10 Surprising Foods That Help Hot Flashes

About 75% of American women experience hot flashes.  As anyone of them will tell you, it’s unpredictable, uncomfortable, sleep-disrupting and means that our deodorant and washing machines have to work overtime!  Hot flashes are the most commonly reported symptom of peri-menopause and can occur for varying lengths of time.  Recent studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that simple dietary changes can help take the heat out of this time in life.  Researchers followed a group of women for 9 years and found that they were 20% less likely to develop hot flashes if they incorporated certain food into their daily diets.  Many of these foods contain  phytoestrogens, plant-based molecules that mimic estrogen and may help to balance the fluctuations in estrogen that cause hot flashes. Here’s a list.

strawberryStrawberries are packed full of fiber, vitamin C, and phytoestrogens which can help to stave off hot flashes.  Most mammals have the ability to synthesize vitamin C naturally.  Unfortunately, humans aren’t among them, which is why it’s so important that we get our daily requirement through our diets. One serving of strawberries contains about half of our RDA of Vitamin C.  Two cups of strawberries and other fiber-filled, nutrient-rich berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries also have a similar effect.


maitakeMany women find that stress can be a trigger for their hot flashes.  Physiologically, stress causes a surge in the levels of epinephrine, which triggers hot flashes.  It has also been found that women deficient in the mineral selenium experience higher levels of  stress.  There’s a natural selenium-filled food that makes the list.  Mushrooms!  The best types to eat are maitake and shiitake.  It’s recommended that you eat them daily, so add them to stir fry, soups, salads and pizzas.  We recommend a Greens Superfood that contains both these mushrooms and several other varieties and can be added to any shake, smoothie or juice for easy daily consumption.

wineholdersAlthough, not a food, red wine made the list, too.  In moderation (one glass per week), red wine is thought to prevent the removal of estrogen from the body, thus helping to maintain hormone  balance.  Over indulging in red wine was found to be detrimental because it can lead to rapid declines in blood sugar levels.  This can lead to an unwanted imbalance in estrogen.  Maybe we’ll just eat grapes the other 6 days of the week!


garlic2High on our list of favorites is that smelly little bulb we call garlic.  Garlic, which contains a wide  array of  health-enhancing chemicals was found to help keep hot flashes at bay.  The researchers found that at least one clove per day, either raw or cooked, can help to curb your symptoms. Garlic has many other health properties too, including boosting the immune system, preventing hair loss,  and curbing weight gain.  So you’ve got plenty of reasons to make it a staple in your recipes!


peppersBell peppers, with their high concentration of vitamin C were also found to help cool hot flashes.  Bell peppers are also known to lower blood sugar, again helping to prevent hormonal swings that can lead to an episode.  All colors contain vitamin C so indulge in red, yellow, orange, green or even purple bell peppers.  The yellow peppers do, however, have the highest levels of vitamin C.  Indulge in stuffed baked peppers, sauteed peppers or eat them raw in salads.


saladA salad a day can keeps the hot flashes away. Salad greens contain a plethora of beneficial micronutrients like iron, folic acid and calcium.  The super high fiber content also helps keep you regular, thus limiting the reabsorption of excess estrogen or xenoestrogens through your colon walls.  Salad greens promote normal blood sugar levels and flood the body with important antioxidants, both of which stabilize estrogen levels.   Regulating blood sugar levels and circulating estrogen reduces the likelihood  you’ll experience a hot flash. The recommended daily intake for benefit is about 5 cups per day.  Again, a Green Superfood supplement can come in handy.


pineappleAnother fruit that is packed with vitamin C and has amazing cooling properties in the pineapple.  While on vacation in southern climes, you’ll be served plenty of this tropical fruit for that very reason.  Pineapples not only help to balance your hormones to prevent hot flashes, they also pack a powerful punch against colds and flus, help keep gums healthy, help strengthen bones and connective tissue, promote digestion and healing.  Two to three cups daily is the recommended dosage for therapeutic benefit.

watermelon5Some of my personal favorite summer fruits include the melons, watermelon, honey dew and cantelope.  Again, these fruits are packed with vitamin C and help keep your hormones in balance to ward of hot flashes.  Keep them cut up in the fridge for when a hot flash strikes.  There’s nothing like a juicy piece of melon to turn down the heat of a hot flash.  Again, two to three cups per day are recommended for optimal benefit.   Are you starting to see a pattern?


legumesLegumes, for their high fiber content again can help with elimination and prevent reabsorption of excreted hormones and xenoestrogens.  The impact of sluggish metabolism is often underplayed in it’s relation to hot flashes.  In addition to helping keep the heat off, you’ll also benefit from reducing weight gain, adding protein to the diet, and increasing the feeling of fullness at meals.  This group of vegetables includes lentils, black beans, lima beans and split peas.

artichokeArtichokes are higher in fiber than any other vegetable, yet seem to be a challenge for most cooks.  Getting creative with artichokes can add that extra fiber that’s been missing in your diet. Artichoke hearts on pizza, in pasta dishes and salads, can be a great way to add this unique vegetable and help reduce the likelihood of hot flashes.

Check our recipes section for our favorite ways to use these and other healing foods to curb your peri-menopausal symptoms.



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