Can a Plant Based Diet Get Rid of Your Hot Flashes?? - Ellen Dolgen
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Can a Plant Based Diet Get Rid of Your Hot Flashes??

It’s a New Year, and we have a new way to deal with hot flashes!

Can you eliminate those pesky hot flashes by changing to a plant-based diet? If you could, would you give up cheese, meat, chicken, fish, and eggs to stop those heat surges and drenching night sweats??

On October  18, 2022, The North American Menopause Society published Dr. Neal Barnard’s study in the journal Menopause, which suggests that eating a low-fat, vegan soy-based diet can be as effective as hormone replacement for treating hot flashes.

I interviewed Dr. Barnard in August of 2021 and reported on his findings: Menopause Mondays®Can Eating a Vegan Diet Diminish Your Hot Flashes?

What I didn’t report on was that a few months before the interview, I had gone off of my hormone therapy. Sadly, at the age of 68, my hot flashes and brain fog returned. It was fate that Dr. Barnard’s public relations team reached out to me to see if I wanted to write about his new study. I was delighted to have the opportunity to have a very long enlightening Zoom with Dr. Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine. After our interview, I decided to give a plant-based, vegan diet a try.

I admit I was intimidated at first.  How was I going to eliminate eggs, a juicy burger, or not indulge in various yummy dairy products? It was a drastic change for me, but I was determined to stop the flashing and see if the diet could help with the brain fog.

Dr. Neal Barnard explained in a recent press release that the results mirror the diets of places in the world, like pre-Westernized Japan and the modern-day Yucatán Peninsula. In those places, it is more prevalent for postmenopausal women to eat a low-fat, plant-based diet, including soybeans, and experience fewer symptoms.

Study Results

According to researchers, participants who adhered to a strictly plant-based diet saw their real hot flashes decrease by 79%, and moderate to severe hot flashes decrease by 84%. By comparison, hormone replacement therapy has a 70–90% reduction in hot flashes.

In addition, participants also reduced total weight by 8 pounds on average over 12 weeks.

Three Main Protocols to Follow 

  • Avoid all animal products. (Substitute other high plant-based proteins beans, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, tofu, etc.)
  • Reduce overall fat intake. (I reduced fat-rich foods like oils, nuts, and avocados and increased fiber-rich fares.
  • I ate a daily serving of  ½ cup of soybeans a day. (Edamame and tofu don’t count for this.) I buy a huge bag of organic soybeans online on Amazon. First, rinse the dry soybeans.  Then put them in a bowl. Cover them with an inch and a half of water above the bean line and put them in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, drain and rinse them again. Put them in a pot of water 2 – 3 inches above the beans and bring them to a boil. Take a big spoon and skim the foam and throw it out. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 ½ hours or to your desired tenderness. Then drain them. I usually place them on a baking sheet and pat them dry with a paper towel. I bake them at 250 – 300 temperature to help dry them out. Then put them in the refrigerator for the week. You can also buy ready-made dry-roasted soybeans. If I am eating out, I put a ½ cup serving of soybeans in a baggy in my purse. Dump them on whatever I have ordered.

My Results

When I ate a plant-based diet above, in less than 12 weeks, my hot flashes were almost gone. Once in a while, I might feel like I am getting a bit warm, but then the sensation stops. It never turns into a hot flash. As a matter of fact,  the diet helped with my brain fog, too!!!!  When you are on a vegan diet, it is recommended that you have your internist check your vitamin B levels to see if you need any supplementation.

My husband went on the eating plan with me. I was so happy he volunteered to try it. It was easier to cook the same thing for the two of us. We both lost weight and feel better on a vegan diet. BTW there are so many delicious plant-based soy recipes. You can still go out to eat.  Most restaurants have options for vegetarians and vegans.

If you try this plant-based diet to eliminate your hot flashes, please keep us posted on your results.

My Motto:  Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN! 

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* does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.


4 thoughts on “Can a Plant Based Diet Get Rid of Your Hot Flashes??”

    1. Louise, I understand how you feel about your HRT. I felt great when taking HRT -my brain fog, hot flashes, night sweats, and emotional highs and lows were elevated!! I was on hormones for a long time! Unfortunately, at age 67, I had breakthrough bleeding, which required a biopsy.THe biopsy showed pre-cancerous cells. I decided to have a full hysterectomy. After my hysterectomy, my oncologist scared me about going back on estrogen. I mistakenly thought my perimenopausal symptoms wouldn’t reappear at 67 years old. However, I was wrong! There is no question that my body is struggling without estrogen replacement. :<(

      1. So sorry you went through all that. Sounds like you made the right decisions all around. I’m glad that the plant-based meal plan is working for you—-> keep us posted on any other good hacks! Thanks for reaching out and I look forward to more of your great posts & info:-)

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