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Nutrition support for women during menstrual cycle

Post by on Saturday, May 28, 2022

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Food and Nutrition are a crucial aspect when it comes to our menstrual cycle. What you eat during each phase of your menstrual cycle has an impact on your overall physical, emotional and mental health.

Nutrition and menstrual cycle complement each other more than you think, and certain food groups help reduce and manage symptoms that you might feel during each phase.

Menstruation is the phase most associate as a time of misery, exhaustion and moodiness, but it does not have to be that way. Its quite natural to feel that way, have a bit less energy, few aches and twinges at this time. FOOD can be a great way to boost our energy levels, improve mood and reduce stomach pain and muscle cramps.

What we eat impacts everything from physical health to mood to weight and more, so its no surprise that it also has a huge impact on our cycle. This happens because throughout the month different levels of hormones like oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are affected by the food we eat. Just as these can be thrown off balance by certain foods, they can also be supported by others.

As a general rule, eating whole foods can benefit you throughout your cycle to help keep hormones balanced. Not leaving too long gap between meals and avoiding high sugar foods will help manage blood sugar levels to avoid cortisol spikes that contribute to mood swings.

Bear in mind that during specific phases of your cycle, your diet may be driven by cravings, or you may not wish to restrict and binge yourself so much – this is completely a normal sign. Here a few key nutrients to include that could help reduce negative symptoms and promote a better physical, mental and emotional balance during your cycle.

 

Key nutrients to support menstrual cycle

 

Iron

Iron plays an important role in energy production, oxygen transport and blood rebuilding, which is important during menstruation. There are two types of iron which comes from blood – Haem Iron and Non-Haem Iron. Chickpeas, lentils, quinoa and kidney beans, kale are good sources of Iron. But here is the important thing it is very much important to pair iron rich foods with Vitamin C to increase their food absorption in our body.

Supplementation of Iron is crucial for women who are suffering from anaemia, thalassemia and other blood related disorders. It is very much important step to connect with your qualified GP Doctor to understand in much detail about supplementation.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is naturally present in a variety of foods, the mineral plays an important role in assisting more than 300 enzymes to carry out various chemical reactions in the body such as building proteins and strong bones. Magnesium is found in plant foods like legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, soybean, brown rice, pumpkin seeds and certain other poultry products.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds and is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals.

Did you Know? Vitamin C improves the absorption of non-haem iron, the type of iron found in plant foods such as green leafy. Drinking a small glass of 100% fruit juice or including a Vitamin C – rich food with meals can help boost iron absorption. Vitamin C can be destroyed by heat and light. High heat cooking temperatures or prolonged cook times can break down the vitamin.

Some fruits and vegetables that are best sources of this Vitamin includes Citrus, Bellpeppers, Strawberries, Tomatoes, and some other Cruciferous vegetables.

 

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids play an vital role in the structure and function of cells. They help support skin and hair health during menstruation. It is essential to focus on foods such as flaxseeds, algae, and oily fish sources.

OMEGA3 can also be consumed in the form of supplementation. Please note that it is very important to consume supplements in under the prescription of your Doctor and Dietitian.

 

Fibre

Fibre is always an important part of a healthy diet, but most of us do not eat enough of it. Fiber is a type of Carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. It is important to include these sources of fiber – oatmeal, chia seeds, lentils, apples and other sources of fruits and vegetables.

 

Diet and exercise are also bringing a range of health benefits as well as improving your experience of having periods. Studies indicate women who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from menstrual pain, cramps and mood disturbances.

(But be cautious, listen to how body responds to workouts during periods – this indicates if your body needs the much needed rest – take rest.)

 

Here are some Go to Tips for women suffering from severe menstruation:

? Avoid stimulants such as Green Tea and Coffee in high doses.

? Exercise for sometime throughout the day.

? Develop a regular bedtime routine.

? Reduce stress with yoga or meditation.

? Avoid heavy meals or foods just before bed.

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