Every woman is born with a certain number of eggs in the ovaries. After puberty, the eggs begin to mature, one by one. And when they do that, the ovary cells surrounding the eggs begin to produce hormones and so this leads to a cyclic production of estrogen and progesterone, which causes the menstrual cycle. Over time, the eggs begin to diminish and this process makes the cycles become irregular. When the eggs are finished, the ovaries no longer produce estrogen and progesterone, and so the menstrual periods stops altogether. A year without menstruating means menopause for most women.
What causes hot flashes?
Researchers don’t know exactly the cause of hot flashes or why some women experience while others are totally asymptomatic.
But they do know however that there are a few important factors that trigger hot flashes, and they are: alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, hot weather, excessive heat at home, stress and emotional problems.
Avoiding these factors might help reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Many women have found that physical training or simple but constant exercise help reduce menopausal symptoms. Whatever their cause hot flashes usually diminishes with time.
Vitamin E reduces hot flashes
Vitamin E is also recommended for menopausal women who suffer from hot flashes. In fact, vitamin E is recommended for treatment of hot flashes in women with a history of breast cancer who can not follow hormone replacement therapy.
Studies have shown that Vitamin E prevents hot flashes by preventing blood vessel dilation and also helps stabilizing blood function. Excellent sources of vitamin E are: mustard, spinach, raw sunflower seeds, kale and almonds. Women entering menopause are also recommended magnesium, which has by the ability to relax the nervous system and help reduce stress in order to achieve a normal sleep.
Women who go through menopause are at risk for bone loss and therefore it is advisable to absorb calcium. Excellent sources of calcium are spinach, kale leaves, mustard leaves and broccoli.
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart disease and help regulate hormone levels. Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are: flaxseed, walnuts and cold-water fish such as salmon and code.
A supplement containing vitamin complex B, Vitamin C and zinc may be helpful in fighting the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
Soy and menopause
The amount of phytoestrogens in the diet seems to be one of the cures for easing menopause syptoms, includind hot flashes and mood swings.
The best and most studied sources of phytoestrogens are soy and soy products. If you choose to eat more soy foods, this will absorb a lot of vitamin E that can help ease the symptoms of menopause. You can use soy milk, tofu, soy nuts and many other varieties of soy foods available in stores today. In addition to help fight the symptoms of menopause, soy foods have less fat than other products and thus they represent a solution for fighting weight. Studies have shown that soy reduces abdominal fat and decreases blood pressure.
In addition to soy foods, menopausal women can consume more flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts and peas.
Phytoestrogens, which dramatically improve menopausal symptoms are found in a number of other vegetables: chickpeas, lentils and peas are rich sources of phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens act a bit like estrogen produced before your body.
Flax seeds are the richest foods in lignans, substances that act like estrogen. Although they are much weaker than real estrogen, researchers suggest that their effect is big enough to improve menopausal symptoms. Flaxseeds reduce hot flashes by 60%. Flaxseed oil has the same properties and can be used with great success (don’t use it for cooking because it wil lose the beneficial properties of Omega 3).
Seafood also contains lignans, as well as sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, whole grains such as rye, oats, barley and wheat. Laboratory studies have shown that yams can be good for health especially during menopause because it contains similar compounds to substances our body uses to make progesterone, the hormone that is naturally produced before menopause. Yams are very tasty and worth to try.