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Hot Flash Hacks

BY NICKY PRYOR

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We are all familiar with these symptoms:

  • hot flashes
  • absence of period for 12 months
  • sleep disturbances
  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • dryness and thinning of hair
  • irritability and mood swings
  • weight gain
  • difficulty remembering

What Foods to Eat

A balanced diet is very important to make sure that optimal nutrition is maintained. Make sure to include the following:

  • Fruit and Vegetables – these are rich in antioxidants and help prevent cell damage. Some are also rich sources of Magnesium, which is also important for good bone health. Good examples to include are dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and carrots. Good fruits to include are mango, cherries and berries
  • Fatty Fish – this includes salmon, mackerel, pilchards and sardines to name a few. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help to improve the mood and are good from a cardiac point of view. Salmon is also high in Vitamin D, which helps with mood and bone health.
  • Protein – this is important to prevent muscle losses and includes foods such as meat, poultry and fish, legumes, nuts and seeds
  • Calcium Rich Foods – make sure to include cheese, milk and yoghurt or calcium fortified alternatives. The calcium is needed to ensure good done health
  • Add foods containing plant phytestrogens such as broccoli, cauliflower, cherries, chickpeas, tofu and soyabeans. These help to reduce the symptoms of menopause
  • Water – drinking sufficient water helps keep the body and skin hydrated. It also helps with the flushing of toxins from the body

 What Foods to Avoid

  • Spicy Foods – these can make the hot flashes worse
  • Alcohol – having more than one drink a day can interfere with sleep patterns, may exacerbate hot flashes, as can also cause dehydration, and can cause mood changes. It can also result in weight gain
  • Fatty Foods – Avoid processed foods and takeaways, fried foods, cakes and biscuits. An excess of these foods lead to weight gain
  • Refined carbohydrates – white rice, pasta, etc., cause spikes in blood glucose levels and can increase insulin resistance. Rather include brown rice, sweet potato and new baby potatoes

A Sample Meal Plan for the Day:

  • Breakfast – Raw Oats soaked overnight with flaxseeds and chia seeds added, milk and a half a cup of berries. Finish this off with a cup of Rooibos Tea
  • Snack – a handful of nuts such as almonds, pecans or walnuts
  • Lunch – Grilled chicken on a bed of mixed leaves, baby tomatoes, bell peppers and a yoghurt dressing
  • Snack – sliced mango mixed with some plain yoghurt
  • Supper – Grilled salmon served with some new baby potatoes, steamed broccoli and raw grated butternut salad

Nicky Pryor

Consultant Dietician

nicky.pryor@vodamail.co.za