Best & Worst Foods for Menopause Symptoms

Source: Red Hot Mamas via Ode Magazine


Studies suggest that eating carbs can increase the release of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the brain manufacture serotonin, which helps people fall asleep.


  • Eating a piece of toasted whole grain bread or a small portion of another carbohydrate before going to bed.
  • Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, soy, cod, egg whites and warm milk.
  • Also, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and tuna, play a role in sleep induction.
  • And don’t forget cherries. They contain melatonin, a substance found in the body, which helps regulate sleep.


  • Large meals. When you eat a large meal, digestion brings blood into the abdomen, raises body temperature and tells the hypothalamus in the brain to send a signal that causes hot flashes. Eating smaller meals can help reduce the number of hot flashes.
  • Caffeine. Coffee, tea, colas and dark chocolate contain caffeine. They may trigger hot flashes and affect your sleep. So drink water and avoid caffeine, especially in the late afternoon and at night.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol can increase the hot flashes and affect sleep, mood and weight. Heavy use can lead to osteoporosis because alcohol prevents cells from building new bone. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

Next: Bloating


During the menopause transition, another common midlife symptom is bloating, which may be due to hormone fluctuations, overproduction of estradiol and conversion of androgen (a so-called “male” hormone) to estrogen through a process called aromatization, which increases with age and body weight.


  • Foods and herbs that have diuretic properties, such as celery seeds, parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, asparagus, artichokes, melon and watercress. And drink plenty of water and herbal teas.


  • Sugary and high-sodium foods such as frozen dinners and canned soups. Read the sugar and sodium content on food labels, and reduce the amount of sugar and salt you add to foods and beverages.

Next: Mood swings


Many women during the menopause transition report a decreased sense of well-being due to irritability and mood swings. Good nutrition plays a major role in moods. So it is important to understand which foods stabilize our moods and which ones to avoid.


  • Omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
  • Eating vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and beets, which are rich in B vitamins. Green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high in folic acid, a member of the B-complex group that may also help stabilize mood because it’s needed to make serotonin. Don’t forget that spinach and other dark, leafy greens can be used raw in salads and sandwiches as well.
  • Chicken and turkey, which are rich in vitamin B, a player in the production of serotonin in the body.


  • Sugary foods, which cause a rise in blood sugar and may increase mood disturbances.

Next: Decreased sex drive


For some women, menopause and its associated decline in “sex” hormones can lead to a decline in sex. A lower level of estrogen is the main culprit and that can lower libido and cause vaginal dryness. Recent information suggests that food can spice up your love life.


  • Granola, oatmeal, nuts, dairy, green vegetables, garlic, soybeans and chickpeas. These foods contain L-arginine, which is thought to be helpful in improving sexual function.
  • Avocados contain potassium, which regulates thyroid hormones and may enhance female libido.
  • Chocolate intake releases serotonin in the brain, producing feelings of pleasure similar to having sex. But indulge in moderation for its benefit, and try eating it as a prelude to lovemaking.
  • Asparagus is a vegetable to consider due to its vitamin E content.
  • Fresh fruits. Feast on fresh fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates and grapes, which are delicious and rich in antioxidants.


  • Chile peppers. Eating chili peppers in excessive amounts can lead to hot flashes. This will not help you set the mood. However, when enjoyed in a flavorful recipe, these feisty peppers can also help trigger the release of natural endorphins, creating a high that is not unlike lovemaking.


Read more on menopause in The meaning of menopause, Still on the journey, “Menopause is a wake-up call” and Menopause experiences. For a free digital copy of Ode’s entire Menopause Series, email

Food for Thought: What to Eat During Menopause
5 Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood
5 Foods That Help You Sleep

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George S.
George S.4 months ago

Good stuff! I especially liked how you effectively explain diet and menopause. Actually, I just put together an infographic on What to Eat and Avoid During Menopause. Check it out here:

Vaileria D.
Vaileria D.11 months ago

It’s very difficult for menopausal women to fight with the menopause symptoms. Menopause diet can help to reduce or even prevent menopause symptoms. Here are some foods that help to soothe menopause symptoms.

Elena S.
Elena S.about a year ago

Nice Information.
Around menopause, the body’s production of estrogen hormones keep on fluctuating, with the fluctuation of estrogen, the body retains fats around the stomach region with the view of obtaining estrogen. Apart from these deposits of fats in the body, many women do not eat right meals. When a woman takes in more carbohydrates, proteins and sugars in amounts that supersede the body requirements, the excess amounts end up building up the fat composition in the body. However there are few foods to help manage menopause. Soy and tofu are rich in soy isoflavines which fall under the group of nutrients that are called phytoestrogens. Fruits and vegetables have been known to be of great value for menopausal women, fruits and vegetables go further than providing fiber and vitamins. Additionally take more of milk, spinach, liver and other foods that will supply your body with calcium.

A F.
A F.2 years ago

It always amazes me how many things are affected just by eating a healthy diet of fresh, unprocessed foods, cutting back on obvious things like sugar, etc.

Fi T.
Fi T.2 years ago

Food is always better than medication

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons2 years ago

hot peppers lead to hot flashes, watering eyes, burning sensation on tounge and throat.

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgado2 years ago

Thanks 4 the info!

Mary ann S.
mary ann s.2 years ago

Nice thank you

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)