Are Hot Flashes Affected by Diet?


Hot flashes can be caused by a number of things, from menopause to medication. If you’re experiencing the discomfort of hot flashes during the day or even while you’re sleeping in bed at night, you may be wondering if there are ways to help ward off these pesky symptoms.

Many people believe that hot flashes can be controlled by changing your diet, but is there any medical proof to back up this thought? As a matter of fact, many studies show that your diet does, in fact, affect your hot flashes, their severity, and how often you have them. Women in areas like Greece and Japan hardly complain about hot flashes at all, and scientists believe that it is because of their very specific way of dining that they’re able to remain comfortable well into menopause.

Studies show that diets rich in green vegetables and certain fruits (such as mango, strawberries and pineapple) help to prevent hot flashes by regulating a woman’s hormone levels, including lowering estrogen levels. These foods are also made up of carbohydrates lower on the glycemic index, which stabilizes blood sugar and causes fewer vasomotor symptoms. If you’re trying to prevent hot flashes, you might also replace your usual breads and pastas with only those containing whole grains, which have the same positive effect on blood sugar.

Studies show that women whose diets are higher in fats and sugar were 20% more likely to develop night sweats, so cutting down on sugar and replacing high fat foods with leafy greens and fresh, nutrient-rich fruits may help to cut down on your hot flashes as well.

While some people think that a Mediterranean diet is beneficial in part because of the red wine that is popular in these areas, there’s no real proof that red wine (or any alcohol, for that matter) helps to prevent hot flashes. However, red wine is proven to improve heart health when consumed in small amounts, so feel free to imbibe when you’re winding down before bedtime.