Certain foods can trigger hot flashes, so it helps to know what foods to avoid when a hot flash arises. You do not want to worsen the already dreadful eruptions of heightened body temperature, increased sweating, quickened heart rate, and resulting exhaustion that hot flashes create. What you eat makes a huge difference when it comes to hot flashes, so think and choose wisely with each and every meal - despite the seemingly irresistible cravings.
This one might be obvious. Spicy foods, as you know, are hot. Some are hotter than others, but hot nonetheless; even “mild” can be too hot for your flashes. Indian, Thai, and Mexican food contain an abundance of extremely spicy menu options, but it doesn't end there. Those hot wings at the bar and the red pepper flakes at the pizzeria could also be to blame. Be mindful when you are choosing dishes to make sure that spices such as cayenne, hot mustard, wasabi, jalapeno, and even black pepper are not added your food. You should also remove these from your kitchen for the time being.
Spicy foods increase blood flow and heart rate and can trigger a hot flash before you even take your second bite. Nothing can ruin your night out like excessive sweating and a red blotchy face.
Sugary foods cause a sharp increase in blood sugar, which rapidly raises body temperature. In addition, your heart rate becomes quickened, so you may end up feeling anxious and short of breath. Sugary foods lead to a rather panicky hot flash because they come on suddenly with some of the most uncomfortable symptoms.
It can be hard to say no to the array of pies on Thanksgiving, cake at birthday parties, or ice cream on a Friday night; however, at least for now, it is in your best interest. You will feel increased vitality and support against the heat if you consume a citrus fruit instead, as studies show their effectiveness in fighting hot flashes.
Not only is meat often seasoned with hot spices, but it can also cause hot flashes to become odorous. Diet can have a direct effect on the smell of sweat. Regular meat consumption can intensify body odor and make it less attractive. Therefore, meat has the potential to trigger a hot flash and can also make the aftermath unpleasant.
Caffeinated foods and beverages are also acidic, and their stimulating effect can get your heart pounding and temperature rising. Instead of having a cup of coffee, which can easily trigger a hot flash, opt for iced black cohosh tea. Iced is recommended because hot drinks in general can cause heat production. Black cohosh has been widely acclaimed for its ability to fight off hot flashes, and is widely available in specialty stores and online. If you must have it sweetened, opt for alkalizing all-natural stevia extract.
Do not be overwhelmed by the unpleasant symptom of menopause. There are many things that you can do to avoid severe and long lasting hot flashes, and it all starts with mindful eating. Feel empowered by your increased knowledge about hot flashes and act accordingly; you will soon notice a difference.
- Ehrlich, S.D. (2011). Menopause. University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause
- Havlicek, J. & Lenochova, P. (2006). The effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness. Chemical senses, 31(8), 747-752. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16891352
- Office on Women's Health. (2013). New Clues about Hot Flashes and the Brain. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/news/healthday/en/2013/jul/31/678437.html