Nutrition for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Nutrition for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle


Omega-3
These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are necessary for our body, and we can get them only with food – the body itself does not produce them. Omega-3 has many important functions: it is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain, heart and nervous system. Does it affect how we feel during menstruation? Yes, how!

Reduces pain

Often, pain is caused by too intense contractions of the uterus, which are caused by prostaglandins. Studies have shown that omega-3s can affect the amount of prostaglandins, thereby reducing pain.

01

Improves mood

Omega-3 helps our body regulate hormone production. The beginning of a new menstrual cycle is always a hormonal storm, and an imbalance in hormones causes mood swings and depressive states. Omega-3 smoothes the mood swings that are common with PMS.
02

Improves sleep

During sleep, our bodies are busy regulating hormone levels – from cortisol, which causes stress, to FSH and LH, which affect the reproductive function of women. Lack of sleep directly affects your well-being during menstruation – a decrease in serotonin causes a bad mood, tearfulness, and an increase in cortisol – severe cramps and pain.

03

Sources of Omega-3

  1. Fish and seafood:

Wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, scallops, caviar, cod liver

  1. Nuts and seeds:

flax seeds, hemp, chia, walnut

  1. Seaweed.
  2. Supplements in the form of capsules.

Watch out, Omega-6
It is also an essential fatty acid, but its excess causes negative reactions in the body.

It’s all about the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6: ideally, with food, we should get 3 parts of Omega-6 for 1 part of Omega-3. But at present, the inhabitants of Europe and America have this ratio of 30 to 1. That is, on average, we consume 10 times more Omega-6 than we need. It’s practically everywhere, in any food we buy in supermarkets.

Excessive consumption of Omega-6 leads to the development of many diseases – allergies, arthritis, diseases of the cardiovascular system, dementia, obesity. For the menstrual cycle, this means more painful and heavy periods.

Vitamin D
In fact, this is not a vitamin – it is a hormone. Its main functions have been known for a long time – it is responsible for calcium absorption and bone strength.

Recent research has also shown that it is essential for the maintenance of many physiological processes. The work of the thyroid gland, the production of sex hormones, the work of the nervous system and immunity depend on it.

At the same time, 50-80% of the population has a deficiency of vitamin D in countries north of the 35th parallel (and this is everything north of Cyprus, India, Japan – that is, Russia is at risk).

Low vitamin D levels can cause menstrual irregularities:

Ovarian dysfunction

absence of menstruation, or infrequent and very scanty menstruation

strong manifestations of PMS (mood swings, anxiety, tearfulness)

dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain)

Research has also found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the occurrence of polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility.

Magnesium
This is the basis for a healthy period. It normalizes all hormonal processes in the body

Helps remove excess estrogen (excess estrogen leads to more abundant periods and the appearance of neoplasms – cysts, fibroids)

Helps fight stress by lowering cortisol levels.

Improves mood

Reduces anxiety

Improves sleep

Helps in the treatment of premenstrual migraines

Relieves cramping

Magnesium deficiency is very common – in two out of three people . It leads to severe PMS and sore periods, muscle cramps, and increases your sugar cravings.

Sources of Magnesium
Green leafy vegetables

spinach, kale, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus

Avocado

Nuts and seeds

especially pumpkin seeds

Legumes

Whole grain

Fatty fish

Bitter chocolate, cocoa

Magnesium supplements

Zinc
It is the second most important trace mineral, after magnesium, which is responsible for the normal menstrual cycle.

Zinc is effective in treating acne, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and painful periods.

Zinc reduces inflammation in the body and reduces the amount of prostaglandins, thereby reducing the soreness of menstruation. Zinc is also included in the treatment regimen for endometriosis.

Zinc regulates ovarian function and is responsible for timely ovulation.

Blocks excess testosterone, reducing the appearance of excess testosterone – acne and excess facial hair growth.

Helps cells metabolize collagen, which can help reduce the symptom of vaginal dryness.

Reduces cortisol, helping us fight stress.

Zinc is also responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails.

Sources of zinc

Red meat (beef)

Shellfish, shrimp and crabs

Legumes

Sunflower seeds, hemp, pumpkin

Pine nuts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds

Cheese

Eggs

Whole grain

Dark chocolate

Vitamin C
Everyone knows that vitamin C helps our immune system.

Here’s why it’s important for your period wellness:

Studies have shown that consuming 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily reduces menstrual pain, including endometriosis.

Vitamin C helps to absorb iron – as you know, during menstruation, our iron levels decrease, and it is necessary to provide the body with oxygen.
Greens
Greens contain many trace elements and fiber that we need, it is simply necessary for the normal functioning of the intestines.

A healthy menstrual cycle also depends on gut health:

It is in the intestines that excess estrogen is excreted from the body. If the intestines do not work well and estrogen is not excreted, symptoms of its excess appear – heavy menstruation, severe pain, pronounced PMS.

During menstruation, many have problems with stool – diarrhea or, conversely, constipation. A healthy gut will be less affected by hormonal fluctuations and you will feel better.
Also, greens are rich in minerals:

Iron

It is necessary for the normal saturation of organs with oxygen. But after menstruation, iron stores always decrease. Particularly rich in iron are spinach, nettle, kale, sorrel

Potassium

Helps maintain optimal fluid balance so that there is no swelling during menstruation. (Parsley, spinach, cilantro, sorrel)

Beta carotene

In the body, it is converted to vitamin A, which reduces the amount of bleeding. It also helps your skin look radiant. (parsley, celery, dill, spinach, sorrel)

Magnesium

(parsley, sorrel, dill, spinach, basil)

Folic acid

It helps the body produce dopamine and serotonin, hormones responsible for good mood.

Why do we want to eat a lot in the PMS?
Have you noticed that before your period you always want to eat something, even if you are not hungry?

These are not just your whims – this is how your body tells you that it lacks something.

Before menstruation, the level of hormones – estrogen and progesterone – drops very much, little serotonin (the hormone of good mood) is produced, so the brain is looking for the easiest way to fix this – to eat your favorite dish, especially something sweet or fatty.

But the fact is that fatty, salty and carbohydrate foods will only worsen your well-being – it will cause bloating, swelling, blood sugar surges, which will lead to another deterioration in mood.

The best tactic is to eat lots of complex carbohydrates (any grains other than white rice) and tryptophan-rich foods.

In the body, tryptophan is converted to serotonin. And you no longer want to kill everyone 🙂

If you want a certain food, you should listen to the body – so it tells you what nutrients it lacks. But often our “compass” is knocked down – there is clearly not what the body needs in pizza or chocolate ice cream.

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