Menstrual health is a sensitive yet often avoided topic among women and girls. Many see it as a taboo topic and thus relegate it to the backwaters of discussions regarding health and hygiene. Typically, women and girls contend with uncontrollable food cravings, excruciating belly cramps, and unhealthy dietary choices whenever their periods come around. Thankfully, there are several adjustments you can make to improve your menstrual health and ease your menstrual pain during this sensitive period, and it all starts with changing your diet. By implementing some dietary changes, you’ll also be able to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Schedule an appointment with our licensed women health specialists so you can curb these issues from the root!
1. Julieanna Hever
The Three Changes by Julieanna:
- Focus on whole plant foods, minimally processed to maximize satiety and nutrition and to help ease any inflammation.
- Omit refined sugars, oils, flours to reduce cravings that may occur because of your period.
- Avoid or minimize alcohol consumption to maximize sleep and support a positive mood.
2. Rachele Brooke Smith
The Three Changes by Rachele:
- Say YES to protecting your health, energy, & longevity! Say NO to gluten, sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy oils.
- Focus on eating REAL WHOLE FOODS, lots and lots of veggies, and healthy oils like extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, and or grass-fed butter.
- Be super careful about your salad dressing, sauces, health food bars, and so-called healthy snacks as most of them contain unhealthy fillers and oils like (canola oil and other unhealthy vegetable oils) that are slowly killing our health.
3. Robin Miller
The Three Changes by Robin:
- To reduce bloating, avoid foods high in sodium and increase your intake of foods known to reduce inflammation in the body. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Enjoy a high-fiber, low-fat diet, and try to limit your intake of animal products (especially red meat and high-fat dairy); studies show that women who enjoy a high-fiber, mostly vegan diet experience less menstrual pain.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) not only help with hydration but also provide iron, which often dips during the menstrual cycle.
5. Cory Ruth
The Three Changes by Cory:
- Boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake- these potent anti-inflammatories found in fatty fish like salmon help reduce prostaglandin production which contributes to period pain.
- Swap your coffee for a Golden Milk Latte made with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and other healing spices to ease menstrual cramps while fighting inflammation.
- Amp up your banana, avocado, and chia seed intake! These foods contain hefty doses of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
6. Dr. Ellen Albertson
The Three Changes by Dr. Ellen
- Maintain a healthy weight. Women who are underweight or overweight appear to have more painful periods.
- Eat more plant foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. They can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Bonus Tip: Go easy on the sodium/salt.
7. Ivor Cummins
The Three Changes by Ivor:
- Minimize Insulin Resistance – reduce greatly or eliminate refined carbs, sugars and, vegetable/seed oils in your diet – note that most processed foods are stuffed with all three problem items – replace with real foods like meat, fish, eggs, & healthy vegetables.
- Ensure blood level of Vitamin D “25(OH)D” is above 30ng/mL (70nmol/L) – by fixing diet as in 1 above, getting plenty sun exposure without burning, and supplements if necessary.
- Ensure plenty of magnesium, potassium, K2, and other minerals/vitamins are in your diet and/or supplemented as per the upper end of guidelines.
8. Dalia Marin
The Three Changes by Dalia:
- Eat more fiber! Not only does fiber bring incredible benefits to gut health, but it’s also key to hormonal health as the two are closely connected.
- Dietary fiber can bind excess hormones including excess estrogen, which can be associated with menstrual pain. The fiber then helps remove and excrete the hormones from our bodies through bowel movements before they are absorbed in the colon. Lowered estrogen levels can decrease period pain.
- According to a 2019 meta-analysis, “Of 5,814 retrieved studies, 38 articles met inclusion criteria and were included for final data synthesis. The increased consumption of fruits and vegetables as the sources of vitamins and minerals… have positive associations with less menstrual pain.” The goal? Shoot to consume at least 30 types of plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains, legumes, herbs) per week for best gut health, which can create the best hormonal health.
9. Aidan Muir
The Three Changes by Aidan:
- Lower FODMAP foods can help manage symptoms of bloating and diarrhea that can be more prevalent at this time of the menstrual cycle. FODMAPs are not necessarily a simple topic, but reducing intake of FODMAPs (or any individual food triggers relevant to the individual) can help to manage symptoms and make life easier.
- Peppermint tea can help relieve cramping a little bit, in addition to helping aid some other symptoms like nausea or bloating.
- High magnesium foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, or from a more appealing perspective, dark chocolate, can potentially help. Higher magnesium intake is linked with reduced PMS-symptoms. At a minimum, people with magnesium deficiencies appear to suffer from more severe PMS-symptoms.
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Constant menstrual pain can lead to serious mental and physical health problems. If you are observing signs and symptoms of menstrual pain, do consult with an expert physician to manage it effectively. Contact Us at Mango Clinic to get health access today or click the banner below to book your appointment.