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A Fresh Approach to Eating

Foods that Fight Hot Flashes

Because I am growing older, foods that help with hot flashes and aging gracefully are a topic near and dear to my heart! I have lots of information on reducing hot flashes, maintaining our youthful glow, and reducing inflammation to fight chronic disease!

In addition, I am sharing my new Apple Blueberry Tofu and Kale Salad recipe, I have some links to other recipes on my places to my blog.

First of all, let’s start with some of the leading health and aging concerns that women over 50 (and younger women) have:

Health Concerns for Women:

  • Having a healthy heart
  • Maintaining healthy, youthful skin
  • Balancing a stable hormone balance
  • Preventing cancer
  • Keeping bones strong and preventing bone loss
  • Retaining a healthy memory and brain health
  • Nurturing a healthy relationship with food and our bodies
  • Learning foods to help with hot flashes

10 Healthy Foods for Women Over 50 to Fight Hot Flashes

As a dietitian, I have provided nutrition counseling to women of all ages over the years. Each one wanted to know what to eat to feel their best and stay healthy. When moms, wives, and partners are healthier, the entire family benefits. And when daughters, granddaughters, and grandmothers are healthier, their family benefits also!

After learning more about women’s health concerns, I’ve compiled a list of 10 foods that help fight hot flashes!

From my personal experience, I have not had an issue with hot flashes. I know some women do and some don’t. But my mother had terrible hot flashes, so I thought I might. I now realize that maybe I was eating more foods that decreased the risk of hot flashes.

Here is my list of Foods for Healthy Aging and Women’s Health

10 Foods to Help Hot Flashes

  1. Purple Foods

    Berries are high in plant estrogens, and hot flashes are less severe when plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) attach to estrogen receptor sites.

    Bright purple berries, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and even strawberries, promote brain health and help reduce inflammation, preventing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

    2. Green Foods

    Daily greens, such as kale, collards, arugula, spinach, and green leafy lettuce, can help reduce hot flashes. These have health benefits, including being high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. They are also rich in calcium, beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and iron.

    3. Fermented Foods

    Fermented foods with natural probiotics are good for us, but their benefits for relieving hot flashes remain controversial. Here is a good article on fermented foods and hot flashes.

    However, fermented dairy with healthy probiotics, including yogurt, kefir, and live-cultured buttermilk, are suitable for gut health. These foods are a great source of protein, calcium, and riboflavin, B vitamins needed for good health.

    Some people do not tolerate dairy, but there are a couple of good lactose-free yogurts. If you do not eat dairy, there are some delicious, fermented plant milks with healthy probiotics.

    4. Legumes like Beans and Lentils

    Beans have significant anti-inflammatory benefits that help prevent and manage chronic diseases and autoimmune conditions and promote digestive wellness. Bring chickpeas, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, navy/Great Northern beans, and soybeans! Protein is an important food to get an adequate amount to build and repair muscle mass and organs.

    All beans have some phytoestrogen, but soybeans have the most (more on that below).

    5. Healthy Fats:

    Healthy fats like almonds and avocados contain vitamin E, which may reduce hot flashes

    In addition, healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olive oil, omega-3-rich foods, and fatty fish like salmon and trout help fight inflammation. Limit fats that can increase inflammation, like saturated and trans.

    6. Cruciferous Vegetables

    Broccoli and other vegetables have a plant estrogen effect in our bodies, so they can help reduce hot flashes.

    In addition, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale provide cancer-fighting benefits, reduce inflammation, and contain many beneficial antioxidants.

    Dietary constituents of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables: implications for prevention and therapy of cancer – PubMed (

    7. Whole Grains

    The Cleveland Clinic article found that high-fiber foods like whole grains in the Mediterranean Diet can help reduce hot flashes.

    Whole grains like oats, millet, and brown rice provide fiber, B vitamins, and selenium, which provides protein, fiber, and beneficial B vitamins.

    What To Eat When You Have Hot Flashes (

    8. Apples

    There is a reason why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain beneficial flavonoids, antioxidants, and a phytochemical called quercetin, which helps prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. For more about apples, check out this research article, which contains great information.

    Phytoestrogens: food or drug? – PMC (

    9. Beta-Carotene:

    The women’s health initiative found that women with a higher vegetable intake had fewer vasomotor symptoms (night sweats and hot flashes). Their research found that 25 % of all women in their 60s and 70s had these.

    They found that increased weight may increase vasomotor symptoms, but their symptoms decreased as these women ate more vegetables.

    Vasomotor symptoms are linked to sleep disturbance and increased anxiety and depression. As a nutritionist who studied for almost ten years, I love that I may have helped women’s quality of life then and in years to come!

    Bright orange and yellow foods rich in antioxidants like beta carotene, including sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, and other root vegetables, help the body build collagen and promote mouth and gum health. They also help boost immunity.

    Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women’s Health Initiative – PMC (

    10. Soy Foods:

    Soy and other foods help balance healthy hormones in our bodies. Soy product intake and hot flashes in Japanese women: results from a community-based prospective study – PubMed (

Additional Resources on Food and Hot Flashes

Here are some additional resources on food and hot flashes:

10 Foods That Can Help Balance Your Hormones Naturally (

Foods That Help Ease Menopausal Symptoms (

How can food influence the severity of menopausal hot flashes? (

What To Eat When You Have Hot Flashes (

A while back, my cousin Cat asked me to write about the benefits of tempeh and its benefits to women’s health. Thanks for asking, Cat! Below are some recipes from my previous blog posts for using tempeh.

