A new study has shown a strong connection between dietary changes to the improved symptoms of menopause. Researchers discovered that a plant-based diet rich in soy reduces the number of vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes, for women transiting menopause.
The research was published by the North American Menopause Society in the journal Menopause.
The study divided two groups of women experiencing postmenopausal symptoms with at least two or more hot flashes a day. The base group consumed a low-fat, plant-based diet, this diet also included a daily half-cup of soybeans added to a soup or a salad while the control group kept their regular eating habits for 12 weeks.
Researchers recorded the frequency and severity of physical, vasomotor, psychosocial, and sexual symptoms.
The study found that a plant-based diet that is rich in soy will reduce and moderate to severe hot flashes by 84 percent from around five a day to less than one per day.
At least 60 percent of women found that their moderate to severe hot flashes completely disappeared over the 12-week study period. And all types of hot flashes decreased by 79 percent.
Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee and adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine, led the study.
“This is a game changer for women aged 45 and over, most of whom we now know can get prompt relief from the most severe and troubling menopause symptoms without drugs.”
All women in the study reported an improvement in their mood, sleep, and energy levels. Many individuals also said their digestion was improved and they lost some weight.
“Previous studies have shown that soy could be beneficial, so we decided to put a diet change to the test We believe that the combination is what is important. By the end of the study, the majority of women on a plant-based diet rich in soy reported that they no longer experienced moderate-to-extreme hot flashes at all and that they experienced significant improvements in their quality of life.”