menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

Day 17: No ‘hot flashes’ in Japan

on June 23, 2013

It is reported that the Japanese, until recently, did not have a word for hot flashes/hot flushes associated with the menopause. A quick look online reveals that between 7 and 25% of Japanese women report hot flashes/hot flushes as a menopausal symptom. It is thought that diet plays a key role in this.

japanese food

The Japanese diet includes relatively large amounts of fermented soy products such as miso and natto and unfermented soy products like tofu which have isoflavones that act as phytoestrogens to mimic the effects of estrogen. These phytoestrogens – found in most edible beans and not just soy – are thought to offset the steep drop in estrogen levels during menopause and help ease the effects of hot flashes and night sweats. Phytoestrogens may also help prevent heart disease and breast cancer, both of which have lower incidences among Japanese women.

The Japanese diet is also comparatively low in fat, alcohol, sugar, dairy, meat and spicy food which rank amongst the top aggravators of hot flashes as well as mood swings. A fatty diet can also exacerbate weight gain, another common symptom of menopause.

Definitely food for thought there!

Food Diary Day 17:

After the last couple of days of low motivation and, despite relatively healthy food, portions are still to large, I went for a run this morning.

Breakfast: Porridge with berries and ground linseed

Lunch: Coronation Chicken sandwich with tomato, rocket (arugula), avocado and mozzarella salad – not ideal as a bit high in fat but all that was available.

Dinner: Baked butternut squash with brown rice and nuts – see dinner recipes page

baked butternut squash

Snacks & Drinks: Herbal tea, a handful of high sugar, chemical laden kiddies sweets.

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