Sharing is caring!

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural part of aging, and it’s not a disease. It simply marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. But do you know what menopause actually means and how it affects women? 

So many people think that menopause is when a woman stops having periods at a certain age. This is almost true. Menopause actually begins 12 months after a woman’s last period.  It happens because ovaries stop producing strogens and when that happens, menstrual cycles come to an end. Everything before that is called “perimenopause”. The day that represents the 12 months mark is menopause. And everything after that is called post-menopause.

woman in bed

When periods stop, natural hormonal changes happen. For many women, this might not feel like a big deal, but that’s far from true for so many others. These hormonal fluctuations and body changes can be very challenging!

We are here to tell you how a plant-based can help menopause. So today we will be talking about menopause. We’ll cover pre and post-menopause symptoms and their consequences and also how to feel better during this transition. And, of course, we will discuss if a plant-based diet is good for menopause and why.   

But before we explore how much a plant-based diet can help with menopause, let’s educate ourselves on this subject, shall we? And to get started, we will cover some common questions about menopause.

What age does menopause start? 

There isn’t a unique specific answer to what age menopause starts but it usually is between ages 45 and 55. As you can see, the difference from one person to another can be of 10 years, and in some cases even more. Some women might experience menopausal symptoms as early as 40 years old. 

woman smiling sunset

And when is menopause over? Well, technically, menopause per si only lasts one day which is the day that marks one year after a woman’s last period, as we mentioned before. After that day, women enter what is called post-menopause.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

We know menopause is a natural part of aging, but when exactly does it start? What are the first signs? Well, the first signs can begin quite before menopause actually happens. For years before having their last period, women may experience irregular cycles and other symptoms. 

These symptoms will naturally vary from person to person but here are a few of the most common ones:

  • hot flashes
  • increased irritability      
  • reduced libido and/or discomfort during sex        
  • anxiety        
  • night sweats         
  • fatigue        
  • skin dryness        
  • insomnia 

Menopause and sex drive

How does menopause affect sex drive? That’s a very common and delicate question. Because of all the hormonal changes, many women feel that their sex drive is significantly affected during menopause. This is a very common issue and one that can be easily explained. Not only women in menopause deal with huge hormonal changes and their testosterone and estrogen levels are much lower, but they can feel emotionally drained. After all, they’re probably dealing with other symptoms too. Also, many women have a hard time dealing with body changes which might have a huge emotional impact. This can also lead them to feel less interested in sex. Not to mention that some of them might experience real physical discomfort too.

Menopause and breast pain

One of the most common physical discomforts women can experience before menopause is sore breasts. Women are familiar with breast pain related to their periods, and during perimenopause periods will get irregular. Because of this, breast soreness can happen unexpectedly and more often than usual.  

Will all women experience this, though? Of course not. But the number is high. According to one review, 68 to 85% of postmenopausal women experience sexual problems. That being said, while the majority of women seem to feel this way, many other postmenopausal women won’t experience all these symptoms.

As a matter of fact, for some women, knowing that the risk of pregnancy is gone for good can be great news and make them feel more relaxed about being intimate with their partners. Also, as menopause happens after a certain age, women who have had children before are more naturally focused on their individual lives, including their love life.    

The most important thing is to understand that menopause affects each woman differently. For some, life won’t change much because of it. But for others, their mental health can be deeply and negatively affected.

Can menopause cause depression?

head in hands depressed

But is it normal to feel so emotionally drained during menopause? How much is too much?

As we mentioned, women in menopause might experience very uncomfortable symptoms. As if that wasn’t enough, these symptoms can last for years and years. When transitioning to menopause, many women find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster. So yes, it’s no surprise that all of this, along with hormonal changes, this transition can lead to depression. 

Psychiatrist Jennifer Payne, director of Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins explain that women, in general, are more like to develop depression than men. Plus, the fall of estrogen and progesterone levels can “trigger mood swings that make you less able to cope with things you’d normally let roll off your back”, she says.

Another major factor for this risk to be so high is because of insomnia issues so many women find themselves dealing with. A constant lack of sleep can lead to poor quality of life. People who suffer from this are much more likely to become depressed. 

Depression is a tricky diagnosis and very different for each person. There are some amazing lifestyle changes (like a healthy plant-based diet) that can make a huge difference, and we will focus on that later in this post. But if you find yourself or know someone that is dealing with severe depression, make sure you seek professional advice.

Menopause and diet

handful of spinach

Is a plant-based diet good for menopause? What are the best plant-based foods for menopause? Before we answer these questions, we want to understand how menopause symptoms can be linked to food. Firstly, healthy eating during menopause is super important for good health, and of course for anyone at any time in life. But in this case specifically, eating a variety of rich-nutrient foods can make this menopause transition much more manageable. But how does diet affect menopause, exactly? 

One of the main concerns for women in menopause is the dramatic way their metabolism changes. And a common question around this is: can you gain weight because of menopause? Well, low levels of estrogen can definitely cause unwanted weight gain and affect cholesterol. Additionally, these hormone changes negatively impact bone density which increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. 

Plant-based diets can help are good for menopause because of how much they can offer. And what is that? It’s the right combination of nutrients. For example, while eating foods rich in calcium such as beans and broccoli, is key for bone health, calcium won’t be fully absorbed if estrogen is low. Plant-based foods can cover both these issues all at once. We will soon get more into that.

