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Image by Annie Spratt


Food Fabulous

Notes from midlife

How to stop menopausal hot flushes this summer 🌞

Hot sunny days are a double edged sword for midlife women. Your genes can make it more likely you’ll experience flushes BUT there is a LOT you can do for yourself if you don’t want the hot weather to dial up their intensity.  

So let’s dive in:

Dog and fan

1 Watch the sugar and high-carb foods

One of the BIG triggers for some of the worst symptoms of menopause - including hot flushes - is insulin resistance. This means your body makes a disproportionate response to the sugar and starchy foods you eat. Your best bet is to give the Magnums and other sugar treats a wide berth right now to avoid spiking your blood glucose levels. Yes, your blood sugar is designed to go up and down in response to the food you eat BUT sugar and starches make it go up too far. It’s not a life or death situation but, if you’ve been experiencing menopausal symptoms like flushes, it would be a good time to overhaul your food strategy. 

2 Ditch the booze

I know you’re looking forward to a chilled glass of Whispering Angel rose in the garden… but your body would prefer it if you had a nice cool glass of Trip or Goodrays instead (they’re CBD drinks, if you’ve not met them yet and you can get them in supermarkets). When you drink alcohol, this causes the blood vessels near the skin’s surface to dilate. This can ramp up flushes. The wine might seem like it’s your friend at the end of a long day, but it’s secretly conspiring against you… I tell you this in relation to hot flushes but, while it seems like it relaxes you, even one glass is wreaking havoc on your health. 

3 Keep your cool at night

Do what you need to do to keep your bedroom as cool as possible. Leave curtains closed during the day to prevent the room heating up, get out the light-weight duvet, and invest in a tower fan to keep your space cool. I have just bought an extra one, it’s great value AND you can operate it using your phone or Alexa if you want to - 

Sleep can feel a challenge in the heat so do yourself a favour, if you don’t have a generous silk eye mask to block out the daylight, buy one today. 

I’ve had all kinds but the one I love the most is this one because of its generous size - (and it’s 25% off right now). 


I am also a fan of silk pillowcases for reasons of keeping cool, and they’re kinder to your skin, too. 


4 Watch the lattes 

Don’t hate me but coffee is not it right now. Caffeine can be a trigger for hot flushes AND - whether you feel it or not - afternoon cuppas WILL reduce the quality of your sleep because of the length of time it takes for the coffee to leave your system. It’s the quality of your sleep that takes the hit and this is still the case EVEN IF you feel you drop off to sleep well. 

5 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Few women drink enough water and you’ll definitely want that to change in this weather. Women need about 2 litres a day even when it’s not sunny, so you’ll want to up it in this weather. This might seem a bit ‘no sh1t Sherlock’ but it’s worth underscoring that women lose moisture more quickly in menopause. If you want to feel cooler generally, cut your hot flushes and plump up your skin, check how much you are ACTUALLY drinking. If you know you’re a bit rubbish at this, you might want to get yourself a mahoosive water bottle for your desk that allows you to see what you’re drinking. Like this one - 


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