Do you feel hopeless against menopausal symptoms – primarily hot flashes? You are not alone.
Many, if not all women that go through menopause, are subject to notorious hot flashes. The good news is that there are specific foods that can be avoided to fend off the severity and frequency of this pesky symptom. Use the helpful guide below to aide with healthy eating, educate yourself on a balanced diet, and learn to battle inevitable hot flashes.
Since estrogen levels dramatically fall during menopause, the hypothalamus (AKA: the control center of brain) cannot regulate one’s body temperature efficiently. As a result, women often feel as if they are over-heated; the body tries to counteract this feeling and cool it down via sending blood to the skin’s surface, which often leads to a reddened appearance. Research has shown time and time again that a “Mediterranean” diet is best to decrease these effects. This diet consists of primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil; the high fiber content associated with this diet likely stabilizes estrogen levels which lessens symptoms of hot flashes. Outlined below are examples of foods to gravitate towards to see the best results:
- Soy Products – these mimic the actions of estrogen and can relieve menopausal symptoms; notably, one study found that soy reduces hot flashes by 45%
- Flaxseed – great source of antioxidants and promote heart health
- Oily fish – contain omega-3 fatty acids which reduce frequency of hot flashes if incorporated into the diet consistently
- Fruits and vegetables that primarily contain antioxidants C & E – reduces intensity and frequency of hot flashes due to increased adrenal gland function
- Whole grains – increase estrogen levels via mimicking naturally occurring estrogen functions/action
- Sardines – omega-3 fatty acid benefits
Although favorable foods for fighting against hot flashes were discussed above- beware of the following foods that are known to trigger hot flashes. Try your best to avoid and/or limit your consumption of these to decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes:
- Hot drinks
- Spicy foods
- High sugar-containing foods
- Excessive dairy
- Red meat
*Excessive diary and red meat are pro-inflammatory foods that lead to hormone imbalances in the adrenal glands which may in fact increase both the frequency and severity of hot flashes and associated symptoms.