While every woman is different, a healthy diet packed with foods high in estrogen can ease help with this and many other symptoms. For example, a common question surrounding menopause is “Can menopause cause high blood pressure?”.Blood pressure changes happen for a variety of reasons. One of them is simply due to aging. Since menopause is a natural part of that, an unwanted change in blood pressure can happen simultaneously, yes. 

trailmix stethoscope

But that’s not the only reason. 

Estrogen (again) plays a big role here. When estrogen levels are low, our blood pressure is likely to increase. This happens because low estrogen levels make it harder for our arteries to fully dilate. 

While it’s always good to be careful and check in with your doctor, it’s a fact that blood pressure can also be managed through a healthy plant-based diet. Vegetarian diets have long been associated with low blood pressure.  

Is a plant-based diet good for menopause? 

Can a plant-based diet help with menopause? As you can see, yes! Eating healthy on a plant-based diet is quite easy. Plus, there are a variety of plant-based foods naturally rich in estrogen!  

Here’s a list of plant-based foods rich in estrogen:

  • edamame
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • dried fruits (such as dates and apricots)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • celery
  • organic soy milk
  • berries

And here’s a list of plant-based foods rich in calcium:

  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • dark greens (spinach, kale, broccoli…)
  • sweet potatoes
  • soybean sprouts
  • almonds

Well there it is, a plant-based diet is good for menopause! That’s because it easily improves a person’s health and quality of life. And that’s exactly what women going through menopause need. Including more natural plant-based foods on their diet can relieve menopause symptoms which is truly amazing for women. 

So yes, plant-based foods in general, especially those rich in estrogen, can make menopause more bearable. And, of course, make women feel much better while dealing with complicated changes. 

As usual, a plant-based diet is an easy and amazing way to improve life quality. In this case, including more natural plant-based foods can relieve menopause symptoms which is truly an amazing option for women. These plant-based foods rich in estrogen can make menopause more bearable and make women feel much better. 

It’s widely proven that a healthy plant-based diet can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. With the right nutrients and a variety of plant-based foods, you will feel healthier each day. 

Can menopause cause nausea?

While eating a variety of foods is undoubtedly super beneficial for everyone, women going through menopause often complain about nausea. But does menopause cause nausea? If yes, why?

While this isn’t a problem for every woman, low levels of progesterone might be responsible for triggering nausea. Although it’s a common complaint, there aren’t many studies focused on this particular symptom. However, hormones fluctuation can cause gastrointestinal problems and these problems can make a woman feel nauseous. But that’s not the only possible reason. 

Emotional health is a key factor for good digestion too and quality of life in general. Increased stress, fatigue, and anxiety can all be associated with gastrointestinal discomforts. That’s why it’s so important to understand how different aspects of a lifestyle can affect our health.

A natural approach 

leafy green salad walnuts

We believe in a natural approach to health. However, some women may need to rely on medication depending on how severe their symptoms are pre or postmenopause. That’s normal and it’s good to know that it’s always a possibility. It’s extremely important to check in with your doctor from time to time and make sure your tests are looking good. 

That being said, a healthy way of living can do wonders for our health. So if you’re still asking yourself – Is a plant-based diet good for menopause? – have no more doubt about it. Eating a whole foods plant-based diet is definitely the most effective and natural way for better health. And it’s not just because plant-based foods are full of nutrients. It’s because once you make this decision, you naturally feel good and more in control of your health. This encourages you to keep making significant lifestyle changes that are good for you. 

For example, exercising. Moving your body is a natural and very effective way of feeling good. With a plant-based diet, you can achieve great results, both mental and physical. Plant-based sources of proteins help you build muscles and feel stronger.

Another example: sleeping. Did you know that plant-based foods can make you sleep better? This is true because plant-based foods are naturally higher in fiber and low in saturated fat. This combo can help you have a more restorative night of sleep. People who start eating more healthy plant-based foods soon find this out and discover which makes them feel much more energized during the day too. 

in bedsheets

As we mentioned before, sleeping well is key to feeling well. We can’t function the same if we don’t rest enough. Many people underestimate the power of uninterrupted hours of sleep. Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. If you’re not, consider yourself lucky! And I’m sure you probably know many people that deal with sleeping problems. Insomnia will worsen anyone’s irritability and it can make us feel much less energetic and happy. 

Living well with menopause

As you can see, menopause symptoms are not supposed to interfere with life quality. They can be complicated, but they are also manageable. Women deserve to live well through this new period of life and that’s completely possible! Although menopause can be challenging at first, symptoms can get better. Women can and should enjoy this period of life just as much as the others. 

Changing lifestyle habits and adopting a healthy plant-based diet can make a huge difference.

Although it’s considered a part of aging, when you think about it, women are actually quite young when going through menopause. Women in their 40’s and 50’s still have a long life to live and menopause should definitely not get in the way of that. If making lifestyle changes is the answer, what could be easier?

Adopting a plant-based diet

If you are not familiar with what eating healthy on a plant-based diet looks like, make sure you read some other posts on the blog. We have tons of posts here linking all kinds of health topics with a plant-based diet. Also, we have blog posts entirely focused on nutrients and full of delicious recipes. 

If you want to adopt this lifestyle – and we hope you do! – we are certain you will feel better and see for yourself the amazing health impacts it can bring to your life.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and give plant-based a try!