nutrition plans for women

Menopause is confirmed after 12 months without a period. But the transition through perimenopause and menopause and the associated symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats and difficulty sleeping, weight gain and slowing metabolism, and issues with skin and hair health can last for years. Menopause is linked to many other symptoms and also to increased risk for certain diseases, but incorporating or avoiding certain foods in your diet can help reduce symptoms and ensure you feel healthy and strong for years to come. March is National Nutrition Month and we want to help you explore the importance of good nutrition during menopause.

Nutrition & Menopause

During menopause estrogen levels begin to decline. This decline can affect your metabolism leading to weight gain, impact cholesterol levels, and change the way your body digests certain foods. Hormone changes can also lead to bone density loss increasing your risk for arthritis and bone fractures. Fluctuating hormone levels can interrupt sleep and interrupt your body’s temperature regulation too. 

Foods To Feel Good And Support Your Health

Healthy Fats
Healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids may help ease certain symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. Omega-3 fats can be found in:

  • Fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, anchovies, and mackerel
  • Nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, walnuts, and chia
  • Plant oils such as soybean and canola
  • Vegetables such as brussel sprouts, avocado, and navy beans

Whole Grains
A diet that includes sufficient whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. These are all diseases that menopausal and post-menopausal women are shown to be at greater risk for. Whole grains are high in many vitamins and nutrients including thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and B vitamins. Whole grains are also a great source of dietary fibre. Ideal sources of whole grains include:

  • Kamut
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Rye
  • Bulgur
  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Quinoa

Because of the declining estrogen levels associated with menopause, bone density is a concern. A diet rich in dairy is essential for bone health. Dairy is also thought to promote healthy sleep. Dairy is a great source of calcium, but also of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins D and K… all contributors to strong bones. Healthy dairy products and other foods with calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Fish with bones such as sardines and anchovies
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes
  • Fortified plant milks
  • Almonds
  • Edamame and tofu

Fruits And Vegetables
Every healthy diet should include fruits and vegetables. The Canada Food Guide recommends that half of your plate at every meal should consist of fruits and veggies. These foods are packed with goodness like dietary fibre, antioxidants, and tons of vitamins and minerals. For women in menopause there is a link between a diet that is high in a variety of fruits and vegetables, fibre, and soy and a reduction in hot flashes. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts have been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer. And dark berries such as strawberries may contribute to lowered blood pressure. Every fruit and vegetable has a host of benefits and your overall health will improve with a diet rich in these foods.

A balanced diet that contains sufficient amounts of all food groups and avoids highly processed foods, foods high in sugar, and foods high in unhealthy fats may help decrease the frequency or severity of the symptoms associated with menopause. But choosing to eat well is guaranteed to improve your overall health and keep you strong and enjoying life during menopause and beyond.

Nutritional Counselling For Women In Menopause At Shephard Health

Shephard Health offers nutritional counselling to help women understand the importance of the correct dietary choices and targeted supplementation to address hormonal imbalances, weight and metabolism issues, sleep concerns, disease prevention, mood regulation, and comprehensive overall health and well-being. To learn more about the benefits of healthy eating and how nutritional counselling can provide tailored advice to help you achieve optimal wellness during menopause, contact our team for a complimentary consultation.

Dr. Shephard is one of Calgary’s Top 3 Rated Chiropractors. He and the team at Shephard Health use a variety of treatment modalities to relieve pain, restore movement and mobility, and achieve overall health and wellness at our NW Calgary clinic in Kensington. The Shephard Health team has over 20 years of experience in services ranging from Nutritional Counselling to Chiropractic Care and Spinal Decompression Therapy to Active Release Technique. We are committed to providing personalized treatment solutions to support women’s health during menopause and through every phase and stage of life. We offer a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to assure you that we are the right team to help you achieve your goals for complete wellness and pain-free living. Call us at 1-403-543-7499 to book your appointment.


Q: What is the average age of menopause?
A: The average age of menopause for Canadian women is 51.5 years. This would be confirmed after 12 months without a menstrual period. But the changes associated with reproductive health can begin during perimenopause and last for several years through menopause and beyond.

Q: What does nutritional counselling include?
A: The first step in nutritional counselling is to book your complimentary consultation. Counselling also includes follow-up visits where we will analyze your food journals, guide you in your meal planning, food shopping, and food preparation. We also assist you with long-term goal setting, and we encourage and support you along your journey towards better health.

Q: What other concerns can nutritional counselling help?
A: Nutritional counselling provides tailored, realistic solutions for any one at any age who is experiencing challenges in their health or eating habits. 



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