking as both these can make hot flushes much worse.
  • Caffeine containing drinks can worsen hot flushes.
  • Avoid a diet high in trans fats and processed foods (biscuits/cakes/chocolates/ready meals/fried foods/sugary foods) as they promote inflammation through a variety of mechanisms.
  • Avoid saturated fats found almost exclusively in animal products (eggs, dairy, fish, chicken and red meat which along with the growth hormone, insulin growth factor, hormones, chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics promote oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, the latter being the base from where most lifestyle diseases arise.

By Dr. Nitu Bejekal, Snr Consultant Gynaecologist

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Dr. Nitu Bajekal is a Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist based in the UK, boasting over 35 years of clinical experience in reproductive and women's health. Renowned for her expertise and compassionate care, Dr. Nitu has dedicated her career to improving the health and well-being of women. She is also the co-author of "Living PCOS Free," a practical guide that empowers women to regain hormonal health and manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) effectively. Her extensive knowledge and commitment to patient education make her a leading figure in the field of women's health.

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