20% off €35


20% off €35


Buy 1 Get 1 FreeSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceSave up to 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 Free25% off Online Only OfferOutletFlash sale up to 50% offFree gift with purchase2 for €61 Mix & MatchShort DatedVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsImmunityGut HealthEnergyChildren's HealthHealthy HeartWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and AquaceuticalsDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianRescue RemedyAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyFlower RemediesVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicBetterYouBioglanNatures AidGrass & Co.PE NutritionH&B ExpertDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsDental HealthWeight ManagementFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksTeaSuperfood TeaMatcha & Green TeaSleep & Relaxation TeaDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsDried FruitNutsSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMoringa PowderSpirulinaGoji BerriesBaobabChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardCondiments & SaucesApple Cider VinegarSuperfoodsBreakfast CerealsHoney, Jams & SpreadsTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete FoodBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceSave up to 1/2 price25% off Online Only OfferHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadePukkaHeath & HeatherMeridianTwiningsOptimum NutritionNakdHuelGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeMustard FreeCelery FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinProtein VeganMeal ReplacementsWhey ProteinMass GainersDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsBCAAL-LysineGlutamineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossKetoSave up to 1/2 priceBuy One Get One 1/2 Price2 for €61 Mix & MatchPE NutritionOptimum NutritionGrenadeUSNApplied NutritionPhDHuelFoodspringSiSYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationSexual HealthWomen's Health - PregnancyJoints, Aches & PainsChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryHealthy HeartImmunityNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesMakeupElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessSave up to 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaQ+AEthiqueTrilogyChilds FarmAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllSlimming TabletsFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesWeight Management ShotsDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceSave up to 1/2 price2 for €61 Mix & MatchGrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettPulsinPhDEat WaterUSNNatures AidSlimExpertNew NordicSugar FreeDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNew inHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthImmunityWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseExercise & RecoverySleep & RelaxationChildren's HealthJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthShop all Gut HealthGut Health FoodGut Health SkincareHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenStress AnxietyShop all Stress AnxietyEnergy SupportSleep & RelaxationShop all Sleep & RelaxationRelaxationFood & DietShop all Food & DietKeto FoodMenopauseBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettNaturtintDr OrganicVitabioticsWeledaSolgarNew NordicEthiqueWildNatures AidDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeSugar FreeParfum FreeAlcohol FreeWheat FreeSesame Seed FreeSoya FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriod & Cycle HealthMenopauseImmunityGut HealthFood & DietJoints, Bones & MusclesSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

Explore related topics

Menopause: The Best and Worst Foods to Eat

Laura Harcourt

Written byLaura Harcourt

Dr Tania Adib

Reviewed byDr Tania Adib

Selection of walnuts and almonds on a wooden table
Although it may be tempting to eat or drink your way through the menopause, there are some foods that are better – and worse – for menopausal symptoms
Written by Beth Gibbons on December 30, 2018 Reviewed by Dr Carrie Ruxton on January 9, 2019
Going through the menopause isn’t exactly a picnic, but – ironically – there’s plenty of evidence to show that eating certain foods can help support your body, while others can make menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, feel much worse.

Find out which foods to choose – and which ones to steer well clear of.

The best foods to tuck into during the menopause

Omega-3 foods

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential for a reason, especially during the menopause. A 2011 study by Harvard Medical School found that regular consumption of oily fish, which is rich in omega-3, can ease certain menopause symptoms such as low mood and hot flushes. It’s thought that omega-3 promotes the transmission of the happy hormone serotonin, impacting how the brain manages hot flushes.1

We also know that omega-3 is needed to make a type of hormone – eicosanoids – that play a key role in regulating inflammation in the body.2 This may be beneficial for hormone balance, helping to keep hot flushes under control. Good sources of omega-3 include flaxseeds, oily fish (also a good source of vitamin D, which can support bone health after the menopause)3, almonds, walnuts and tofu.

Fruit and vegetables

Here’s another reason to smash your five a day: plant foods are an important source of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation throughout the body, and – in turn – help maintain hormonal balance during menopause.

