‘Menopause’ means the end of a monthly cycle. This indicates that a woman has stopped
having periods for a year. The phase comes with a lot of changes in hormones. The change in
hormones impacts the physical and mental state of women. The body temperature may
increase and you may experience an increase in weight.
Menopause usually comes around the age of 40s or 50s. The symptoms of menopause may
appear later whereas some may not experience any symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of menopause/perimenopause
A woman in her perimenopausal stage may experience –
Sweating in night
Dryness in vagina
Bones become weak
What causes menopause?
The monthly cycle in women may stop due to any of the following reasons –
The natural decrease in reproductive hormones
With advancing age especially when a woman is in her late 30s there is a decrease in the
level of estrogen and progesterone. This affects a woman’s fertility and gradually stops the
Chemotherapy or other procedures
Women undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy may
experience menopause during or after the treatment. The periods may stop temporarily or
The problem with ovarian function
Ovarian dysfunction indicates less production of reproductive hormones. When the level of
reproductive hormones is low, menopause happens. In such cases, menopause may occur in
the late 30s or before 40. The cause of such problems may be genetic or may be
Removal of ovaries
Ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are required to
regulate menstruation. Surgical removal of ovaries cause menopause and you experience the
same sign and symptoms of it.
Role of food on menopause symptoms
Given above the causes of menopause, we can control the natural decrease of reproductive
hormones. Following a balanced diet can manage the sign and symptoms of menopause. No
doubt that a balanced diet is recommended in every stage of life but the
menopause/perimenopause stage needs special attention. The drastic change in metabolism,
bone health, etc, demands a balanced diet.
Including seasonal fruits and veggies is a great idea to meet the body’s requirements. Follow
a diet plan that you can sustain for a long and fits your wallet as well as your lifestyle.
The following tips can help you make a diet plan to manage menopause symptoms –
Include foods rich in calcium and vitamin D – Milk, cheese, yogurt, etc are a rich
sources of calcium.
Eat lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables – Veggies such as kale, cauliflower,
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc can manage hot flashes.
Eat a protein-rich diet – A protein-rich diet can keep a check on weight gain during
menopause. Lentils, beans, tofu, etc are the source of lean protein.
Reduce your consumption of processed sugar
Reduce intake of carbs
Eat healthy fats
Keep yourself hydrated – water is best
Phytoestrogen-rich foods are good – eg flaxseeds, tofu, sesame seeds, beans
Your body may not meet the requirement. You can always consider taking supplements such
as calcium pills and vitamin D but only after consulting your healthcare provider.
Meal plan for hormonal balance during menopause
While planning a menopause diet plan a dietician may consider following –
Body composition or BMI
Considers your favorite food
Looks for any medical health problems
Depending on the given factors menopausal diet plan is tailored as per the requirement of an
Control your hormones rather than hormones control your body. Let us know the foods that
can help you with a roller coaster of your hormones during menopause.
Early morning diet options for menopause
You can start your day with the following –
Warm water or water infused with aloe vera.
Water infused with elaichi
Water infused with jeera or coriander
Breakfast diet options for menopause
Breakfast is an important part of the meal and some healthy options to manage hormones are
Paneer stuffed roti
Mushroom stuffed rotis
Besan chila with curd
Mid-morning or evening snacks for menopause
You can consider the given options as snacks.
Milk tea without sugar
Green tea, chamomile tea
Namkeen veg dalia
Chia seed pudding
Lunch diet options for menopause
Options for lunch include –
Veg raita with pulao
Seasonal vegetables with roti
Methi roti (1 or 2) with curd
Veg dalia (salty)
Rice and kadi
Dinner diet options for menopause
Keep your dinner light. You may include –
Oats and besan cheela
Veg soup with paneer
Dal and roti
Besan cheela with green chutney
While planning your diet with the above food options it is also important to know the foods
you must avoid. Consuming not-to-eat foods can nullify your effort and result in eating the
right food. If you notice any kind of foods that trigger menopause symptoms, eliminate them
from your diet. Some of the foods to maintain a distance with include –
Caffeine – may increase hot flashes
Alcohol – may increase hot flashes
Spicy foods – may increase hot flashes and night sweats
High-carb foods – can add on extra fats
Starchy foods – can add on extra fats
To wrap up
Menopause is natural and its symptoms can be well managed naturally by following the right
diet plan. A dietician can help you with a menopause diet plan that can soothe the hormonal
imbalance during menopause and before menopause.