Diet during menopause

Diet during menopause


In her new book Living better with menopause, co-written with Dr. Lyne Desautels, Isabelle Huot tells us about the diet during menopause by giving suggestions of foods that can reduce hot flashes and other discomforts associated with this period of a woman's life.

Menopause is not a disease, explain the two authors in their book, just published by Éditions de l'Homme. This is a period of hormonal transition during which the ovaries stop producing sex hormones.

This hormonal imbalance, however, causes a lot of bothersome symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, weight, skin aging, among others. It is possible to control part of it through diet, explains Isabelle Huot, doctor of nutrition.

“We suggest starting by reviewing your lifestyle and adapting your diet. Some women will be relieved just with these changes, others will see symptoms persist and decide to go for hormones. What we recommend in our book is an approach combining healthy eating and hormone replacement therapy. »

Soy and omega-3

It is possible, by consuming or banishing certain foods, to reduce certain symptoms or avoid triggering them, explains Isabelle Huot in Living better with menopause. < /p>

“Coffee or sugar can lead to insomnia, while red wine or spicy foods can cause hot flashes. Conversely, some foods promote sleep, muscle maintenance, and heart health, while others can even affect hormonal balance. For example, soy and its derivatives, edamame, tofu, tempeh, etc., contain phytoestrogens, these molecules having a similarity to estrogen, one of the hormones that we stop producing at menopause,” says Isabelle Huot.

In Living better with menopause, in addition to discovering a whole series of foods containing phytoestrogens, we learn that foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon or olive oil, can help reduce night sweats. Isabelle Huot also details a whole list of foods rich in fiber and protein, essential for intestinal health and muscles.

“We don't talk about it enough, and therefore women don't feel concerned, but after menopause, there are more deaths from heart disease than from cancer. It is therefore essential to adopt a global approach integrating a healthy diet and physical activity to keep your heart healthy, while reducing the discomforts associated with menopause. If the symptoms of hormonal imbalances persist, we can turn to hormone therapy. » 

If we wanted to integrate 5 foods that promote gentle menopause, what would they be? “I would say soybeans, flaxseed, berries, nuts and fish,” summarizes Isabelle Huot.

Isabelle Huot's advice for smooth menopause

Keeping a diary 

On paper or via an application, Isabelle Huot suggests noting what you eat, while recording the symptoms observed. “That’s how you can observe the impact of what you eat, see the progress and the changes you need to make. It will help us decide if we need hormone therapy or not. »

Integrate phytoestrogens into your diet

“You just need to include 100 grams of tofu or 1/2 cup of edamame a day, or even a tablespoon of flax seeds, which also provide omega-3s,” suggests Isabelle Huot.

Take care of your microbiota

“The link between intestinal health and anxiety has been proven by numerous studies. Integrating fibers and probiotics into your diet, yogurt and fermented milk in particular, can solve digestive problems, while helping our mental health,” says Isabelle Huot.

< strong>Adopting the Mediterranean Diet 

“This lifestyle includes eating fish, olive oil, plenty of fruit and vegetables, it's good for heart health and skin health, but also for mental health and for reduce abdominal weight gain. »

Integrate physical activity into your daily life 

Isabelle Huot insists on the importance of moving. “Women going through menopause often have insomnia, and fatigue, of course, cuts off our desire to do physical activity. However, it is proven that 30 minutes of walking a day slow down abdominal weight gain and promote better sleep. Adopting this simple habit can help us. »


Isabelle Huot, in collaboration with Chantal Lacroix and 9 experts in physical and psychological health, offer an online menopause support program, lasting 8 weeks and starting at the end of January. 

For more information: programmesosmenopause .com