The Best Diet for Perimenopause

Are you feeling the physical and emotional symptoms of perimenopause? You aren’t alone. Learn how to counteract the effects of this natural transition with the best diet to get you through.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Perimenopause

  • ✅ Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can reduce menopause symptoms and reduce the risk of chronic diseases (Mayo Clinic).
  • ✅ Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week is beneficial for managing perimenopause symptoms (Harvard Medical School).
  • ✅ Limiting the intake of refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and saturated fats is important for controlling weight gain during perimenopause (American Heart Association).
  • ✅ Foods containing phytoestrogens, such as tofu, legumes, and flaxseed, may help alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, and other perimenopause symptoms (National Institute on Aging).
  • ✅ Supplements such as calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce perimenopause symptoms and improve overall health (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).


The Best Diet for Perimenopause is a comprehensive guide to nutrition during the transition from pre-menopause to menopause. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet during perimenopause can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, and sleep disturbances. By consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages, many women find that they to able to ease their body through this natural stage of life more comfortably.

This guide will cover topics including:

  • The differences between perimenopause and menopause
  • Guidance on meal planning
  • Nutrient information regarding common foods consumed during this period of life
  • Important dietary supplements that many women find beneficial when transitioning through this stage.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Perimenopause is a period of time leading up to menopause, in which women may experience hormonal fluctuations. Diet is a key factor in managing these fluctuations. Different foods can either help or aggravate certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue.

In this article, we’ll look into the best diet for perimenopause in order to manage the hormonal changes that occur during this stage.

Estrogen Levels

Estrogen levels fluctuate during perimenopause, the period of time leading up to menopause. The fluctuating hormones can cause several changes in the body, such as hot flashes and night sweats. As estrogen levels decrease, women may experience a loss of libido, mood swings, thinning hair, and weight gain.

It’s important to be mindful of what you’re eating during this period of hormonal transition. Eating a balanced diet while focusing on nutrient-rich foods can help manage symptoms.

Foods that contain helpful phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) can be beneficial in moderating estrogen levels; these include:

  • Flax seeds
  • Soybeans and tofu
  • Legumes and nuts
  • Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and sardines.

Additionally, boosting your intake of vitamins D and B6 can also help address hormonal imbalances during perimenopause.

Progesterone Levels

Progesterone is one of the primary hormones involved in the body’s regulation of female reproductive cycles. During perimenopause, a woman’s progesterone levels can fluctuate unpredictably. This change in hormone production can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes, headaches, and fatigue.

Eating a balanced diet is one of the best ways to keep your progesterone levels in check during perimenopause. The most important nutrient for maintaining healthy progesterone levels is zinc, which plays an important role in hormone production and regulation. Salmon, spinach, and wheat germ are all excellent sources of zinc that should be included in your diet during perimenopause.

Other nutrients that may help to balance hormones levels include Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. Eating foods like tuna, bananas, avocados, kale, sweet potatoes, and brown rice can help ensure you’re getting enough of these essential vitamins and minerals throughout your perimenopausal years.

Nutritional Needs

Perimenopause can cause a variety of changes in a woman’s body, and nutrition is key to managing some of these changes. Knowing what and how to eat can help you maintain your energy levels, manage mood swings, and stay fit during this period.

In this article, we will be discussing the nutritional needs during perimenopause and how to ensure you are getting the right nutrients.


In general, during perimenopause, women should strive to consume at least 0.45 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. Women who are physically active or strength train should increase the recommended amount to 0.68–0.9 grams per pound of body weight each day. Protein has many benefits for menopausal women, including improving body composition, helping maintain healthy bones, and providing satiety (the feeling of being full). Women who have difficulty reaching this goal may need to supplement their diet with protein powders or nutrition bars.

Good sources of dietary protein include:

  • Eggs
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Legumes (beans and lentils)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy products (if tolerated)
  • Quinoa
  • Certain grains such as bulgur wheat and buckwheat
  • Seeds such as chia and hemp seeds
  • Poultry such as chicken or turkey breast

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, especially during perimenopause. Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids that our bodies need to function properly and can help decrease inflammation caused by hormonal fluctuations.

Examples of healthy sources of dietary fat include:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fatty fish
  • Plant-based oils like safflower and coconut oil

Eating healthy fats in moderation helps promote overall health and well-being as you age. Additionally, these healthy fats can help offset cravings associated with perimenopausal symptoms such as fatigue or low energy levels.

In addition to eating these healthy fats regularly, consider including them in any meal plans or snacks throughout the day in order to get the most out of their nutritional benefits.


