Hot flashes are something no woman out there likes to deal with and these unpleasant bodily experiences can actually occur during many stages of life for women of different ages. Hormonal changes can cause a rapid rise in body temperature triggering hot flashes, which increases your heart rate which can also make you stressed and anxious, not to mention miserable!
Getting your hormones in line is one way to manage your hot flashes, but that’s much easier said than actually done. What you eat can have a large influence on your hormones and how often hot flashes occur, if at all. Some food, herbs, and lifestyle choices may actually be able to provide relief or significantly reduce the times hot flashes occur.
Here are some natural remedies to help reduce the likelihood of hot flashes that are much better for you than chemical-based hormones that may likely damage your health later on.
1. Maca Root
Maca root is a well-known superfood from Peru known to boost the libido, but it’s overall great for you and your hormones, not just your sex drive. Maca acts as an adaptogen in the body, so think of it as a balance beam. If your body isn’t producing enough of certain types of hormones or producing too many, maca can help your body gain the balance that is needed, or at least make a large difference in helping you achieve that balance. It also helps aid in energy and overall mood thanks to its wide variety of amino acids. You can either take it as a powder (the most natural way to use this food) or use it in supplement form. Maca is being used in many natural over the counter remedies for hot flashes now due to its spectacular effects on hormones. It can be bought raw or gelatanized, which just removes some of the starch found in this healthy root. Try a teaspoon a day and see how you do. Too much isn’t needed, so find the dose that’s right for you, with no more than a tablespoon daily. You’ll love its natural, butterscotch caramel taste!
2. Eat Your Cruciferous Veggies and Dark Leafy Greens
While these won’t get rid of hot flashes instantly, vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and any dark, leafy green will help reduce hot flashes and benefit anyone in general. These foods help the body get rid of harmful oestrogens (chemical-based estrogens) that interfere with our own bodies’ production of estrogen that trigger hot flashes and also disrupt our hormones, hurting our health. These toxic substances are found in the environment through toxic chemicals found in products and in the air, processed foods, hormone-filled animal products, and even tap water that may contain harmful chemicals and drugs (use a really good water filter!). Cruciferous veggies help our bodies eliminate toxins due to a certain nutrient they contain known as DIM (Di-Indoly Methane), which removes these harmful substances from our body. These veggies and greens are also some of the best foods to fight off cancer due to their detoxifying benefits and they contain fiber that removes cholesterol to keep your heart healthy and weight in check. Consume some of these everyday to get the most benefits!
Try these recipes: Rainbow Salad, Unfried Cauliflower Rice in Ginger Miso Sauce, Miso Sesame BOWL-ed Over Salad, Kitchari- The Ayurvedic Detox Dish, Broccoli Salad with Quinoa, Scallions, and Roasted Cashews, or simply make Easy Roasted Root Veggies.
3. Non-GMO Soy Isoflavanones
Soy is a controversial topic, but non-GMO and less processed soy are different than the types of soy proteins and isolated powders (or even mock meats) you see at your grocery store. Healthy forms of soy contain isoflavonoids actually linked to a reduction in breast cancer and improvement in menopausal symptoms. On the other hand, highly processed forms of soy that are not GMO and undergo many steps to make it to store shelves, are likely more harmful to your health than beneficial and should be avoided. Soy isoflavones from non-GMO sources have been found to lower hot flashes and improve the lack of natural estrogen in the body associated with hot flashes. Unlike harmful estrogens we encounter from foods like dairy or the environment, our body uses these natural phytoestrogens from food to balance out natural levels and can get rid of what it doesn’t need. There are many supplements you can take or you can choose whole, organic forms of soy like edamame (green soybeans) or opt for organic, non-GMO soy milk or tofu if you tolerate them.
4. Ditch the Dairy
Dairy is a hot topic these days and when it comes to your hormones, it’s best you avoid it overall. Dairy is filled with natural hormones that may lead to an imbalance in your hormones. Milk is full of hormones from cows milked during pregnancy and is not necessary in general. We have a wide variety of plant-based options available to choose from nowadays and plenty of sources of calcium and protein available now more than ever. Fortified almond (choose unsweetened and carrageenan-free) milk and some other non-dairy milks are excellent replacements for milk, so give them a try if you’re not already using them. Almonds, oranges, collards, and figs are fantastic sources of calcium for women, and actually help remove harmful estrogens from the body, while also providing fiber and B vitamins.
Try these recipes: Raw Fig Pie, Superfood Smoothie for Lasting Energy, Raw Massaged Kale Salad with Fresh Figs and Oranges, and Homemade Almond Milk.
5. Eat Citrus, Berries, and 100 Percent Whole Grains
All of these foods contain specific nutrients that help your body eliminate harmful oestrogens from the environment, and they also contain fibers that help whisk harmful toxins from your body. These toxins can disrupt endocrine system function, so it’s important to eat foods that help eliminate these through your diet. If you’re gluten-free, just go with grain-like seeds such as millet, quinoa, amaranth, or go with gluten-free oats which are wonderful for your nervous system. Berries and citrus also provide ample amounts of Vitamin C that help reduce stress, along with plenty of fiber to keep you regular.
What to Keep in Mind:
Please remember that you can not prevent menopause or completely control your hormones, however you can manage hot flashes, a low libido, poor mood and energy, and even weight gain through a healthy, whole foods diet and a healthy lifestyle. It’s also important to include healthy fats from chia and flax into your diet, which will provide omega 3’s, photoestrogens, and also help eliminate toxins from the body to fight an imbalance of hormones. Some women also choose to take herbal supplements such as Black Cohosh or Chaste Berry for hormonal balance, but you should discuss these with your naturopath, doctor, or trusted health professional before taking supplements versus eating healthy, whole foods first.
Lead Image Source: Cristii09/Flickr