How A Plant-Based Diet Can Help Reduce Menopausal Symptoms

Across the world, many different dietary trends are circulating. For several decades at least, food trends have been a key part of our culture. Some of them are positive, like a vegan diet, which can improve the health of not only the person consuming the food but also the environment more generally (via BBC Good Food). However, many others have proven to be problematic (via U.S. News & World Report).

Social media plays a major role in perpetuating some of these dodgy diets, but platforms like TikTok can also offer some healthy tips, too. In particular, plant-based, as opposed to vegan, diets continue to be hugely popular online. Harvard Health has conducted several studies on the benefits of eating a more plant-based diet, meaning cutting out meat for a healthier plan based on consuming more vegetables overall.  

Those on a plant-based diet can either choose to cut out dairy completely or consume it in moderation. It's no secret that eating a diet centered around vegetables is healthy, but studies are gradually uncovering that a plant-based lifestyle can even ease the symptoms of menopause too. 

A new study discovered several benefits in favor of switching to a plant-based diet

Switching to a plant-based diet can be beneficial in many ways. Eating mostly plant-based meals can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke, as well as ease the symptoms of certain mental health-related illnesses, per The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Likewise, scientists have discovered that a plant-based diet may not just reduce your risk of getting serious illnesses, but it may also help to ease the symptoms of menopause. 

Dietary changes can even replace hormone therapy while reducing the effects of hot flashes in particular. A study conducted by The North American Menopause Society published in the health journal "Menopause" found that those who ate a low-fat, plant-based diet rich in soy content had an 88% reduction in their menopause symptoms, specifically hot flashes, compared to hormone replacement therapy, which typically results in a 70-90% overall reduction.  

Participants in the study also lost roughly eight pounds in the 12 weeks they were eating a plant-based diet. "Our results mirror the diets of places in the world, like pre-Westernized Japan and the modern-day Yucatán Peninsula, where a low fat, plant-based diet including soybeans is more prevalent and where postmenopausal women experience fewer symptoms," shared lead researcher Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in a news release