As women enter into the perimenopause stage of life, their bodies experience many changes in the areas of nutrition and fiber intake. During this period, a woman’s body needs more fiber than before because it helps reduce blood sugar levels that rise during perimenopause. Additionally, fiber can help reduce symptoms of menopause by improving digestion and reducing constipation.

Some good sources of dietary fiber include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains and oat bran
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds like flaxseed and chia seeds can be added to smoothies or cereals to increase daily fiber intake.

It’s also important to stay hydrated while increasing fiber intake by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will assist with digestive health so your body can absorb more nutrients from your meals. Lastly, if you are taking additional supplements for menopause relief like soy isoflavones, you should work with a registered dietician or healthcare provider to ensure you’re on track for meeting your nutritional needs during perimenopause.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that help to support the body’s ability to perform its many biochemical processes. During perimenopause, it is important for women to ensure that they meet their daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals in order to maintain healthy bones, hormones, and overall health. Some of the key vitamins and minerals for menopausal women include calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins.

  • Calcium plays an important role in bone health during perimenopause. Women should aim for 1300mg of calcium each day.
  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium; a minimum of 600 IU (15 mcg) is recommended daily.
  • Magnesium helps regulate over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body; 400–500 mg are suggested each day.
  • Zinc supports immune system function; 8–11 mg daily is recommended for menopausal women as well as premenopausal women planning on having children soon.
  • Iron contributes to red blood cell production; 8–18 mg per day may also be required against symptoms such as fatigue or poor concentration levels associated with menopause.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation caused by perimenopause; a minimum of 500mg each day is ideal for those looking to supplement their diet with these healthy fats.
  • Lastly, B-complex vitamins are vital for metabolism—a range between 50–100 mcg each day is suggested depending on an individual’s needs and dietary restrictions.

Food Choices

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for women going through Perimenopause. Choosing the right food can provide support for physical and mental health during this time. Knowing what foods to eat and what to avoid can help optimize energy levels.

Let’s examine the best food choices for Perimenopause:

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an important part of a balanced diet, especially during perimenopause when your body needs extra nutrients to help it manage the hormonal changes. Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber to help support good digestion and sustained energy levels. Some good sources of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley and wild rice.

Maximizing your intake of these grains through using them as the base for salads and side dishes or adding them to soups is one way to ensure you’re getting a range of essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. In addition to helping with regularity and digestion, whole grains can also help reduce cholesterol levels due to their high fiber content. Incorporating these into your diet will ensure you’re providing your body with the necessary fuel for optimal health during perimenopause.

Lean Meats

Lean meats, such as chicken or turkey, are an excellent dietary choice for perimenopause. These lean proteins are a good source of iron and zinc which can help counteract the effects of hormonal changes in perimenopause. Lean meats also contain good amounts of Vitamin B12 and B6; both of which can help reduce inflammation in the body associated with the transition through perimenopause.

When choosing lean meats, opt for organic, free-range options if possible to ensure you’re getting the most nutrient bang for your buck. Additionally, try to eat these types of proteins with other nutritious options such as dark leafy greens and/or whole grains like quinoa or brown rice. Choosing lean meats over red meat is beneficial because they’re lower in calories and saturated fats while still providing adequate levels of essential amino acids that our bodies need to function properly.


Legumes are a group of plant-based foods that can provide a wealth of nutrition for perimenopause. Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils and are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins. Not only do they provide essential nutrients such as magnesium, iron and B vitamins, they also offer benefits that may help to alleviate the symptoms associated with perimenopause such as hot flashes and mood swings.

Additionally, legumes are low in calories and fat but high in filling fiber making them an ideal snack or addition to meals to keep you feeling full longer. Examples of legumes include garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, black beans, soybeans (edamame) lentils and split peas.

For best results it is recommended that legumes be cooked rather than eaten raw as this will help reduce their carbohydrate count making them easier to digest.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be a staple of any diet for perimenopause, as these foods are rich in antioxidants which help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress. They are an important source of vitamins and minerals which can help reduce symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue and mood swings. Fruits and vegetables also provide fiber which helps keep the digestive system regular.

Aim for a varied selection consisting of:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach.
  • Bright or deep colored fruits like oranges, tangerines and blueberries.
  • Root vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots.
  • Legumes such as beans or lentils.
  • Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Fresh herbs.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal but frozen varieties can also be beneficial in providing essential nutrients.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are an important part of a balanced diet during perimenopause. They are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin E, all of which can help to reduce stress hormones, improve mood, and fight inflammation. Additionally, they’re a great source of protein and fiber for healthy weight management.

