Hot flashes, a common problem in menopausal women, can be alleviated with changes in the diet. Avoiding foods that trigger hot flashes and consuming foods that help to prevent this condition can help you to cope with the bothersome hot flashes and night sweats when the production of estrogen hormone declines in the middle age. Hot flash is a vasomotor symptom of fluctuation in the estrogen level. The sudden feeling of warmth occurs when the function of the hypothalamus that controls the temperature of the body is temporarily disrupted.
The blood vessels on the surface of the skin suddenly dilate to cool the body, resulting in flashing of the skin and sweating. The severity and frequency of hot flashes can be reduced with dietary changes.
Diet For Hot Flashes
Low Fat Diet
A low fat diet is considered beneficial for women prone to hot flashes. According to a study reported in the journal Menopause by researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables helps to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats.
Regardless of the body weight, women on a low fat diet are less likely to experience hot flashes during withdrawal of the estrogen hormone than women who continued with their normal diet. Women on a low fat diet should limit consumption of fat rich meat products and sugary foods.
Flaxseed contains estrogen-like plant compounds that may help to prevent hot flashes by correcting estrogen imbalance in perimenopausal and menopausal women. According to a Mayo Clinic study, consuming two tablespoons of flaxseeds twice daily can alleviate the frequency of hot flashes during menopause.
Consume Vitamin E
Hot flashes can be prevented by consuming sufficient vitamin E rich foods. Clinical trials suggest that consuming at least 400 IU of vitamin E daily can protect perimenopausal and menopausal women from hot flashes.
In addition, vitamin E can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which rises significantly following reduction in estrogen secretion. Vitamin E is present in whole grain cereals, nuts and vegetable oils. Vitamin E helps to maintain the electrolyte level, which is disturbed by sudden perspiration.
All types of beans contain estrogen-like compounds that help to ease hot flashes. Although soy is most popular for controlling hot flashes, other beans are also beneficial for menopausal and perimenopausal women.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is a natural coolant that lowers hot flashes by hydrating the body. Hot flashes can be prevented by drinking about six to eight glasses of water each day.
Avoid Dietary Triggers Of Hot Flash
While planning your diet for avoiding hot flashes, exclude the common dietary triggers of hot flashes from your meals. Foods that induce thermogenesis or the heat production process are not suitable for women bothered by hot flashes and night sweats. Common dietary triggers include spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and white pepper, caffeine and alcohol.
To reduce the severity of hot flashes avoid hot foods until your hormone level becomes static. Even mild increase in the internal temperature of the body while consuming thermally hot drinks and foods may stimulate hot flashes in perimenopausal and menopausal women.