5 recommended foods for women concerned about menopause

Editor of this article

Kouichi Terauchi

Koichi Terauchi

Doctor of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University


1994 Graduated from Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Medicine. Trained at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital, National Health Insurance Asahi Central Hospital, and Otsuka Hospital.
2003 Doctor of Medicine
2005 Research Fellow, Emory University, USA
2012 Associate Professor, Department of Women's Health Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
2020 Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Menopause refers to the five years before and after menopause in women. Various symptoms appear during this period, but those that are clearly not caused by other diseases are called "menopausal symptoms", and if menopausal symptoms interfere with daily life, they are called "menopausal disorders". is called

Menopausal symptoms are caused by large fluctuations and instability in estrogen, a type of hormone, and some data have been reported that these symptoms may be alleviated by daily diet.

Find out in this article

  • Recommended foods to relieve menopausal discomfort
  • Nutrients necessary for promoting the health of menopausal women
  • Foods menopausal women should be aware of

[I can understand you in just 3 minutes]
Click here for a free medical interview supervised by a doctor that can be done on LINE

Add friend

Three main symptoms of menopause

woman complaining of mental illness

There are many symptoms that can occur during menopause, some of which include:

  1. "Symptoms related to blood vessels" such as hot flashes, hot flashes, and sweating
  2. "Physical symptoms" such as fatigue, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, stiff shoulders, back pain, joint pain, and cold legs
  3. Mental symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and depressed mood

Foods reported to relieve menopausal symptoms


Here are some foods that have been reported to help alleviate menopausal symptoms.

I will also explain why the food is said to be good for menopausal symptoms, so if you are worried about menopausal symptoms, please refer to it.

"Protein food" that is the source of muscles and bones and also affects the quality of sleep

During menopause, hormonal changes increase the risk of loss of muscle mass and bone density1).

Decreased muscle mass and bone density make you more likely to get tired and injured, so you can reduce your risk by consuming the right amount of protein.

In addition, melatonin, a hormone involved in sleep, is made from tryptophan, a type of amino acid that makes proteins. Tryptophan is abundant in soy products and dairy products, so if you have trouble sleeping, try to eat these foods.

In addition to the soybeans and dairy products introduced above, protein is also found in large amounts in meat, fish, and eggs. In addition, the use of protein as well as meals is effective.
The recommended intake per day is about 1g of body weight ( about 50g for a person weighing 50kg ) .

``Soy foods'' containing a lot of isoflavones, which have effects similar to estrogen

Soybean food is rich in protein, but it also contains a lot of "isoflavones", which have effects similar to "estrogen", a hormone that decreases during menopause.

It may also be effective in lowering cholesterol and hot flashes2).

However, the upper limit of the safe recommended daily intake of soy isoflavones is set at 70 to 75 mg/day, and caution is required regarding overdose.
For example, one pack of natto contains about 35 mg of isoflavone, one block of tofu contains about 40 mg, and 200 ml of soy milk contains about 40 mg.

Whole grains that prevent rapid rises in blood sugar

Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are associated with symptoms of hot flashes, which are common among menopausal women, and it has been reported that a sudden drop in blood sugar levels makes hot flashes and other symptoms more likely to appear3 ) .

In order to suppress these fluctuations in blood sugar levels and alleviate menopausal symptoms, it is recommended that you first switch from refined carbohydrates, which cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, to whole grains.

Whole grains are grains from which parts such as the pericarp, seed coat, germ and endosperm have not been removed.
Ingestion of refined carbohydrates (white rice, flour, sugar, etc.) causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, but whole grains contain a large amount of dietary fiber that suppresses the rise in blood sugar levels, so fluctuations in blood sugar levels are minimized. It becomes loose.

When the blood sugar level rises rapidly, the hormone insulin is secreted in excess to bring the blood sugar level down. Then your blood sugar will drop too low.
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on the body.

It has also been reported that postmenopausal women who regularly consume whole grains have a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease 4 ).

Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in preventing arteriosclerosis and heart disease

Some studies have reported that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the frequency of hot flashes 5 ) .

Typical omega-3 fatty acids are "DHA" and "EPA", which are abundant in seafood (especially blue fish such as mackerel), and "α-linolenic acid", which is abundant in flaxseed and perilla.

Vegetables and fruits that contain dietary fiber and antioxidants

Data has been reported that hot flashes are reduced in women who regularly consume vegetables and fruits compared to those who do not.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

In addition, it has been reported that women who do not overly consume processed foods and have a steady intake of plant-based foods (whole grains, vegetables, and fruits) have a lower risk of depression and stress7).

Foods menopausal women should be aware of

Here are some foods that menopausal women should avoid.

I will explain specifically what kind of foods you want to pay attention to during menopause, so please refer to women who are worried about menopause.

"Sugar" and "refined carbohydrates" that cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels

Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes are more likely to occur when blood sugar levels fluctuate greatly, or when insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, becomes less effective due to a large amount of visceral fat.

