Like it or lump it, hot flashes are just a part of life (even men can have them!). Hormonal changes — especially lower levels of estrogen or higher levels of estrogen — can all cause hot flashes depending on how the body is out of balance. Hot flashes can also happen when a person is especially nervous or anxious, and many people have them right before a panic attack, or do something that makes them especially hot and sweaty. Hot flashes are caused by a rapid increase in body temperature from hormonal swings, and though they can be hard to completely prevent, are very treatable.
Hormonal swings can be balanced out through a diet rich in fiber that reduces harmful estrogens, as well as supports the body’s overall nervous system to reduce anxiety and stress. While a typical whole foods, plant-based diet is a great place to start, sometimes, it’s time to pull out “the big guns” and use some other ingredients with specific benefits.
Here are some special natural remedies you can add to your diet if you suffer hot flashes frequently. Be sure you talk to your naturopath or medical doctor if you’re looking for more natural ways to fight hot flashes and to be sure that you don’t have underlying medical problems. For women going through menopause, it’s also important to get enough rest, eat a diet that balances your hormones, and do low-stress exercises to fight hormones further.
This herb is often used in seasonal savory dishes (think Thanksgiving!) but can also be used in basic grain dishes, soups, broths, and even roasted vegetables. Sage offers a cooling effect on the body and improves feel good serotonin levels that also reduce stress. It is also sold as a tea and is normally found in women’s specialty herbal teas on the market. Try rubbed sage or whole leaf sage when using it for cooking since those are less bitter and more flavorful than ground sage.
Basil (specifically Holy Basil) is also used to treat anxiety-related hormonal swings. It can help everything from hot flashes to adrenal fatigue and even headaches from stress. You can either cook with it, steep it as a tea, or buy in in tea leaf or supplement form.
3. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is a European plant that’s typically always found in hormonal targeted vitamins or over-the-counter menopause supplements. It is one of the most well-known to treat and prevent hot flashes naturally, because it’s equivalent to many pharmaceutical drugs in its ability to reduce and eliminate sweating.
4. Red Clover
This plant contains specific isoflavones (nutrients found in certain plants) that reduces the intensity of hot flashes. You may have heard of other plants containing these compounds as well, such as flax and soy. Isoflavones are one of the most popular ingredients found in hormonal and menopausal supplements due to their ability to reduce hot flashes, but they also offer longevity and health benefits aside too. Red clover can be purchased in whole leaf form through herbal suppliers, in tea leaf form, or can also be bought as in supplement form.
Not just a great source of fiber, flax seed is also a powerful source of isoflavones and lignans, which both provide heart-healthy benefits. Flax’s omega-3 fatty acid complex also benefits the hormones to regulate estrogen in the body. It’s important to consume enough fiber-rich foods so they body can excrete harmful amounts of estrogen we encounter through hormone-filled, pesticide-treated, and conventionally farmed foods, along with estrogen-like chemicals we come in contact with through the environment. On the other side, flax can help regulate the natural estrogen our body produces naturally to provide a complete balance for what the body needs.
6. Evening Primrose Oil
Another popular source of healthy fats and hormone-boosting benefits, evening primrose oil is made from the seed of a wild flowering plant. It’s also found in many hormonal supplements, as well as consumed in the form of the pure oil itself to regulate the production of estrogen. Many women also use it to act as a sleep aid and give their body enough high-quality gamma linolenic acid fats (beneficial omega-6 fats also found in hemp seeds) to balance hormones. Healthy fats are important for the production and regulation of hormones, but it’s important to consume a variety of healthy fats, not just one type. See more sources of good fats here.
Controversial as it may be, soy in its whole form (not genetically modified and highly processed) has been shown to provide relief for hot flashes. Edamame is rich in isoflavones and offers up a good source of protein and antioxidants. Try it in this delicious noodle dish — it will win you over in no time!
Add more of these foods to your diet if you deal with hot flashes or hormonal swings, and see how they work for you. There is no need to go crazy with amounts; just add a little here and there or try a natural supplement that is certified through the GMP manufacturer seal. It’s also a good idea to reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet since it can interfere with optimal hormone production, as well as eliminate animal-based foods with hormones and antibiotics which can also harm your health.
Do you use any of these for hot flashes or have a favorite natural remedy of your own?
Lead Image Source: Maple Peanut Soba Noodle Salad With Edamame and Apples