(NaturalHealth365) Menopause is a natural part of getting older, signaling the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It usually starts when a woman is in her 40’s or 50’s.
Unfortunately, menopause can have several uncomfortable side effects, including hot flashes, sleep problems, low energy, and emotional symptoms. However, a recent study indicates that a simple dietary change may significantly reduce aggravating hot flashes.
Could this straightforward dietary change ease menopausal hot flashes?
What if you could reduce hot flashes just by changing your diet? A recent study, led by Dr. Neal Barnard and published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, sought to find out.
The trial was the Women’s Study for the Alleviation of Vasomotor Symptoms. To assess the link between diet and hot flashes, researchers evaluated postmenopausal women over a 12-week trial period. Some study participants implemented a vegan diet low in fats and a half cup of soybeans daily, while the control group did not change their diets. All participants then recorded the severity and frequency of hot flash symptoms over the course of the study.
The group that consumed a vegan, plant-based diet rich in soy experienced a whopping 88% reduction in their hot flashes. Also, those eating a plant-based diet lost an average of 8 pounds and reported improved quality of life.
These results indicate that hot flashes can be reduced by simply cutting out toxic animal foods, lowering fat intake, and adding soy to the diet. Of course, we would encourage our readers to eat only non-GMO soy products.
Hormone replacement or diet changes?
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, has long been the treatment of choice for perimenopause symptoms. This is because many symptoms of menopause stem from changes within the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and disrupted hormone levels. However, HRT can cause its own set of unwanted side effects, if done incorrectly. The key here is to find a qualified healthcare provider to help you with the process to avoid health issues.
If menopause symptoms can be mitigated through healthy diet changes, these dangerous side effects can be avoided. And besides possibly reducing hot flashes, plant-based diets have been shown to reduce depression and other chronic health issues. Thus, the new dietary study presents an exciting new direction for researchers to investigate further.
Ways to ease menopause symptoms naturally
Changing to a low (healthy) fat, plant-based diet and eating more soy might help reduce your hot flashes. But there are also other ways to ease menopause symptoms without pharmaceuticals. Black cohosh supplements, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and stress reduction practices like yoga can all help.
There’s a possibility that plant phytoestrogens could improve menopause symptoms. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring estrogens in several foods, including flax, soybeans, and legumes. Acupuncture and hypnosis are two more therapies that may benefit women in menopause.
Menopause is an important and natural phase of life. However, if you’re dealing with uncomfortable menopause symptoms, it’s worth looking into dietary changes and complementary therapies to help ease the transition.
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