Therefore, it is said that it is more likely to occur in women with metabolic syndrome6)8).

For this reason, it is necessary to be careful about excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates (polished rice, wheat flour, etc.), which are said to cause metabolic syndrome, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels.

As a specific countermeasure,

  • Gradually switch to whole grains, such as mixing white rice with brown rice.
  • Try to avoid processed foods and juices as they contain a lot of sugar and sweeteners.
  • When you crave sweets, try to eat fruits (Be careful not to eat too many fruits, which contain a lot of sugar such as bananas and mangoes, as they tend to raise blood sugar levels.)

Alcohol and caffeine that may increase the severity of hot flashes

Studies on menopausal women have reported that those who consume alcohol and caffeine are more likely to experience hot flashes during menopause 9) 10).

In addition, insomnia is a typical symptom of menopause, but since alcohol and caffeine reduce the quality of sleep, it is recommended that those with insomnia should refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine.

“High-fat foods” that increase the risk of developing dyslipidemia

During menopause, the secretion of estrogen, which regulates cholesterol and other substances, decreases, increasing the risk of developing dyslipidemia.

Dyslipidemia puts a strain on blood vessels and increases the risk of developing diseases such as myocardial infarction and cerebral infarction.

Excessive consumption of high-fat foods such as fatty meats, fried foods, dairy products, snacks, and Western confectionery should be avoided.

high salt food

According to one study, there is data that the higher the intake of high-salt foods, the lower the bone density. A sodium intake of 2,000 mg/day or more has been shown to increase the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women 1 1 ).

In addition, it has been reported that eating a healthy diet centered on low-salt, calcium-rich vegetables and fruits, and red meat has improved the mood of postmenopausal women1 2 ).

Also read the following articles
Click here to learn more about the relationship between menopause and bone density

Incorporating Chinese herbal medicine may lead to alleviation of various symptoms

Taking herbal medicine is also effective for painful menopausal symptoms. Kampo medicine comprehensively reviews various things such as the person's constitution and lifestyle, and gradually improves symptoms from the inside of the body. There are various herbal medicines, but the herbal medicines that are effective for menopausal symptoms are as follows.

  • Kamishoyosan: Depression, irritation, hot flashes, hot flashes, etc.
  • Toki shakuyakusan: Tendency to coldness and anemia
  • Keishibukuryogan: Hot flashes, headache, lower abdominal pain, etc.

There are individual differences in menopausal symptoms, and it is necessary to take Chinese herbal medicine that matches the symptoms . Kampo medicine gradually improves the symptoms, so it is easy to incorporate it into your life, so if you want to alleviate the symptoms little by little, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

▼ You can consult Kampo on LINE
Click here for a free consultation supervised by a doctor


These are the recommended foods and foods to be careful of during menopause.

During menopause, various physical changes occur that cause unpleasant symptoms.

Appropriate intake of the protein foods, soy foods, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables and fruits introduced in this article may prevent the risk of disease and lead a life with less discomfort.

Also, if you are wondering if you are approaching menopause, we recommend the canvas hormone test kit.

Check out the canvas inspection kit here .

[I can understand you in just 3 minutes]
Click here for a free medical interview supervised by a doctor that can be done on LINE

Add friend

Reference paper

1) ML Maltais. Changes in muscle mass and strength after menopause.2009 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19949277/

2) Mark Messina.Soy foods, isoflavones, and the health of postmenopausal women.2014 https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/suppl_1/423S/4576564

3) Sharon Dormire.The Effect of Dietary Intake on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women.2007 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2765999/

4) DR Jacobs, Jr.Whole-grain intake may reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease death in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study.1998 https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/68/2/248 /4648726

5) Lucas, Michel. Effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on hot flashes and quality of life among middle-aged women.2009 https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2009/16020/ Effects_of_ethyl_eicosapentaenoic_acid_omega_3.22.aspx

6) Candyce H. Kroenke. Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women's Health Initiative.2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428489/

7) Liu Zhao-min PhD. Associations between dietary patterns and psychological factors: a cross-sectional study among Chinese postmenopausal women.2016 https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2016/12000/Associations_between_dietary_patterns_and.7.aspx

8) Suk Woo Lee. Association between menopausal symptoms and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.2016 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21853251/

9) Jay Kandiah.An exploratory study on perceived relationship of alcohol, caffeine, and physical activity on hot flashes in menopausal women.2010 https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=2617

10) Faubion,Stephanie.Caffeine and menopausal symptoms.2015 https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2015/02000/Caffeine_and_menopausal_symptoms__what_is_the.7.aspx

11) SJ Kwon.High dietary sodium intake is associated with low bone mass in postmenopausal women: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2008-2011.2017 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28074252/

12) Susan Jane Torres.A moderate-sodium DASH-type diet improves mood in postmenopausal women.2011 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22480799/