When it comes to adding nuts and seeds into your perimenopause diet, look for unsalted varieties that have not been roasted or processed with unhealthy oils. Avoid packaged nuts or snacks that contain added sugar or unhealthy oils. The best choice is to choose the nuts in bulk from the store and make your own nut butter or trail mix at home. Keep portions reasonable since these foods are calorie-dense; one serving size should include about ¼ cup of nuts or seeds. Examples include walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds.

Healthy Fats

When it comes to perimenopause, the key is to find a balance between what your body needs to stay healthy and what it actually wants. One great way to do that is to focus on eating healthy fats.

Healthy fats are important during perimenopause as they help support hormone balance, maintain cholesterol levels, improve skin elasticity and improve absorption of many vitamins like Vitamin A, D and E.

Healthy fats include foods such as:

  • Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds like chia and flaxseeds (in moderation)
  • Grass-fed butter and ghee
  • Nut butters made from nuts like almond or cashew butter
  • Coconut oil or coconut milk

Eating these healthy fats in moderate amounts can help reduce hot flashes, boost energy levels and keep hormones in check during this time of life.

Meal Planning

Meal planning can be a great way to stay on track with a healthy diet during perimenopause. When you plan ahead, you can ensure that you include the necessary nutrients in your meals while avoiding unhealthy foods. Additionally, meal planning can help you save time and money by letting you batch cook and make fewer trips to the grocery store.

Let’s look at how to plan healthy meals for perimenopause:

Make a Grocery List

Meal planning is essential for creating a nutritious, balanced diet. When creating a grocery list it’s important to focus on fresh, whole ingredients like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins. Additionally, foods that are high in dietary fiber are beneficial for digestion and overall health.

Creating a grocery list can also help you stay on track with your eating habits and reduce food waste from overbuying or impulse purchases. It’s important to include meal components that can be repurposed such as cooked grains or roasted vegetables so that you have nutritious components ready throughout the week. Additionally, planning ahead by prepping or making larger batches of food like soups and stews can save time and make mealtime easier during busy days.

Plan Ahead

Planning meals ahead of time is one of the best ways to ensure a balanced diet during perimenopause. This means cooking meals in bulk and portioning out smaller servings to be reheated as needed. Meal planning allows you to make sure that you are getting the right quantity of nutritious foods throughout the week. Additionally, it helps prevent snacking on unhealthy processed snacks and fast food. Not only can this reduce bloating and fatigue, but it can also help maintain a healthy weight over time.

You don’t have to plan every single meal – just a few basics that you can cook in bulk will suffice! Benefits of meal planning include:

  • Reducing bloating and fatigue
  • Maintaining a healthy weight over time
  • Saving money on groceries

Cook in Bulk

Cooking in bulk is an essential part of any meal plan, especially when it comes to dealing with the complexities of perimenopause. When confronted with a host of dietary needs and preferences, cooking large batches of food can help maintain an even balance from day to day.

For instance, if you need to maintain balanced hormone production during perimenopause, cooking larger amounts of cruciferous vegetables – like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower – is essential for consistent results. Additionally, cook a variety of lean proteins like chicken, fish or tofu and complex carbohydrates like quinoa or brown rice to provide necessary energy throughout the day.

Eating healthy snacks and having quick meals prepared ahead of time can also help stay on track with your diet plan while dealing with the fluctuations caused by perimenopause.


Overall, the best diet for perimenopause should be a balanced and nutritious one. It should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. Additionally, it’s important to limit processed foods and added sugars while increasing fiber intake. Finally, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body functioning optimally.

By following these dietary principles, you can help alleviate perimenopausal symptoms and promote optimal health during this life transition period. Along with a healthy diet, exercise and relaxation are important components for managing symptoms during perimenopause.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Perimenopause

Q: What are the best foods for perimenopause?

A: Healthy eating habits are important for perimenopause. It’s important to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Eating foods high in fiber, such as oats and beans, is beneficial for regulating hormones. Healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts and avocados, are also important.

Q: What foods should I avoid during perimenopause?

A: It’s best to avoid processed, sugary, and fried foods during perimenopause. Caffeine and alcohol can also worsen symptoms, so it’s best to limit your intake.

Q: Are supplements helpful for perimenopause?

A: Supplements may be helpful for some women going through perimenopause. Some supplements, such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, black cohosh, and evening primrose oil, may help reduce symptoms. However, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

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