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: :   Lifestyle Diet and Nutrition Dietary Substitutes Can Help Hot Flashes

Dietary Substitutes Can Help Hot Flashes

There is no woman going through menopause who doesn't wish she could reduce or eliminate her symptoms. This is especially true when it comes to fiery hot flashes. Unfortunately, there is no complete guaranteed escape from hot flashes, but there are ways of decreasing the frequency in which they occur.

Identifying Triggers
While it's true that hot flashes are ultimately caused by fluctuating hormones in your body, they are often triggered by a specific action, such as drinking a caffeinated beverage or a shot of liquor. Identifying your hot-flash triggers is the beginning of lessening the occurrence and intensity of this disruptive symptom.

It is important to pay close attention to whatever type of behavior you were engaging in just before a hot flash came on. Remember that information and keep a log of it. A written log is best, but even a mental log is better than nothing.

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As you begin to record data, you might find that heavy use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are triggering hot flashes. These are common hot flash triggers in menopausal women, and if you are serious about reducing hot flashes, you'll have to adjust your intake.
But what if you are the type of person who just can't start your morning off without a nice, steaming cup of coffee? Consider switching to decaf or try caffeine-free iced tea. Alternatives like tea or decaf are also great ways of preserving your morning routine while reducing the number of hot flashes. Black teas generally have less caffeine than coffee, green teas even less than that, and white teas have the least. Herbal teas have no caffeine at all.

It's important to remember that a hot flash is actually your body's way of attempting to cool itself down, so if you find yourself having hot flashes no matter what type of tea you drink, the trigger could be the temperature of the beverage itself, not the ingredients.If caffeine is your culprit, here are some interesting numbers. An 8-oz cup of generic regular caffeinated coffee has between 95-200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, depending on the roast and how long it's brewed; decaf coffee has between 2-12 mg; and a 1-oz shot of espresso has 40-75 mg.

An 8-oz cup of brewed black tea has between 14-61 mg of caffeine; decaf black tea from 0-12 mg; green tea from 24-40 mg; and white tea 6-25 mg.

Beer, Wine, or Substitute?
Beer and wine can be replaced with non-alcoholic beer, sparking ciders, or fruit juices. Just be sure to pay attention to your calorie intake, as many drinks, especially fruit-based ones, carry an extremely high calorie count. For a refreshing change, add a splash of fruit juice to club soda or plain seltzer water. And the many flavors of non-sugared seltzer can add variety to your choices.

Don't forget that colas have caffeine, too, unless you choose the decaf selections. Worse are the energy drinks popular now. And, if you need to avoid caffeine altogether, no more chocolate!

One caveat about overloading on carbonated colas: They have a lot of phosphoric acid, which can leach calcium out of your bones. With menopause being a time when you're at risk for bone loss, try minimizing your cola intake. Carbonated mineral water, on the other hand, has more beneficial health effects.

Switch Out Hot Spices for Herbs
Another common hot flash trigger is spicy food. Similar to beverages, there is always a substitute. Instead of using spices to jazz up your food, try using fresh-squeezed lemon juice, garlic, or fresh herbs such as dill, oregano, and basil. If you use lemons, make sure to keep the seeds out of your food, as chomping down on a lemon seed can cause your tooth to complain. It may be tempting to increase the amount of salt in your diet when you're trying to get away from spicy foods, but this is a temptation to be resisted. Diets high in sodium are not heart healthy and should be avoided.

If dietary changes fail to make a difference, it could be time to speak with your doctor. When you discuss hot flashes with your healthcare provider, make sure to share the information you've kept in your log, as it can help your physician take the appropriate steps toward dealing with this unwanted symptom. ♀

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