Do you get hot flashes?
Are they mostly at night time?
Does it feel like your bed is on fire you’re that hot?
Let’s fix that and get you some solutions!
Before we jump into that, here is some quick info 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 probably imagine it is all about hormonal balance (or imbalance).
During your years of menstruating your estrogen allows for your ovaries to respond when “luteinizing hormone” (LH) says to release those eggs every month.
When it eventually gets to the point where your estrogen levels start to drop (i.e. perimenopause) those ovaries start to simply ignore the LH.
And have a guess at how your body responds to this is?
It releases adrenaline!
It is this release of adrenaline that 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 for yourself some of the things that trigger your hot flashes. Perhaps they are related to the food and drinks you consume (e.g. coffee, spicy foods, sugar, large meals, citrus fruit).
Maybe they’re related to lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol, stress, certain medications or intense exercise).
Or maybe they have gotten worse if you have put on weight (higher BMI)? Did you know that some menopausal women have been able to get rid of their hot flashes all together by losing weight. Win-win!!
How about we reduce those hot flash triggers naturally?
Food #1 – Flax
Flax contains a “phytoestrogen” named “lignan”. It is thought that Phyto (plant) estrogens help our bodies balance our 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. Bonus benefits, heck yes!!
But here’s where things get interesting.
A study was conducted on thousands of women who had experienced at least 14 hot flashes per week. Researchers had them add four tablespoons of flax meal to their day.
Yep, that’s it, just four tablespoons.
After only 6 weeks not only had the number of hot flashes in the women been cut in half but the intensity of the remaining hot flashes had dropped by more than half as well.
Scientists think that it is mostly due to the lignan content of flax seeds.
That’s a pretty cool super-food!
It’s 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, yogurt, nut butters etc. Not to mention how easy it is to add to your baking. (See recipe below).
Tip: In order to get the most benefits out of flax seeds they should be ground up benefits because much of the healthy compounds in them are securely stored beneath the hard outer shell.
Food #2 – Water
OK, ok I know this is more of a ‘drink’ than a food but hear me out.
You lose more water than you usually would when you get hot flashes. Just like when you exercise.
Make sure you replace those vital fluids by drinking plenty of water. A good habit to start is to keep a bottle, cup or glass close at hand on your desk, in your car or work area. You can take sips throughout the day so you don’t get to the point where you feel thirsty. You’re already dehydrated when you feel thirsty.
Water is, for sure, something you should add (or increase) to your daily intake when you’re experiencing hot flashes.
If you are experiencing hot flashes there are two vital things you should do; 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 175 degrees and line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cases.
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.