The Menopause

7 powerhouse foods for menopause, as recommended by nutritionists

While consuming a nutrient-rich diet is always important, it’s particularly crucial during midlife and menopause. Obtaining a wide variety of vitamins and minerals through foods for menopause supports our overall wellbeing as our bodies undergo a host of changes, and may even help negate some of the negative effects.

“Studies have indicated that short-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet may be linked with a reduction in menopause symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances,” reveals Rhiannon Lambert, registered nutritionist, founder of Rhitrition, and author of The Science of Plant-based Nutrition.

Rhiannon says the all-important gut microbiome takes a hit during menopause due to declining oestrogen and progesterone levels. But – you guessed it – a healthy, well-balanced diet can help ‘feed’ the good bacteria and restore balance.

“Good nutrition can provide a real anchor of support as we navigate hormonal flux and change,” agrees Laura Clark, registered dietitian and founder of The Menopause Dietitian. “It’s important to not look at foods or nutrients in isolation, but rather consider the whole tapestry of our diets across the day and week.”

What better way to obtain multiple nutrients than eating ingredients that deliver more bang for your buck? We asked seven nutritionists to reveal their favourite powerhouse foods for menopause, each packed with vitamins and nutrients to support hormonal changes and wellbeing.

7 powerhouse foods for menopause, loved by nutritionists


This wholegrain is small in size but packs a big punch.

“It’s a fantastic source of protein, along with B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, which support energy levels and good sleep,” says Laura. Quinoa is also high in fibre, contains all nine amino acids, and is gluten free. In addition, Laura notes that wholegrains are ideal for supporting gut health.

It’s common for menopausal women to cut down on carbs to help curb weight gain but, as Laura explains, we may be doing ourselves a disservice.

“Interestingly, wholegrains are associated with better weight regulation, which contradicts common narratives that carbs are bad for us in midlife,” she explains.

A serving size of quinoa is 80g when cooked (approximately 30g uncooked), providing around 3g of both fibre and protein.

Serving recommendation: Incorporate quinoa into a colourful nourish bowl with plenty of veggies.


Tofu may look unassuming, but behind its beige exterior is a host of nutrients.

“It’s an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron,” explains Rhiannon. “It also contains vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium, which support overall health during menopause.”

As if that wasn’t enough, tofu – like many plant-based foods – comprises phytoestrogens called isoflavones.

“These compounds can mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body and help alleviate menopausal symptoms,” Rhiannon shares. “Research has found that women who consume higher amounts of soy products per day generally [experience] significantly fewer menopausal symptoms than those who eat less soy.”

Serving recommendation: Add into stir-fries or salads.


While salmon is a fantastic protein source, it’s perhaps best known for providing a hearty dose of another essential nutrient: omega-3.

“As we age, skin can become dry and wrinkles are more likely to appear, but eating enough omega-3 may help skin stay healthy,” explains Anna Mapson, registered nutritional therapist and owner of Goodness Me Nutrition. “Omega-3 is also great for mood and brain health, so can support cognitive function as we age.”

Alongside high levels of omega-3 and protein, salmon also offers plenty of vitamin D (deficiency of which is linked to worsened menopause symptoms), vitamin B12 (essential for energy and bone health), and selenium (which helps protect against cell damage). NHS guidelines recommend eating at least one portion of oily fish per week.

Serving suggestion: Top asparagus risotto with a lemon-dressed fillet.


Brits can’t get enough of this creamy green fruit (no, it’s not a vegetable!), consuming around 110,000 tonnes each year. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also a big hitter for health.

“Avocado is rich in vitamins K, E, C, and B-complex vitamins, plus potassium and magnesium,” shares Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart, health expert and nutritionist. “Higher magnesium intake during menopause is associated with better heart health and potassium can help combat bloating and fluid retention.

As Naomi adds, the healthy fat content of avocado has its benefits, too.

“These support hormone production and absorption,” Naomi says. But, while packed with nutrients, avocado is high in calories, so don’t go overboard. “Incorporate half an avocado 3-4 times a week into your meals or snacks,” she recommends.

Serving suggestion: Spread on wholegrain toast, sprinkled with seeds.


Berries are sweet in more ways than one.

“They’re bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre – all which have a positive effect on heart health, gut health, hormone health, metabolic health and mental health,” says Stephanie Smith, a women’s health nutritionist at Agora Health.

Berries’ anti-inflammatory antioxidant content is especially crucial in midlife, states Stephanie. “Oestrogen reduces during the menopause, which means a woman enters a more pro-inflammatory state,” she explains.

Fibre can also aid fullness and help to balance hormones and blood sugar levels. While we don’t often associate berries with this nutrient, an 80g serving size provides almost 2g of fibre.

Serving suggestion: Add into a smoothie with banana, spinach, almond butter, and kefir.

Greek yoghurt

This versatile ingredient is packed with protein (10g per 100g) – which is vital for women of all ages, says Emma Bardwell, specialist menopause nutritionist and co-author of The Perimenopause Solution.

“Protein provides the building blocks for every cell in the body, including hormones, bones, skin, nails, and hair,” she says. “It also helps build new muscle.”

Not only that, Greek yoghurt is a great aid for gut health. “It’s a fermented food, so provides live bacteria in the form of probiotics,” adds Emma.

Despite its crucial role in the body, many women don’t obtain enough protein.

“This is why I think they often find it hard to manage their appetite, weight, and energy levels,” Emma notes. “I eat Greek yoghurt at least five out of seven days in some shape or form. As a very rough guide, aim for 100g of protein a day spread out across two to four meals.”

Serving recommendation: Enjoy as a healthy dessert with berries and a few chopped nuts.


From black beans and chickpeas to kidney beans and haricot beans, we’re spoilt for choice with this ingredient. For Dr. Emily Prpa, nutritionist and science manager at Yakult, they’re a diet must-have thanks to their high fibre content.

“Gut symptoms can worsen during menopause, [and] post-menopausal women have lower gut microbiota diversity compared to pre-menopausal women,” Emily says. “Fibre is essential for feeding your gut microbes and optimising gut health.”

Emily states that hormonal changes can also increase heart disease risk. “A large study concluded that individuals who consume high amounts of fibre have a significantly reduced risk compared to those who eat lower amounts,” she notes.

Variety is the spice of life, and you should aim to mix up your bean choices.

“Different beans are packed with different types of fibre,” says Emily. “And different gut microbes prefer different types of fibre.”

A 180g serving of haricot beans contains a mighty 19g of fibre, almost two-thirds of the daily recommended intake.

Serving suggestion: Mixed into chilli con carne or bolognese.

Words: Chantelle Pattemore

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