In fact, a 2018 study of more than 400 women, published in the journal Menopause, found that those who ate the most fruit and veg experienced the fewest hot flushes and night sweats.4,5

Soya foods

Soya foods and drinks – for example tofu, edamame beans and soya milk – contain plant compounds called isoflavones that mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body.6 While a 2013 Cochrane review found no firm evidence that soy helped menopause symptoms,7 other studies have reported otherwise: a 2015 review in Climacteric found that plant oestrogens, like soy, can help cut the number of hot flushes during the menopause.8 It’s also known that women in Asia, for whom soy is a diet staple, experience fewer negative menopause symptoms.9

If you’re not a fan of soya, try supplements: a 2012 Japanese review of studies concluded soy isoflavone supplements reduced the severity of hot flashes by more than 25% compared with a placebo.10


These are another form of plant oestrogen, found in flaxseeds (linseeds), sesame seeds, wholegrains, and legumes, like pulses. Lignans can help ease the effects of falling oestrogen levels by binding to oestrogen receptors in the body.11 Eating more lignans is as simple as eating toast

 The 2015 Climacteric review reported that women who ate two slices of bread containing 25g of flaxseed daily for 12 weeks experienced fewer hot flushes than the control group eating their normal bread.12 You can also add a tablespoon of milled flaxseed to your porridge or smoothies

Foods to limit during the menopause

Refined carbohydrates

Limit ‘fast release’ starchy carbs like white pasta, white bread, mashed potatoes, chips, cake and biscuits: women who eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates go through the menopause earlier.13 Over-doing these foods may interfere with blood-glucose control which can lead to insulin resistance and increased oestrogen production.14 Diets high in refined carbohydrates can also lead to blood sugar spikes. A 2017 study by the University of Texas reported that drops in blood sugar levels can trigger hot flushes.15 Switch to ‘slow release’ carbohydrates, such as wholegrains, root vegetables and oats, instead.16


Pouring yourself a large glass of wine at the end of the day could make you feel worse in the long run. A 2006 study in the Annals Of Human Biology found that daily drinking increased the chance of hot flushes and night sweats.17 One theory is that alcohol causes blood vessels in the body to dilate, which tells your brain that you’re too hot.18 Don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week – one 175ml glass of 14% wine is 2.4 units – and have at least three drink-free days every week.19

Not sure what’s causing your symptoms? Try recording them and your daily diet in a diary to spot any triggers, and then you can to avoid them. Making a few simple tweaks to what you eat could turn your menopause into a piece of cake.

Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.


1. Freeman MP, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids for major depressive disorder associated with the menopausal transition: a preliminary open trial. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195360/
2. Saldeen P, Saldeen T. Women and omega-3 Fatty acids. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15385858
3. Wall R, et al. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20500789
4. British Nutrition Foundation. Menopause. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/lifestages/menopause.html?start=2
5. Soleymani M, et al. Dietary patterns and their association with menopausal symptoms. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Dietary_patterns_and_their_association_with.97474.aspx
6. Stephanie Watson. Healthline. Does soy help with menopause symptoms? Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/soy-for-menopause#isoflavones
7. Lethaby A, et al. Phytoestrogens for menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24323914
8. Chen M-N, Lin C-C, Liu C-F. Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389700/
9. As Source 5
10. Taku K, et al. Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22433977
11. Joseph Nordqvist. Medical News Today. How healthful is flaxseed? Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263405.php
12. As Source 10
13. As Source 1
14. Ana Sandoiu. Medical News Today. These foods may delay your menopause. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321700.php
15. Dormire S, Howharn C. The effect of dietary intake on hot flashes in menopausal women. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2765999/
16. As Source 8
17. Kate Goldbaum. Live Science. Does Drinking Alcohol Warm Your Body? Available from: https://www.livescience.com/55435-does-drinking-alcohol-warm-your-body.html
18. Sievert LL, Obermeyer CM, Price K. Determinants of hot flashes and night sweats. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03014460500421338

19. Drinkaware. What is an alcohol unit? Available from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/what-is-an-alcohol-unit/


Explore related topics

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • AmericanExpress
  • PayPal
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.ie is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Limited. Registered office: 45 Henry Street, Dublin, Dublin 1, D01 E9X8. Registered in Ireland: Company no. 79819. Registered VAT no. 4682002U.