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MODERATOR:
I love the chapter "I'm Not Moody -- I'm Cranky All the Time!" I think it's exciting. What I like most about this book is that it's organized by symptom, so that you can literally just turn to the chapters that are your priority at that time. Let's start with "Is It Me, or Is It Hot in Here?"

MEMBER QUESTION:
Are there certain kinds of food that can cut down the hot flashes?

MAGEE:
With diet and hot flashes it's a bit of trial and error. Something may work for some women, so either you have to throw them all up in the air and see what helps you.

  • Avoiding spicy foods around your prime hot-flash time can help.
  • Eating smaller-sized meals, because large meals can increase your body temperature.
  • Chewing on ice chips or sipping on some ice-cold, no-calorie beverages at a time when you tend to have hot flashes can help decrease your body temperature.
  • If it's convenient, taking a colder shower before you tend to get hot flashes, or swimming, if that's practical, actually decreases your body temperature for hours afterwards.
  • Try a daily serving or two of a phytoestrogen-rich food, like soymilk, tofu, or edamame.
  • You could try some other phytoestrogen rich foods, like papaya, peas, and beans.
  • Then there's ground flax seed. Flax seed is the most potent food source of the phytoestrogen called lignin. You need it to be ground and a general sort of amount is 1 tablespoon a day.

Now, the foods to lose for hot flashes would be the hot and spicy type foods, foods with caffeine as beverages, and alcohol.

Some recent research suggests that soy, for hot flashes, works better for women who work out and exercise. So that might explain why it works better in some women than others.

MODERATOR:
Here is one of Elaine's great recipes for dealing with hot flashes and night sweats.

Hot Flash Mochaccino
from The Change of Life Diet and Cookbook
by Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

1/2 cup double-strength decaf coffee, chilled
3/4 cup chocolate soy milk
1 1/2 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (optional)
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (optional)

  • Add coffee, chocolate soymilk, ice cubes, and flaxseeds (if desired) into the blender and blend until the mixture has a nice, smooth texture (like a milkshake).
  • Taste the drink. If you would like a stronger chocolate flavor, add a tablespoon of chocolate syrup. Blend the mixture, pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

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