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5 Ways to Help Regulate Your Hormones During Menopause


Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can bring many unpleasant symptoms, such as mood swings, weight gain, and hot flashes. Luckily, research suggests that dietary changes can significantly help reduce menopausal symptoms!

Here are five tips for getting your hormones back on track during menopause.

Note: While these tips are based on expert suggestions and current research, you should still consult your doctor about your menopausal symptoms and the best solutions for your specific health needs.

1. Limit Sugar as Much as Possible

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Studies have shown that women with diets high in sugar can experience worse menopausal symptoms than those with low-sugar diets. 

One study in particular followed 6,000 women for 9 years, and the results showed that women whose diets were high in sugar were 20% more likely to experience hot flashes and night sweats than their lower-sugar counterparts. Why? It all has to do with estrogen.

Estrogen levels fluctuate a lot during peri-menopause. These dramatic spikes and falls in estrogen can cause uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. After you consume a lot of sugar, your insulin levels spike, which simultaneously lowers the amount of a protein in your body called SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin).

When your SHBG decreases, your estrogen goes up. So, if you’re consuming a lot of sugar, your body’s already-fluctuating estrogen will take bigger spikes and falls, worsening your menopausal symptoms.

Moreover, a lot of refined sugar can exacerbate fatigue and cause weight gain — two more symptoms you’re already dealing with during menopause.

If you can’t totally cut out sugar, aim to keep your daily sugar consumption to less than 10 grams at a time. Whenever possible, try to snack on fruit when you’re craving something sweet. Fruit has natural sugar combined with fiber, which will not spike your insulin levels (and estrogen levels) the same way.

2. Cut Back on Caffeine

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Research shows that caffeine intake is linked to more hot flashes in menopausal women than those who avoid it.

Moreover, caffeine has been shown to increase levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Increased cortisol is linked to higher stress, blood pressure, and belly fat. Since menopause can already cause a shift in body fat composition, it’s important to keep cortisol levels in check.

Lastly, caffeine can also affect how well you sleep, which can already be problematic during menopause! Try sticking to less than 100 mg of caffeine daily—roughly 1 to 2 cups of coffee—to avoid exacerbating your symptoms.

3. Try a Mediterranean Diet

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Studies show that menopausal women who eat a Mediterranean diet have less severe menopausal symptoms than those who don’t. This diet consists of fish, fruits, olive oil, veggies, healthy fats, and, yes — a little red wine now and then!

For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 6,000 women for nine years, and the results showed that women who followed a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, noodles, and red wine were around 20% less likely to report hot flashes and night sweats than those who strayed from the diet.

4. Boost Your Fiber Intake

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Did you know there’s a link between estrogen and gut health?

For example, when estrogen levels are high, it can lead to bloating. Fluctuating hormones can also cause or worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Since menopause comes with a major flux in hormones, fiber plays a big role in keeping your gut healthy and can help prevent menopausal weight gain. (Fiber helps you feel fuller longer, decreasing the urge to overeat!) Moreover, one study found that increased fiber intake can also help reduce hot flashes.

Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are packed with fiber, and Harvard Health lists some of the best food sources as:


Chia seeds

Almonds and walnuts

Beans, lentils, and legumes

Apples, blueberries, and pears

Whole wheat products


Brown rice

Leafy greens, such as kale

5. Eat Foods Rich in Phytoestrogens

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“Phyto-” is a Greek root word meaning “plant.” (And we all know what estrogen is!)

Phytoestrogens are naturally found in plants, and a diet rich in fruit, veggies, and legumes can ensure you’re getting enough. The reason they’re so important? Phytoestrogens mimic the estrogen found in our bodies, which significantly helps with hormone regulation. (They have even been referred to as a form of natural hormone replacement therapy.)

Research shows that phytoestrogens can greatly reduce hot flashes. Other studies reveal they can help prevent bone loss as you age, which is especially helpful during menopause because of the increased risk of osteoporosis (due to the drop in estrogen).

Soy and Flaxseeds Are Great Sources of Phytoestrogens

Two of the biggest sources of phytoestrogens are flaxseeds and soy. Flaxseeds are packed with chemical compounds called lignans, which function as phytoestrogens. They actually contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

Soy contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which mimic the effects of natural estrogen. Research suggests soy isoflavones can help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Try adding tofu, tempeh, miso, soymilk, or soybeans to your diet.

Other foods containing phytoestrogens include:

Black cohosh



Legumes such as beans, peas, and peanuts



Note: If you are interested in taking a phytoestrogen supplement, be sure to consult your doctor before starting.

7 Best Supplements For Menopause Weight Gain

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Menopause—typically diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a period—can occur in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 for women in the United States. 

For many women, menopausal weight gain is a real issue. The silver lining? It’s normal! But with the right diet, lifestyle, and menopause supplements, it doesn’t have to be.

7 Best Supplements For Menopause Weight Gain

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers!

And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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Keeping your joints healthy is key to staying mobile and experiencing less pain as you age.  Although you may not be able to prevent all joint injuries or arthritis, there are many things you can start doing today to improve your joint health!

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