How the Modern Diet has Worsened Your Menopause

July 28, 2020

07 / 28 / 2020

Your menopause can be a nightmare and the modern food industry is partly to blame.  With every new processed food introduced into the North American diet, more and more sugar and toxic substances are being consumed.

Modern foods have robbed you of your ability to leverage your own immune system to protect you against disease and even to offer you a smooth ride through menopause.

“ … fast food is about as destructive and evil as it gets. It celebrates a mentality of sloth, convenience, and a cheerful embrace of food we know is hurting us.” ~Anthony Bourdain

A major study of 17,000 menopausal women published in the journal Menopause found that women who ate several servings of clean foods including fruits and vegetables, as well as properly prepared nuts and grains, experienced fewer hot flashes than women who ate modern foods that contained far less nutrients.  

Eating whole, nutrient dense, well sourced, minimally processed and properly prepared foods is the definition of Eating Clean. When this kind of eating becomes a lifestyle, you are supporting your wellness in the best way possible.

Why you should eat lots of plant-based foods to curb the menopause symptoms

Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and all the stinky veggies are going to be powerful allies when your biology starts changing as you age.  At least fifty percent of your plate, at every meal, should be covered in greens!

Make friends with these and all plants because they have the power to positively impact your estrogen levels.  Many plants have phytoestrogens – naturally occurring plant estrogens – which are similar to your own.  Their molecular structure is so similar that these plant based estrogens can bind to the same receptors meant for your own estrogen.  

See also: Your Guide to a Whole-Foods Plant-Based Diet

Broccoli in particular has a positive impact on estrogen levels increasing the estrogen responsible for decreasing breast cancer risk.

Why you need even more water during menopause

Water is still the world’s number one nutritional deficiency.  That likely means you are not drinking enough water on a daily basis.

Your need for water increases dramatically during menopause. Think of night sweats, hot flashes and the overall increased experience of heat in your body. You’re already not drinking enough water but menopause amplifies your need.

What’s more, the higher your hydration level the less likely are to suffer from the annoying symptoms associated with menopause.  

The general rule of thumb for water consumption is 64 ounces per day, or 8 x 8 ounces of water – that’s 3 liters.  

During menopause use this formula instead: drink ½ to ⅔ your body weight in ounces of water per day.  For example:  if you weigh 140 pounds, drink from 70 to 75 ounces of water per day.

Pay attention if you suffer from dizziness, nausea or irritability.  You may simply be dehydrated.  See how quickly you can turn those sensations around by drinking plenty of water!

Many of you ask me why your skin is crepey and loose and what you can do about it.  The answer is to drink more water.  Fluctuating hormones and dehydration are to blame.

Why you need 2 tablespoons of this every day

Flaxseed is a traditional food, used in baked goods, cereals and smoothies for its valuable heart healthy fats and lignans.  

There’s good news about flaxseed in relation to menopause.  A recent study found that 40 grams of flaxseed worked as well as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to manage mild menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. 

There is some controversy over whether flax helped with menopause symptoms or not but in either case, two tablespoons of ground flaxseed, or about 40 grams, is considered to be the gold standard therapeutic dose to help manage menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes.

This is thanks to the main powerhouse nutrient in flaxseed; a group of phytonutrients called lignans.  Lignans are fibrous polyphenols that have a high antioxidant value. They also behave as phytoestrogens or plant estrogens, essentially offering similar protection against developing certain cancers.

It certainly can’t hurt to add flax to your diet. The seeds are always better than the oil, since the lignan content is far greater in seeds. But the seeds have to be ground in order to get the full value.

Why you need to go for zero 

If there’s one ingredient that exacerbates menopausal symptoms it’s refined carbohydrates and sugar. 

Study after study shows that if you eat a diet high in sugar you can expect to experience worsened menopausal symptoms.  

The reason is that sugar and estrogen don’t get along.  Estrogen levels are already fluctuating during menopause.  It’s the rise and fall of these levels that make you so uncomfortable.  Consuming sugar makes things much worse.  After eating sugar, your insulin levels rise dramatically, which lowers the amount of a certain protein called SHBG.  

What’s the importance of this protein?  When SHBG rises your estrogen levels increase.  So eating sugar makes your insulin and your estrogen spike.  Eating refined sugar and sugar-like products makes your menopause experience dramatically worse. 

It’s obvious that it makes complete sense to quit sugar altogether, or do a round of Strike Sugar and put out the fire.  My goal for sugar consumption is less than the daily allowance suggested by the WHO of 6 grams per day.  I say go for zero. Learn our 7 strategies to help strike sugar from your diet.

Note: When I was writing this, I showed the picture of the sugar cubes to my granddaughter Grayson, who eats very clean, she didn’t know what they were.

Why Clean Living makes Menopause better

A Clean Living lifestyle is the solution for many of your pains and trials, from being overweight to suffering from a “fires from hell” menopause.  

There isn’t anything you can do that has more value for your wellness. Eating Clean is the critical foundational piece for establishing your baseline of health. Put solid clean nutrients in, get optimal health!

See also: Eating Clean 101: Build Healthy Meals With Tosca Reno

Health is the state you achieve when your body does the job of protecting you against imbalances, breakdowns and pathogens. Your body already houses every pharmaceutical it needs to heal itself. 

But you can’t tap into that pharmacy when you don’t give your body the chance to do this.  

The factors that prevent you from accessing your own healing can be called the PITTSS:

Poor nutrition



Trauma (emotional and physical)


Sleep (lack of it)

What it requires more of is your support to keep it functioning flawlessly. This applies to your state of menopause too. Clean Living makes your menopause experience more seamless than you could ever imagine. 

I’ve created a free guide to 10 Foods to Support You Through Menopause. Discover them and get some of my favorite Eat Clean recipes that incorporate these menopause busting foods right here

How are you experiencing menopause so far? Please comment below and let me know! Have you found a shift in diet has helped or harmed? 

Remember, I am always listening.

Your wellness is my passion.



Tosca Reno

Author, columnist, motivational speaker, reality TV star, radio personality, consultant, mother and wife, Tosca Reno has been inspiring millions with the Eat Clean™️ Diet series and sharing the success she's had with weight loss and Clean Eating.


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