Got Bad Hot Flashes? A Plant-Based Diet Could Be Your Answer

Think low-fat and vegan, based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Got Bad Hot Flashes? A Plant-Based Diet Could Be Your Answer

Actress Emma Thompson, while receiving an award on a particularly cold night, once joked that with the crowd that she was grateful for the hot flashes of menopause. Sound familiar?

Around 85% of postmenopausal women say symptoms such as hot flashes, palpitations, and insomnia define the months or years around the cessation of menstruation. Many just tough it out, because for years women were told to take hormone replacement therapy, then told, "No, hormone therapy is too risky," then that it's really okay if done immediately after menopause and for no more than 10-20 years (the correct information in our opinion — if you also take low-dose aspirin).

Too bad this new study, lead by Physicians for Responsible Medicine's founding president Neal Barnard, wasn't around sooner. It's a real game-changer. During the 12-week study, the research, published in the journal Menopause, found a plant-based diet rich in soy reduces moderate-to-severe hot flashes by 84%! Close to 60% of participants became totally free of moderate-to-severe hot flashes — and women who experienced mild hot flashes saw them decrease by 79%.

The diet that produced these remarkable results was low-fat and vegan, based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, reduced intake of added oils and fatty foods, and — here's the kicker — 1/2 cup of cooked non-GMO soybeans daily. This diet could be adopted by any woman who is contending with menopause symptoms.

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In 1985 when quarterback Joe Theismann had his fibula and tibia shattered by a tackle, it ended his NFL career — a career in which he'd suffered seven broken noses, a broken collarbone, and broken hands and ribs. "People would say that it was a tragedy… but…it was a blessing," he's said. "I'd become somewhat of a self-absorbed individual and didn't really care much about a lot of things except myself. And ever since that day…I've tried to be a better person."

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