Hot flashes are the worst.

They can come at any time, when you least expect it. For some women, they are so bad that they tend to avoid going out altogether.

But for others, eating triggers them. And not just certain foods. Almost any type, from every food group, can cause some type of hot flash reaction.

Meals become a new form of torture.

These women practically have to go on a starvation diet. Certainly, eating out in social settings becomes forbidden. But even meals at home become something to be feared on a daily basis.

(And let me tell you, if you’re trying to lose a few pounds, starvation is NOT the way to go. Whatever weight you lose, it will only come back eventually, twice as much. Deprivation diets never work.)

So how do you get back to eating without the torture of hot flashes? And what causes hot flashes after eating?

As a woman’s estrogen level declines during perimenopause, her internal thermostat is disrupted. Certain foods, such as spicy food, alcohol, and coffee, dilate blood vessels and stimulate nerve endings, causing hot flashes. Dramatic spikes in blood sugar levels after a sugary snack can also cause hot flashes.

Not everyone will react the same way to all foods. But there are certain foods that are more likely to trigger hot flashes than others. To relieve symptoms, you’ll want to avoid the following foods:

Alcohol

Caffeine (coffee, in particular)

excess sugar

refined carbohydrates

Spicy food

Meat (especially red meat)

Dairy products

Relieving blushes is not as difficult as you might think. It’s really a matter of eating the right foods and taking the right supplements to balance your hormones.

In addition to avoiding the foods listed above, you’ll want to add plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your diet. The phytoestrogens found in fermented soybeans are also great for relieving hot flashes, as are flaxseeds.

During the perimenopausal years, estrogen levels begin to decline. In an ideal world, that decline is gradual and the symptoms are manageable. Sure, you may experience some hot flashes as a result of declining estrogen levels, but they’re nothing you can’t handle.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for many of us. The symptoms we experience during our perimenopausal years can be numerous and quite severe. Some women spend those years before menopause in agony as their hormones plummet and fluctuate dramatically.

Why is this the case?

A combination of factors really. Women today are exposed to more toxins and more stress than ever before. These toxins, or xenohormones as they are called, have a negative impact on our hormones just like stress. Those two factors plus a poor diet can do a real number on our estrogen and progesterone levels.

The good news is that by changing your diet, reducing your exposure to hormone-disrupting toxins, and managing your stress, you may experience fewer perimenopausal symptoms. Even certain supplements can have a positive impact and help relieve the worst hot flashes.

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