Learn tips on how to help reduce them Naturally
It is very typical to get hot flashes at night while you are sleeping.
Do your hot flashes set the bed on fire (but not in a good way)?
Mine have definitely decreased over the years as I began to notice the foods, beverages, and emotions that triggered them. I’ve worked at incorporating many of the tips below into my daily routine so I can help mitigate them as much as I can and feel so much better as a result.
First here is a little bit of information on why hot flashes occur so we can try to effect the root cause of these hormonal symptoms.
What causes hot flashes?
As you can imagine it’s all about hormonal balance (or imbalance).
During the menstruating years your estrogen 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 estrogen 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!
Hot flashes are one of the most common complaints of menopause, as the periods of intense heat, warm skin, and sweating are uncomfortable. This causes your body to heat up for a few minutes until it cools itself back down.
What triggers hot flashes?
You may have already identified some of the triggers of your hot flashes as I have.
Perhaps they’re related to the food and drinks you consume (e.g. coffee, sugar, citrus fruit, large meals). But did you also know that dairy products, red meat, and spicy foods rank among the top triggers of severe hot flashes?.
Maybe they’re related to lifestyle factors (e.g. stress, alcohol, smoking, certain medications or intense exercise – yes intense exercise can induce a hot flash).
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 flashes?
Now, let’s reduce those hot flash triggers naturally, shall we?
Food #1 – Flax
Flax contains a “phytoestrogen” named “lignan”. Phyto (plant) estrogens are thought to help our bodies better balance hormones by mimicking them and binding to certain hormone receptors.
Flax also contains fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both are powerhouses for better gut and heart health, additional benefit and an excellent source of fat.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
One study looked at thousands of women who experienced at least 14 hot flashes 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 flashes they had dropped in half and the intensity of those hot flashes dropped by more than half!
Scientists think that’s due mostly to the lignan content of flax seeds.
That’s a pretty powerful food!
It’s also fairly 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).
Coach Shannon’s 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. You can purchase them whole and store them in the freezer then grind them right before serving. We use a coffee grinder for ease.
Food #2 – Protein
Our bodies involve complicated balance of hormones that are greatly affected by our environment and the foods that we ingest. Healthy hormonal and emotional balance can be achieved by ingesting healthy foods.
These nutritious foods can provide not only good information for our bodies—it supplies all the raw materials your neuroendocrine (nerve–hormone).
Coach Shannon’s Tip: Protein is one of the raw materials required to make and balance hormones, so it is wise to include some with each meal and snack that you eat.
Food #3 – Water
OK, maybe this is not a food but a beverage – please hear me out because it is so very important.
When you get hot flashes 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 flashes. We strongly recommend that you get in at a minimum half your body weight in ounces of water and eventually increase it to 2/3rds your body weight.
Coach Shannon’s Tip: Remember decaffeinated teas can support your water intake, we know some people have difficulty drinking enough water, so look for ways that you can get it into your day. In the Smoothie & Juicing Guide that we are giving away in the Be Better You Facebook Coaching Group – Coach Shannon also had several water recipes to help elevate the boredom with regular water. (p.s. the coaching group is free – everyone is welcome to join – click the link)
There are just three things you should do if you experience hot flashes: increase your intake of both flax, protein and water. We will spend more time this month learning how we can positively change menopause symptoms for a better quality of life.
Recipe (flax): Strawberry, Banana & Mango Smoothie
In this tasty recipe from EatingWell.com – they combine Greek yogurt and nut butter boost protein, and ground flaxseed adds omega-3s in this fresh fruit smoothie recipe. Use frozen fruit if you like a frosty smoothie.
- 1 cup hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen
- ½ medium banana
- ½ cup diced mango, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon natural nut butter, such as cashew or almond
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (flaxmeal)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
Combine strawberries, banana, mango, yogurt, nut butter, flaxmeal, vanilla and a water in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Serve & Enjoy!
*Tip: You can blend flax and/or oats to make your own freshly ground flax meal or oat flour.
Dedicated to your success,