Oh no! Do you get hot flushes?
Did you know there are actually some foods (and drinks) that can help you with them?
One has been shown to reduce the number of them in half! Yes, half!
Let me tell you all about it in this post.
Are your hot flushes mostly at night? Do they set the bed on fire (but not in that way)? Let’s get you some solutions!
Before we do that, just some quick info on why hot flushes occur so we can try to effect the root cause of these hormonal symptoms.
What causes hot flushes?
As you can imagine it’s all about hormonal balance (or imbalance).
During the menstruating years your oestrogen allows for your ovaries to respond when “luteinizing hormone” (LH) says to release those eggs every month.
When it gets to the point where your oestrogen levels start dropping (i.e. perimenopause) those ovaries start to simply ignore the LH.
And guess what your body’s response to this is?
It releases adrenaline!
This causes your body to heat up for a few minutes until it cools itself back down.
What triggers hot flushes?
You may have already identified some of the triggers of your hot flushes. Perhaps they’re related to the food and drinks you consume (e.g. coffee, spicy foods, sugar, citrus fruit, large meals).
Maybe they’re related to lifestyle factors (e.g. stress, alcohol, smoking, certain medications or intense exercise).
Or maybe they get worse as your weight slowly climbs (higher BMI)? Did you know that some menopausal women who lost weight were able to eliminate their hot flushes? Win-win!
Let’s reduce those hot flash triggers naturally, shall we?
Food #1 – Flax
Flax contains a “phytoestrogen” named “lignan”. Phyto (plant) oestrogens are thought to help our bodies better balance hormones by mimicking them and binding to certain hormone receptors.
Flax also contains fibre and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both are powerhouses for better gut and heart health, additional benefit!
But here’s where it gets interesting.
One study looked at thousands of women who experienced at least 14 hot flushes per week. Researchers had them add four tablespoons of flax meal to their day.
Yes, just four tablespoons.
After 6 weeks the number of hot flushes they had dropped in half and the intensity of those hot flushes dropped by more than half!
Scientists think that’s due mostly to the lignan content of flax seeds.
That’s some super-food!
It’s also pretty easy to increase your intake of flax. You can add one or two tablespoons into your smoothie or sprinkle it on just about anything (breakfast, salad, nut butters, etc.). Not to mention how easy it is to add to your baking. (Hint, see recipe below).
Pro Tip: Flax seeds should be ground up in order to get most of their benefits because much of the healthy compounds in them are securely stored beneath the hard outer shell.
Food #2 – Water
OK, maybe this is more of a “drink” than a food but hear me out.
When you get hot flushes you’re losing more water than you normally would. Similarly to when you exercise.
Make sure you replace those critical fluids by drinking enough water. A good habit is to make sure that you don’t get to the point of feeling overly thirsty by keeping a bottle, glass, or cup beside you all day long for frequent sips.
Water is definitely something to add (or increase) to your daily intake when you’re experiencing hot flushes.
There are two critical things you should do if you experience hot flashes: increase your intake of both flax and water.
Recipe (flax): Gluten-Free Oatmeal Muffins
1 banana (very ripe)
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup coconut sugar (optional)
½ cup flax meal*
¼ cup oat flour* or other gluten-free flour
½ cup oats (gluten-free)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup nuts or dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F and line 6 muffin tins.
Add banana, oil, egg, and sugar (if using) into your blender and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flax meal, gluten-free flour, and baking soda).
Add wet ingredients into dry and stir. Do not over mix.
Add nuts or dark chocolate chips, if using.
Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 min.
Serve & Enjoy!
*Tip: You can blend flax and/or oats to make your own freshly ground flax meal or oat flour.