Many women who are experiencing menopause complain of hot flashes. In fact, it is the most common complaint, affecting almost 80% of women. This often debilitating, or at the very least annoying symptom can cause a lot of discomfort and stress to the woman who suffers from them, and can greatly impact quality of life.
There are treatments for hot flashes, with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) being the most effective, however it does carry risks, especially for women 60 or older, and others with risk factors for certain conditions. The good news is that HRT is not only your only option for dealing with hot flashes. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that simple changes to your diet can help relieve the hot flashes.
Best Foods To Ease Hot Flashes
The study spanned nine years and researchers found that a woman’s likelihood of experiencing hot flashes dropped by 20% when they incorporated some of the following ten foods into their diets.
High in isoflavones, plant estrogens are thought to have estrogen like effects to reduce hot flashes. Soy has the highest amounts of isoflavones, with the highest levels being found in soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils.
Vitamin B, which is found in eggs, plays an important part in allowing the adrenal gland function to stabilize. Stabilizing the adrenal gland promotes estrogen and progesterone balance, which greatly reduces the chances of a hot flash.
Eating at least one clove of garlic per day, either raw or cooked, can help balance your hormones and prevent hot flashes. This is because garlic contains phytoestrogens, which are a plant-based hormone that mimics your body’s estrogen.
Mushrooms contain a mineral called selenium. People with low levels of selenium have been found to have higher stress levels. Having high stress levels triggers a rise in epinephrine, which in turn, triggers hot flashes to occur. Maitake and shiitake mushrooms have the highest levels of selenium, and are thought to be the best choices.
- Bell peppers
Vitamin C is known for its hormone stabilizing properties. Even though yellow bell peppers are the highest in vitamin C, red and green bell peppers are both good options as well. Bell peppers also contribute to the management of blood sugar levels. Maintaining balance in the blood sugar levels can reduce hot flashes.
- Salad greens
Salad greens provide the body with antioxidants and promote healthy blood sugar levels that help stabilize estrogen levels. Regulating blood sugar and estrogen levels reduces the chances of hot flashes.
Similar to garlic, strawberries are high in phytoestrogens that help keep hormone levels balanced. Also high in vitamin C, strawberries are a great addition to a diet that aims to reduce hot flashes.
Also high in vitamin C, pineapples help prevent chemical changes to estrogen which can help prevent hot flashes.
Honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe are more great choices to get vitamin C into your diet. Another great benefit to melons is they can help cool you down when you are experiencing a hot flash.
- Whole wheat pasta
Unlike white flour pasta, which is high in starch and can trigger a hot flash, whole-wheat pasta contains fiber to help manage your blood sugars as well as phytoestrogens. If you aren’t a fan of pasta, another option for phytoestrogens is whole-grain breads.
Adding the foods above will help limit hot flashes. In addition, it is important to cut out foods that can trigger hot flashes. Among the top foods are dairy products, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. These foods will not just trigger hot flashes but they can also create hormonal imbalances, leading to mood swings and increase the level of acid in the blood.
You don’t need to do an entire overhaul on your diet all at once. In fact, if you do you will likely not be able to stick to the changes. The best way to make the changes is to slowly substitute one food at a time. By simply changing a few of your dietary habits, your hot flashes can soon be a thing of the past.