Peri-Menopause Diet

The Peri-Menopause Diet: 5 Ways To Change Your Diet During Peri-Menopause

Jenna Hope, Registered Nutritionist, provides 5 ways women can help to manage their menopausal symptoms and wellbeing in the lead up and throughout peri-menopause through their diet, nutrition and establishing good eating habits. 

The menopause can be a challenging time for many women particularly as we often have no idea when it’s going to start creeping up on us and due to the unpredictable nature of the menopause women entering peri-menopause may not always be able to identify it.

Technically the menopause is one day and signifies one whole year without a period. However, in the run up to this one day, many women experience a variety of peri-menopausal symptoms as the body begins to reduce oestrogen production. The decline of oestrogen is not linear meaning some months you’ll have higher oestrogen levels than others. This can explain why your symptoms may change throughout the peri-menopausal stage.

Peri-menopause can last anywhere between 1 and 10 years and often occurs between the ages of 45-60. It’s important to note that in some cases, women can experience an early menopause (before the age of 45) which can occur as a result of a number of reasons such as: cancer treatments, genetics or a hysterectomy.

There are around 150 symptoms associated with the menopause however, not every woman will experience all of them. The most common symptoms include: changes in weight distribution, stress, anxiety, low mood, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, impaired sleep, impaired memory or concentration, lower bone mineral density and reduced energy levels.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the menopause is a very natural part of a female’s lifecycle it’s still often a taboo subject.

The good news is that whilst diet alone cannot solely manage menopausal symptoms, looking after your nutrition and establishing good habits in the lead up to the menopause can make it far more manageable. Below I’ve highlighted some tips for managing your menopausal symptoms and supporting your wellbeing in the lead up and throughout peri-menopause.

5 Ways To Change Your Diet During Peri-Menopause

1. Increase your flaxseeds, oily fish and walnuts

Milled flaxseeds, oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel and sardines) and walnuts are great sources of omega-3 which has been found to reduce hot flushes and improve mental wellbeing in peri-menopausal women. Omega-3 can help with maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels can increase throughout the peri-menopause and so managing them beforehand can be helpful. Try opting for one portion of milled flaxseeds or walnuts per day.

Peri-Menopause Diet

2. Add in the leafy greens

Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium, a key nutrient which is required in over 600 processes in the body and helps with energy maintenance, sleep and muscle and nerve relaxation. Impaired sleep is a common symptom in peri-menopause and ensuring you’ve got plenty of magnesium can help to support this. Other dietary sources of magnesium include: flaxseeds, almonds, fish and meat.

Peri-Menopause Diet

3. Load up on your dairy

Dairy is well known for being rich in calcium, which is vital for supporting bone health. As oestrogen levels fall during peri-menopause there can be an increased risk of lower bone mineral density. Focusing on your bone health in the years leading up to and throughout peri-menopause can help with supporting longevity.

Calcium set tofu, tahini, green peas and nuts and seeds are also rich in calcium. Additionally, Vitamin D and Vitamin K work alongside calcium to support bone health and therefore they shouldn’t be forgotten. The recommendations are to supplement with 10µg of Vitamin D per day during the winter months. Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables and fermented soy such as natto.

Peri-Menopause Diet

4. Reassess your habits

The time before the peri-menopause is the perfect opportunity to reassess your habits. It’s easy to fall into the habit of having an extra glass of wine in the evening, an afternoon coffee or a high sugar breakfast muffin. However, these habits can quickly add up may impact menopausal symptoms. If you’re peri-menopausal then it’s definitely not too late to make changes but this isn’t about adding extra pressure, it’s about making small tweaks which can make a difference.

Try switching your afternoon coffee for a herbal tea or your breakfast muffin for a bowl of porridge or yoghurt and limit that extra glass of chardonnay. It’s what you do every day that makes a difference to your long-term health.

Peri-Menopause Diet

5. Increase your lignans

Lignans are chemicals found naturally in plants and can have similar effects as oestrogen which consequently may help with managing peri-menopausal symptoms. Lignans can be found in Linwoods Menoligna alongside some soy products such as tofu and soy yoghurt too. Try adding two spoonfuls of Linwoods Menoligna to yoghurt, porridge, smoothies, soups or salads each day for optimal benefits.

Linwoods Menoligna Peri-menopause Diet

Supporting your health in the lead up and throughout the peri-menopause doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s the little things that count. When you’re thinking about your diet try to ensure you’re packing in that extra portion of greens, you’re taking a Vitamin D supplement throughout the winter and you’re enjoying an extra portion of nuts and seeds. Everyday changes can help to make your menopause that bit more manageable.


Jenna Hope is a nutritionist registered with the Association for Nutrition. She graduated with a first-class undergraduate degree in nutrition and exercise and a master’s degree in human nutrition. She works closely with individuals, brands, companies and media outlets to help them implement smarter strategies for nutrition. With a passion for making nutrition smarter, clearer and simpler, she provides advice which you can implement in everyday life. 

Jenna Hope Peri-Menopause Diet

Jenna has worked with hundreds of leading brands including ASOS, eBay, Phillips, David Lloyd, Accenture and the Daily Telegraph, delivering corporate talks, presentations, strategies and consultation services that help create smarter strategies to support teams, products and services. Featured regularly in leading media outlets such as Sky News, ITV news, Yahoo, This Morning, Women’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Red Magazine and the Daily Telegraph, it is her mission to educate as many people as she can on the smart ways nutrition can change your life. 

As the co-founder of The Yoghurt & Juice Network, a company which specialises in nutrition education in schools, colleges and universities, Jenna is passionate about nutrition being taught from a young age and being inclusive for all. She is an avid foodie and is passionate about food never being boring, but always enjoyable and nutritious. 

 

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