Diet, Exercise and Mental Health during menopause

Bowl of plant-based food

This month we speak to Andrew Petrou, a practising Osteopath and registered Dietary Counsellor based in London. Andrew has over 10 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry, this month he shares some expert advice and understanding of the importance of diet, exercise, and mental health, during menopause.


A high-fat, low-fiber diet causes a rise in oestrogen levels. Women who follow higher-fat diets have measurably more oestrogen activity than those on low-fat diets. So, during menopause, when oestrogen levels decrease, women on high-fat diets will have a dramatic drop in oestrogen levels. Certain foods may trigger hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Common triggers include caffeine, alcohol and foods that are high in sugar and spice.

Top tips:

  • Adopt a low-fat diet to manage the severity of any drops in oestrogen.
  • Keep a symptom diary. If you think a particular food is triggering your menopause symptoms, try to reduce your consumption or avoid it completely.


Oestrogen plays a key role in building new bone. As your oestrogen levels drop during menopause, so can your bone density. In fact, bone density often drops at a fast rate during the first few years of menopause. As a result, your risk of bone fractures increases significantly.

To keep an eye on your bone strength, consider getting a bone density test. This test is an X-ray that measures your bone thickness and strength and can help you assess how strong your bones are.

Top tips:

  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D
  • Practice strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or yoga
  • Learn to exercise in safe ways to help prevent bone fractures and other injuries

Mental Health

Depression and irritability are common problems for menopausal women. When considering treatment for depression, irritability, or anxiety, it is important to explore the full range of available options.

Top Tips

  • Stabilise hormone shifts and reduce physical symptoms by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
  • Psychotherapy can be very useful, explore short-term techniques such as CBT and Talking Therapies.