9 Foods That Fight Hot Flashes – Menopause is a natural process, and hot flashes are a common symptom experienced during this transition. It is widely accepted that many women experience various physical and emotional symptoms during menopause, including acne and mood changes, due to fluctuating hormone levels.
Eating certain foods can help minimize the severity of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Additionally, some foods should be avoided to help lessen these symptoms. There are multiple potential treatment options for hot flashes being explored that may also help to manage the symptoms of hot flashes. Let’s explore this further in this blog.
What Are Hot Flashes?
Menopause typically occurs in your late 40s to early 50s. Menopause symptoms can range from vaginal dryness and urinary urgency to insomnia and mood swings. Hot flashes, however, are one of the most common symptoms of menopause for many women.
A sudden increase in temperature, sweating, and discomfort; hot flashes are an unpleasant vasomotor symptom of menopause. These are often intense on the face, neck, and chest. One may experience a flush of heat, redness, and perspiration. After the hot flash has passed, one may feel chilled as a result of the loss of body heat.
Everyone’s hot flashes are unique. Some women may not notice hot flashes, while others may experience hot flashes that interfere with their daily activities. Not only can the severity of hot flashes vary, but so can the duration of hot flashes.
What Are the Symptoms of Hot flashes?
A hot flash can be mild or so intense that it can interfere with your daily activities. They can appear at any time of the day or night. Nighttime hot flashes (night sweats) may awaken you from sleep and can cause long-term sleep disruptions.
The frequency and severity of hot flashes differ among women. A single episode can last a minute or two, or as long as five minutes. Most women who experience hot flashes report having them daily. On average, these symptoms can last for more than seven years, and in some cases, up to ten years.
Some of the common symptoms of hot flashes are:
- A sudden sensation of warmth spreads through the chest, neck, and face
- A flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Perspiration, primarily on the upper body
- A chilled feeling after the hot flash lets up
Does Diet Affect Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes can have a real impact on your daily life, not just by causing physical discomfort, but also with their associated mood swings. Fortunately, these effects can be lessened through lifestyle changes such as adjusting your diet. What you incorporate into your diet can make a big difference in how you experience symptoms.
To address common menopausal symptoms, it is recommended to introduce simple foods that are rich in phytoestrogens, such as soy foods. A natural, plant-based diet that is rich in antioxidants and can mimic the effects of estrogen. In addition to soy milk and other natural soy products, these foods can potentially help manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
9 Foods That Fight Hot Flashes
consuming healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and vitamins can help reduce the duration and severity of hot flashes, which can last for up to eleven years. Incorporating the following 9 foods that fight hot flashes into your daily diet is a great way to help relieve the impact of hot flashes:
According to traditional Chinese medicine, herbal therapies, and green tea have been known to have cooling benefits that can help to reduce hot flashes. Additionally, including foods such as bok choy, cauliflower, and cabbage in your diet can help to keep the body hydrated and regulate electrolyte levels.
Whole wheat is an excellent source of dietary fiber which can help promote a balanced diet. Additionally, it can help regulate blood sugar levels and offer relief from hot flashes. Consuming white flour should be minimized to limit the intake of starch and carbohydrates, as it may potentially worsen hot flashes and increase the frequency of night sweats.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Incorporating dark green leafy vegetables and fruits into your diet may help to alleviate menopause symptoms. Broccoli, spinach, and kale are primary components of a Mediterranean diet, and many women looking to lose weight have found success in a diet that is rich in vegetables.
Other Phytoestrogen-rich foods:
Phytoestrogens, found in foods such as soy, celery, chia seeds, green beans, oats, and legumes, can mimic the effects of estrogen to help control hot flashes and reduce the risk of menopausal weight gain. These foods can provide meaningful relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Foods rich in vitamin E:
Vitamin E, found in foods such as avocado, shellfish, and sunflower seeds, has been linked to decreased depression levels and slowed menopausal weight gain. As such, it is important to consider incorporating these foods into our diets.
Eating mushrooms daily is beneficial for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, as they contain selenium which helps reduce the surge of epinephrine in the body caused by stress.
Omega-3 fatty acids present in fatty fish have anti-inflammatory properties and can help protect women from coronary blood vessel-related conditions, reducing the potential risk of heart disease.
To maintain muscle mass, it is important to incorporate protein-rich food such as poultry, fish, and meat into your diet. If vegetarian or vegan, there are a variety of plant-based protein sources including tofu, lentils, chickpeas, almonds, quinoa, and chia.
Consuming 8 to 12 cups of water a day can be beneficial for managing menopausal hormone changes, reducing bloating, and helping to avoid dehydration. Setting reminders can be a great way to ensure this habit is incorporated into your daily routine.
Also read: 9 Foods to Easily Fight Hot Flashes
What Foods Should Be Avoided During Hot Flashes?
While it is important to focus on getting enough nutrients during menopause, it is also essential to limit certain foods that can aggravate the severity of hot flashes symptoms. Here are a few food items to be on the lookout for:
As one might expect, spicy foods can aggravate hot flashes. If you get hot easily or have high blood pressure, avoid spicy foods such as hot peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne.
A glass of wine once or twice a week is unlikely to worsen your symptoms. However, if you consume more than one drink daily (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits are all considered one drink), your health and well-being may suffer. Alcohol disrupts sleep and may aggravate hot flashes, anxiety, or depression. If you eat more because you have fewer inhibitions, you may gain weight.
With the exception of fatty fish and nuts, try to limit your intake of fat-laden foods. Avoid fast food, fried foods, processed cookies, cakes, and snacks.
Also Read: Guide To Living With Papular Eczema
Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause affecting approximately 75% of women in the United States. Its symptoms typically begin with a sudden feeling of heat, along with sweating and flushed skin. Hot flashes may start with menopause and can last until post-menopause or for the rest of one’s life. Navigating how to control them can involve a process of trial and error, as one needs to be aware of which foods may be causing their symptoms and work on finding alternatives that meet their nutritional needs.
Revive Research Institute is conducting clinical trials in search of potential new treatment options for hot flashes that may help women manage the severity of hot flashes.