If you have hot flashes, what you eat may play an important role in how severe your hot flashes are and how frequently they occur.
As women approach menopause, their hormone levels start to fluctuate which can lead to hot flashes. Prescription medications including hormone replacement therapy can help offset these fluctuations and reduce menopause symptoms including hot flashes.
The FDA has approved hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and one non-hormonal medication called Brisdelle, for the treatment of hot flashes. However, many women have found that what they eat can also have significant impact on their hot flashes.
According to Prevention Magazine, some studies show that women who eat a diet rich in vegetables, pasta and red wine were less likely to report hot flashes.
More research is needed to determine why this type of diet may help. Some researchers suggest it may be due to the high fiber content found in whole grains that help the body keep hormone levels more stable.
Others believe that the lower glycemic index of the carbohydrates in this diet help stabilize insulin levels, which may in turn help stabilize the hormones that cause hot flashes.
Certain fruits including strawberries, pineapples, melons and mangos may help reduce hot flashes. Again, this may be because the high fiber content works with the body to balance hormone levels.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that many women fighting hot flashes benefit from including plant estrogens such as isoflavones in their diet. Plant estrogens work in the body like a weaker form of the estrogen our bodies produce. So eating foods rich in plant estrogen may help the body balance hormone levels.
Soybeans, chickpeas and lentils are believed to have the strongest plant estrogens. Other options include flaxseed, grains, beans, fruits, red clover and vegetables. Be aware that only crushed or ground flaxseed is likely to help, as opposed to whole seeds or seed oils.
It is important to note that what works for one woman may not work for another.