These recipes include tempeh or hempeh (read more about this product made by Smiling Hara right here in the Appalachian Mountains below) and tofu. You can use these whole soy foods interchangeably in recipes.

Recipes with Foods to Help with Hot Flashes

Barbecue Tempeh Open-Faced Sandwich with Slaw

Raspberry Habanero Hempeh Tacos

Lots of Breakfast Recipes Using Soy

It can also be used for lunch and supper!

Colorful Tempeh Breakfast Scramble

Savory Tofu Cherry Pecan Green Salad

Apple Cider Glazed Tempeh

Wild Blueberry Veggie Bowl

Two Protein Bowls

One containing tempeh and one with tofu.

Mushroom and Tempeh Lo Mein

(This post also includes another recipe that does not include soy with polenta and roasted vegetables!)

Stir-Fries with Tempeh or Tofu

Here Additional Soy Foods to Fight Hot Flashes

Grilled Tofu Fajitas

Curried Tofu Salad with Pecans and Cherries

Blueberry Hempeh Kale Salad

Caribbean Low Fodmap Tacos

Tempeh Pecan Sausage

Avocado Tempeh Tartines

However, regarding soy foods, the benefits and controversies pop up, and many people are concerned.

Soy Controversies About Safety and Answers

Some of the questions include:

Can soy foods help with hot flashes?

Do soy foods increase the risk of cancer?

How can soy benefit women with perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause?

What are the concerns for men and soy?

Does soy interfere with fertility?

How does soy affect thyroid health?

Here is a great podcast discussing the topic of soy and health on fellow registered dietitian Mary Purdy’s podcast as she talks with registered dietitian Whitney English.

I hope this interview helps clear up questions you may have had!

Check out Whitney’s Soy series on YouTube, also included in Mary’s post.

Here are a few additional Links on Soy’s Safety

Soy and Cancer Risk: Our Expert’s Advice | American Cancer Society

Is Soy Safe for Cancer Patients? – Cancer Nutrition Consortium

Soy and Cancer, Studies Indicate No Increased Risk – AICR

Additional Foods to Help Balance Our Hormones

As a result of researching for this post, I found a great article on even more foods that help balance hormones and prevent chronic disease. I hope that you find it as helpful as I did! It gives me even more reasons to eat avocados, flax, broccoli, pomegranates, salmon, leafy greens, nuts, soy, turmeric, and quinoa—foods that help balance our hormones.

Here is my new salad recipe, I hope that you enjoy making it and eating it. You can add frozen blueberries instead of fresh if you prefer.

Delicious Salad Recipe for Fighting Hot Flashes and Boosting Women’s Health

Nutritious Kale Salad
This salad is rich in beneficial antioxidants, calcium, and protein, all needed for women’s health.

Apple Blueberry Tofu & Kale Salad

This salad contains many foods I shared that benefit women’s health, including apples, blueberries, soy, a cruciferous vegetable, walnuts, and a yogurt dressing. That is six out of the ten that make women feel amazing!

Makes two servings (but double it to make four or have for the next day easily)

One apple chopped in large pieces (I like a tart apple like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Use a smaller serving if apples are one of your trigger foods with IBS)

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

3-4 cups of baby kale, or you can massage and remove large stems of large kale leaves

One package of firm tofu (use half of the box to make the two salads)

Lime Cilantro Yogurt Salad Dressing

Bake tofu according to the Farfalle recipe above (but use lime juice and chili powder for the seasonings.

Lime Cilantro Yogurt Salad Dressing

1/2 cup yogurt (use lactose-free if you are sensitive to lactose)

One lime squeezed

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed well.

To construct the salad, fill bowls with baby kale and add the blueberries and apples. Sprinkle with walnuts and arrange baked tofu on top. Drizzle with salad dressing.

Spicy Foods and Their Role in Increased Hot Flashes

Spicy foods like hot peppers can increase the risk of hot flashes, and that may be because they make you warm. This may trigger the hot flash. Some people may feel a hot flash when they are eating.

In addition, highly processed foods like white bread and pasta and sugary foods may also increase the risk of hot flashes because, in people with diabetes or prediabetes, these foods may lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar.

Hot Flashes: Triggers, How Long They Last & Treatments (

In addition, caffeine may also be a culprit for some women.

Women’s Nutrition Plan with Foods to Help with Hot Flashes

Finally, as a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, NC, I help women plan meals with foods to help with hot flashes. I love providing nutrition counseling and sharing my tips for healthy aging. We are what we eat, and what we eat can help us feel healthier and maybe even younger and happier! Schedule an appointment, and we can discuss how to feel your best before, during, and after 50 and beyond! In addition, we will discuss more foods that make women feel more amazing!

A Fresh Approach to Women’s Wellness Program – (

Tangy Yogurt Dessing Recipe for Kale Salad
I love the fresh, zesty flavor of this yogurt cilantro dressing over the whole-food kale salad.
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