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Eat to Beat the Menopause

Hot flushes? Foggy brain? Mood swings? Here’s how to get your own homemade HRT on a plate for Diabetics.

Homemade HRT for Mood Swings
TRY reducing your sugar intake.
FOR keeping mood more stable.

Avoid sugary snacks, which can lead to tiredness and low mood when blood/sugar levels dip. Nutritional therapists say, sugar uses up a valuable mineral called magnesium, which keeps you calm. Replace sugar with fresh and dried fruit it gives you energy and is good for your gut. You don’t have to bin the chocolate for good. Just be aware that if you have sugar every couple of hours, you will be more moody and irritable. So save it for a treat.

Homemade HRT for Energy
TRY oily fish
FOR vitamin D.

It regulates calcium metabolism and is vital for healthy bones and teeth.

Doctors say, most vitamin D is made in our skin, in response to the sun’s ultraviolet B rays. We need 15-30 minutes of daily outside sun exposure on faces and arms — more difficult in winter or if we cover up when we go out. We get much less from our diets, but infant milks and margarines must be fortified with vitamin D. Other sources include oily fish, liver, egg yolks, red meat and fortified breakfast cereals.


Government health guidance suggests that all of us should consider using a low-dose vitamin D supplement (400iu) in the winters. If you have already been told you have low levels, you may need more than this, so speak with your doctor.

Homemade HRT for Achy Joints
TRY water.
FOR joint lubrication.

Drinking plenty of water can also help with other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, skin and vaginal dryness. Oestrogen helps retain moisture in tissues all over the body, say doctors. Drinking plenty of water can reduce the negative effect of falling oestrogen. Alcohol and caffeine can make menopause symptoms worse, so try herbal teas like Organic Nettle.

Avoid… fizzy water. Recent research found that carbonated drinks stimulate the appetite hormone ghrelin, making you hungry and likely to eat more.

Homemade HRT for Slow Metabolism
TRY wholemeal bread.
FOR low GI carbs.

Carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index, such as wholegrain pasta, rice or bread, can leave you feeling fuller for longer and help keep mood stable. Wholegrain alternatives also contain more nutrients and B vitamins.

Maintaining a healthy weight is key. It can be easy to gain weight while going through the menopause. A slower metabolism and changing habits in both eating and exercise all contribute. So choose foods low in saturated fats and salt, most importantly, watch portion sizes.

Homemade HRT for Strong Bones
TRY milk, cheese and yogurt.
FOR calcium.

Your risk of brittle bones (osteoporosis) increases after menopause when you lose oestrogen’s bone-protecting properties. Calcium is crucial for building strong bones and teeth. You need between 700-1.000mg a day, which you can achieve through diet if you are conscientious. Milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources, or if you prefer to avoid dairy, try leafy green vegetables, nuts, tofu and fortified products.

Homemade HRT for Hot Flushes
TRY tofu, soy and linseed.
FOR phytoestrogens.

Foods such as soy, linseed and tofu contain plant oestrogens, which some women say help to reduce flushes over time and may contribute to healthy cholesterol levels after menopause. These plant oestrogens are believed to help replace your body’s oestrogen levels, which fall during menopause and causes most symptoms.

Avoid spicy foods, which can trigger hot flushes.

Homemade HRT for Sleep Problems
TRY chicken, turkey and eggs.
FOR tryptopham

This is an essential amino acid found in foods such as chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese and milk. Our bodies need it to create the neurotransmitter serotonin, which promotes sleep and helps reduce anxiety.

EXTRA HELP… Valerian root is one of the most commonly used herbs in natural sleep supplements. Try a Herbal Simply Sleep One-A-Night tablets.

Homemade HRT for Concentration
TRY green leafy veg and nuts.
FOR magnesium.

This essential mineral is vital for proper brain function, as well as turning the food we eat into energy, but many of us don’t get enough. Recent research discovered that around 70% of us have low levels. Good sources include green leafy veg, nuts, brown rice, fish and bread (particularly wholegrain). Its often a key ingredient in many menopause supplements.

Or… try a handful of mixed berries at breakfast. Recent research found that they help improve cognitive function and accuracy for up to six hours after consumption.

Just Remember… While your diet is important for maintaining good health, food isn’t a ‘miracle medicine’ for serious health issues.

lf you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, talk to your GP about all the options available to you, including HRT (hormone replacement therapy) pills or patches. Exercise and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if necessary and stopping smoking can also help!

E274 – Eat to Beat the Menopause –

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