Today, no one can doubt that what you eat plays a great role in your overall health. After all, you are what you eat, right? And now a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that this mindset may be particularly important for menopausal women. Interestingly, hot flashes may be especially impacted by diet.

    For those who have never experienced hot flashes, it can be hard to understand what they really feel like. In general, the symptoms include a relatively sudden increase in skin temperature with profuse sweating, and sometimes facial flushing and a faster heart rate. While hot flashes are extremely common and not at all dangerous, they can be very uncomfortable and disruptive of daily life, especially a good night’s sleep.

    The goal of getting better sleep during menopause alone is enough to want to halt these nightly disruptions. In this new study out of Australia, about 6,000 middle-aged women were followed for nine years while researchers asked about their food habits and the occurrence of night sweats and hot flashes. In general, fewer hot flashes were correlated with diets high in fruits and in the Mediterranean-style with lots of veggies, garlic, red wine, and tomatoes. A diet higher in fats and sugars, on the other hand, may increase the frequency of hot flashes.

    A direct biological connection between diet and relief from hot flashes has not been established, but may be tied to how foods affect estrogen metabolism. Estrogen withdrawal is thought to be a possible cause of menopause, so eating foods that create optimal physical conditions for estrogen metabolism would be beneficial to reduce symptoms. It’s always been important to get your fruits and veggies, but if you are entering middle-age and nearing menopause, you have more of a reason than ever to get a lot of plant foods in your diet.

Read the entire article here: Can You Eat Your Way Out of Hot Flashes?