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Eating Right for Your Period

February 9th, 2018 / Be Well Make This
georgia

Grabbing for the ice cream or brownie mix is not out of the question when we’re on our periods. It’s what we crave when we’re feeling those icky, tired, boated and crampy vibes. But, as we love to shout — FOOD IS MEDICINE! How can we utilize the foods we are eating throughout the month to stop the unwanted symptoms in their tracks, before they cause us to cancel our Friday night plans?

The nutrients, vitamins and minerals you choose to place into your body before, after and during your period can actually help to rebalance and rebuild important levels that are depleted as our bodies cycle through the month. But when chosen mindlessly, they can do the opposite snd strip the body of the minerals needed to cycle — causing more cramps, more aches and more inflammation in general.

Here’s a short list of foods we recommend eating (and avoiding) throughout the month to help temper period symptoms and fuel the body for a more manageable menstruation.

EAT THESE BEFORE YOUR PERIOD:

  • Greens: Leafy greens have an anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect, so eating them during your literal phase is great if you’re prone to bloating. They also contain B Vitamins — helpful in balance hormones and detoxing the bad estrogens in your body.
  • Foods rich in iron: When we menstruate, we lose iron, which can cause physical and emotional side effects. Choose ingredients like lentils, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and sesame, hemp and flax seeds.
  • Water: Staying hydrated helps eliminate bloating. Period. 🙂 At least two liters a day can help improve overall digestion and prevent water retention caused by monthly hormonal changes.

EAT THESE DURING YOUR PERIOD:

  • Dark leafy greens: Their Vitamin K slows down blood flow, their iron perks your energy levels, and magnesium + potassium, which can release headaches and cramps.
  • Bananas: known as a mood-boosting food, majorly due to its vitamin B6 levels.  They’re also a super-dose of magnesium and potassium, which can help relive bloating and water retention.
  • Dark Chocolate: yes go for it. It’s a great  source of magnesium, which can lower inflammation and boost your serotonin, your happy hormone! Make sure to choose chocolate with as few ingredients as possible and at 70% of higher for lowest sugar! We love our Cocoa Parlor bars!

AVOID THESE DURING YOUR PERIOD:

  • Processed foods: They, of course, contain hidden salt, sugar and chemically-laden ingredients. While it’s quick and easy to grab the bag of (fill in the blank) before you leave for work, our body has to work harder to break down these “foods”, and during menstruation, our body needs all the excess energy it can find to move you through your cycle.
  • Caffeine: Lowering your coffee intake is a smart idea during this time of the month (as hard as it is…). Caffeine can actually worsen aches, pains and increase breast-tenderness.
  • Carbonated drinks: Yep, even those Pelegrinos. The bubbles can contribute to any bloating or discomfort, while upping your good ole’ water intake will actually ease water retention, help improve digestion and flush inflammation.
  • Alcohol: That glass of red wine may temporarily soothe cramps, in can increases estrogen levels, which can wosen period symptoms.
  • Sugar: Menstruation can throw off blood sugar levels in the body, which is why so many of us crave sweets during our periods.  Sugar is an inflammatory substance that can result in additional fatigue or even more dramatic mood swings.

EAT THESE AFTER YOUR PERIOD:

  • Leafy Greens: We’re not a broken record. Leafy greens are super-packed with vitamins and minerals, so they will replenish what was lost during your period. They also cleanse and detoxify your blood, preparing your body for your next cycle.
  • Focus on fiber:, It can help move excess estrogen out of the body, thus help to regulate future periods.
  • Eat your B’s: Walnuts, cashews, legumes and seeds are great sources. B vitamins help to detoxify the body from unwanted estrogens and re-oxygenate the blood.

Utilizing food throughout your cycle in this way will help your body regulate hormones, mood, vitamins and minerals, ultimately cutting down on your Ibuprofen intake and monthly hibernation time.  #femininehealthandwealth

 

Photo via: Georgia O’Keefe
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