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Can Diet Help with the Menopause?

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Can Diet Help with the Menopause?

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Written by: Kathryn Danzey

Hot flushes, mood swings, aching joints, weight gain, anxiety are all linked with the onset of menopause. These symptoms can be eased by adjusting the modern western diet. In Japan there is no such term for ‘hot flushes’, it is simply something that is not experienced by most women on a diet rich in PHYTOESTROGENS (Phyto = plant).

The Japanese woman can expect to progress through menopause much later than her Western Counterpart, in Japan the average age is 55, where as in the West the age is 51 and actually lowering as we frequently take on the role of breadwinner and experience the stress found in competing in the business world. In Japan the incidence of breast cancer is also one sixth of that in the West, however when Japanese women leave their homeland a US study showed that these figures change as they embrace the Western diet and lifestyle. The studies show that once the diet is changed then also does the menopausal symptoms and the incidence of breast cancer, we can see then that the Japanese way is not a genetic factor but one of lifestyle.

With this in mind we can then add the ingredients to our diet that will assist to reduce menopausal symptoms, this can mean that you do not need to rely on HRT, however you must never assume this without consulting your doctor. Also NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR MENOPAYSE may help

The Oestrogen and Progesterone link

Oestrogen and progesterone are hormones, messengers released in to the blood to affect a distant organ, when things are on track they change the level of production according to the bodies needs. A synergistic balance is required between oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is actually made from progesterone so there is a very similar structure between the two, they are so close in structure but perform in almost opposite ways and each is needed by the other to increase the sensitivity of the organs they target.

OESTROGEN is the key hormone in female development of breasts and the onset of periods, stimulating the lining of the vagina to produce secretions during intercourse.. It is responsible for soft skin, strong bones and a healthy heart, these are all areas that are lost as we go through the menopause. Once ovulation commences, oestrogen is responsible in the first 2 weeks of the cycle for the maturation of an egg. Peak oestrogen levels occur around day 12 of the cycle, stimulating the release of luteinising hormone (LH). As oestrogen levels diminish, production of eggs ceases, lower levels of oestrogen are still created for just over a decade, but these lower levels bring on the onset of ‘hot flushes, night sweats and other symptoms. Fat cells also produce oestrogen, so low fat diets may in fact exasperate this already depleted hormone. It isn’t easy to replace oestrogen as there are good and bad oestrogens out there.

PROGESTERONE is released when the ovary releases an egg in the second half of the cycle. There is also a small amount of progesterone released by the adrenal glands, when a woman becomes pregnant more progesterone is released to support the developing foetus. It helps to maintain a healthy weight by promoting the control of water retention and assisting with regulation the function of the thyroid. Progesterone makes the womb lining secrete food for the egg – it acts as a receptor so when a woman reaches menopause and there is a reduction in progesterone there are no receptors to bind an egg.

As progesterone levels lower periods may become longer or shorter and this change may lead to the pituitary gland releasing high levels of follicle stimulating hormone(FSH) leading to excess hair growth.

However low levels of progesterone can lead to a relative increase of oestrogen. How does that happen as we get a reduction in oestrogen anyway?

During and after the menopause oestrogen levels only fall by half to one third while Progesterone falls to 1/20th of its level. This imbalance can in turn produce more testosterone leading to thinning of the hair on the scalp and excess hair on the face and body.

Would you like to learn how to boost the harmony between oestrogen lvels and progesterone to bringk back soft skin, strong bones and a healthy heart?

What part does progesterone play?

Provide plant form oestrogen to help boost levels during and after the menopause.

Can help with prevention of cancer of the womb, breast and prostate.

Can help in the fight against osteoporosis

Promotes heart health.

Phytoestrogens are plant oestrogen hormones, contained naturally in varying amounts in most plants, it is where there are high levels of is oflavone phytoestrogen that we . However with the onset of our passion for fast food, ready to go as soon as we get home, we now rarely eat enough phytoestrogens without supplementation. Another factor that can cause a reduction in key phytoestrogen availability is the introduction of pesticides so as always if at all possible use an organic source. By changing our diet just slightly we can experience massive benefits and feel healthier and more able to cope with the menopause. (However there are some times when high levels of phytoestrogen should not be eaten – during pregnancy and early infanxy)

It is worth noting that Prostate cancer in men has also been linked to low levels of phytoestrogen, the addition of them to their diet can lower the incidence, so every reason for your man to join you on your phytoestrogen lifestyle.

A brief list of foods rich in isoflavones (a larger table is further on in these notes).

Soya, Tofu

Lentils, peas, aduki beans, chick peas

Seeds, linseeds sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy

Grains, oats, wheat, barley, rye, rice

Fruit, cherries, citrus, apples, cranberries.

Vegetables, potatoes, fennel, broccoli, carrots, rhubarb

Sprouts, bean, alfalfa


Herbs and spices, cinnamon, fennel, parsley

The British Medical Journal studied a group of menopausal women, 13/4 oz of soy flour, 1 oz linseeds and 1/2oz red clover sprouts were added to their diet. This small addition to their diet reduced the level of FSH to levels that would be consistent with levels before the menopause. The effects were quickly noticed and remained for up to 2 months after the program began, showing how beneficial phytoestrogens can be.

Essential fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are just that, essential for health as our body cannot make them on it’s own. There are two types of fat, saturated (hard) fat and unsaturated fat. Meat and dairy products are the main sources of saturated fats and it is advisable not to eat too much saturated fat. There are two kinds of unsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated, olive oil is a rich source of this and polyunsaturated fats, found in nut, seed oils and fish.

Omega 6 and Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fats and are vital for the brain, nervous system, cardiovascular system and skin to be healthy. A dry skin can show a lack of these omegas.


Omega 3 (Linolenic acid):

Pumpkin and flax seeds, mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna.

Omega 6 (Linoleic acid)

Sesame and sunflower seeds.


Vitamins and minerals that help to protect against cell mutation.

Vitamin A, C and E with selenium, potassium and zinc are all excellent antioxidants.

Phytonutrient Herbal Remedies

Adding some herbal supplements to your diet can help to balance the hormones:

Black Cohosh, Dong Quai and Wild Yam:

Help to balance hormones.

Agnus Castus:

Traditionally used to relieve pre menstrual and menopausal problems.

Ginseng and Liquorice

Liquorice has been shown to help oestrogen levels when they are too low and inhibit them if they are too high, while ginseng helps to deal with stress levels.

Damiana and Saw Palmetto

These 2two herbs help to restore male hormonal health. Damiana has a testosterone-like effect and helps with male potency. Saw palmetto helps with treatment of prostatitis – enlargement of the prostate gland.

Things to avooid

Sorry but these are the usual culprits:

Smoking and alcohol.

Refined Foods

White flour and processed foods are typically devoid of nutrients .

Processed Sugar

Sugar has no nutritional value and can cause a sharp rise and then fall in insulin levels.

Fried Food

Tea and Coffee

Due to their caffeine content, look for alternatives, green tea, herb tea, dandelion coffee.

Unbalanced Diets

High protein, Low fat etc.

See menu’s to help with symptoms of the menopause.

About the Author

Kathryn Danzey
I have a passion to bring to you what really works in the beauty industry, from a moisturiser to the latest advanced treatment for anti ageing. After almost 4 decades in the industry I'm packed with info to share but never tire of looking for new things and would love you to share your experiences with us too. We're here to help you find that treatment or product that will make a change for you. Can't do without My Collagen Shots and H3O Night Repair. Love a great serum and UV protection

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