It helps to ease the night sweats of menopause by adding a fan into your room, for instance, or keeping a window open on a cool night.
There are other menopause symptoms that aren’t as easy to reduce or eliminate by opening a window. There are choices you can make in the kitchen, however, that could help with oft-discussed side effects like hot flashes or less common symptoms like memory problems. Here are some ideas to help with our look at what foods help ease menopause symptoms.
What Foods Help Ease Menopause Symptoms
When considering what to add to your plate at a meal, it helps to consider what symptoms of menopause are impacting you the most—trouble sleeping, for instance, or weight gain.
Another consideration during menopause is adding foods that can help prevent health issues brought on by the onset of menopause—like bone loss that can eventually lead to conditions like osteoporosis.1
Let’s use that as a guide to what foods help ease menopause symptoms.
1. Hot flashes and night sweats: Soy from food products may help, because they contain phytoestrogens, a chemical that’s similar to estrogen. Soy based products include soybeans or edamame, tofu and soy milk.1 Others point to so-called “cooling foods” like apples, bananas, spinach, broccoli, eggs and green tea—and away from heat-rising foods like spicy jalapeños and alcohol.2
2. Mood changes and brain fog: The healthy fats in some fish, known as omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to improved mood and brain function in some studies. As a bonus, they may also keep blood pressure levels in check, which in turn could ease hot flashes.2 Omega-3s can also be found in flaxseed, soybean and canola oil.3 Fatty fish like salmon is also a key food source of vitamin D, which helps mood and bone health.2
3. Fatigue and memory problems: Carbohydrates are important for energy and brain function, so choose the right ones as they remain one of your body’s main energy sources. The three types of carbohydrates are: sugars, best eaten from natural sources like fruits and vegetables; complex carbs in starches like whole-wheat bread and pasta; and fiber, another complex carb that can also help prevent stomach and intestinal problems.4
4. Weight gain: Switch to lean protein to help with weight management as well as increase your bone strength and muscle mass. After all, losing muscle mass can slow your metabolism.5 Reach for chicken and turkey, tuna, tofu, lentils and beans, and lean beef when you do choose red meat.1 Add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.5
5. Bone loss: Our bodies don’t build up bone after age 30, and the loss of estrogen at menopause means the decline happens more quickly. Calcium-rich foods can help keep your bones strong and healthy, such as skim milk, soy milk, yogurt and low-fat cheese. Green leafy vegetables like spinach also help with bone health, or you could consider a calcium supplement in conjunction with Vitamin D.1
Those are a few ideas of foods that can help ease your menopause symptoms. Remember that every woman is different, so if you notice that a certain food lessens your side effects, or seems to make them worse, adjust your diet according to what works for you.
See a Doctor
If you are in menopause and suffering from side effects, see a doctor for advice and treatment. Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health, including foods that can help ease your menopause symptoms. Continue to see your doctor for preventive health care tests as well. Tests like a colonoscopy, mammography, triglyceride screening, and breast and pelvic exams are important as you age, and always see a healthcare provider if you have bleeding from your vagina after menopause.6