The menstrual cycle – often associated with bloating, moodiness, cramps, and pesky hormonal breakouts – can be a frustrating time for many women. Fortunately, there are a few simple dietary changes that may help reduce the severity of symptoms experienced each month.
Read on to learn five key nutrition guidelines to balance your cycle and improve your health.
1. Remove processed foods from your diet.
This is the best thing anyone can do for their health. The challenge here is that many people think they’re eating clean but are actually still eating a lot of processed foods.
Do a little survey of your daily diet, kitchen, and cabinets. Are high- sugar yogurts, granola, and cereal bars sneaking into your daily menu? What percentage of your food has no label at all, like vegetables?
Aim to mostly eat food that doesn’t come in a package. This simple step will greatly help in balancing your hormones and bringing your body into alignment.
2. Take synthetic hormones off your plate.
Choose grass-fed, local, and clean meat and dairy without added hormones and notice the difference in your monthly cycle. Hormones from food can lead to a heavier flow, more cramping, mood swings, and even ovarian cysts.
3. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are generally a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which may help reduce symptoms and severity of PMS.
4. Pick your proteins wisely.
Bio-individuality comes into play in a big way with protein.
Some people notice a lot less cramps and a lighter, more comfortable flow when they reduce consumption of animal products. But women who are dealing with amenorrhea – or lack of period – may find that eating high-quality animal protein helps periods to return.
When choosing protein, opt for grass-fed, local, and hormone-free when possible. Experiment with a more plant-based diet, and observe how these different eating styles make you feel and how they affect your menstrual cycle.
5. Get honest about fat.
The concept that fat makes you fat is simply untrue.
Lack of high-quality fat in the diet is linked to poor skin health, amenorrhea, hormonal imbalance, ovarian cysts, and a slew of other common women’s health issues.
It’s important to remember that fat is your friend, not your foe. Adding avocado, olive oil, and even grass-fed butter can be very helpful when balancing your female cycle. Good fats, especially omega-3s, help reduce inflammation, which can be particularly useful in reducing cramping.
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