Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, oh my! If you’re looking to soothe symptoms caused by those hormones gone wild, add these foods to your diet.
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s child bearing years and typically begins around 50. During menopause, the body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which results in symptoms like difficulty sleeping, thinning hair, hot flashes and weight gain. In addition, women become at higher risk for heart disease and osteoporosis.
Foods that Can Help Ease Symptoms:
Soy contains natural plant estrogens (AKA phytoestrogens) called isoflavones and lignans—both work in the body as weaker forms of estrogen and help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Soy is found in tofu, edamame (baby soybeans), tempeh and soy milk. Flaxseed, garlic, chickpeas, black beans and pistachios also contain phytoestrogens.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are packed with omega-3 fats. Research has shown that fish oils help alleviate depression during menopause. It also helps lower triglycerides and total cholesterol, which is good for heart health.
With the risk of osteoporosis going up during and after menopause, it’s important to incorporate foods with calcium and vitamin D. These include milk, yogurt, cheese and other calcium-rich foods. Choose low and nonfat varieties to help minimize weight gain that typically comes along with menopause.
Check out more foods to eat for better bones.
Other Helpful Tips
- Some women find spicy food, alcohol and caffeine worsen hot flashes—avoid the foods that specifically bother you.
- Regular exercise helps ease hot flashes, improves mood and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Add these 10 foods to help decrease the risk of cholesterol.
- Don’t smoke—that’ll increase your risk for heart disease even more!
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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »