Our body’s needs change depending on the stages of our menstrual cycle, it’s helpful to know what to eat before, during and after our periods. This will help prevent PMS, period pain, irregular cycles and infertility.
When you treat a woman like a goddess, she’ll rise to the occasion. And a woman’s body is the temple where the goddess resides.
So for our inner goddess to shine and blossom, we need to take special care of our own delicate and glorious temple – our body.
And because our body’s needs change depending on the stages of our menstrual cycle, it’s helpful to know what to eat before, during and after our periods.
What to Eat Before Your Period – Keep It Light
If there’s an excessive amount of estrogen in your body, you may experience premenstrual tension, breast tenderness, abdominal distension, fatigue, irritability or insomnia, the so-called Premenstrual Syndromes.
Certain foods can help your body process estrogen more efficiently, and therefore reduce or eliminate PMS symptoms.
The following dietary guidelines are recommended during the 10 days before your period…
1. Eat light, easy-to-digest, nutritious and balanced meals.
Include beans and legumes, fish, leafy greens and fruits in your diet.
2. Drink a lot of water.
Water promotes regular and smooth bowel movement, which helps reduce bloating and stagnation in the abdominal area.
3. Avoid spicy and stimulating foods.
These foods include cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, etc. I must admit that this is very hard for me, as I absolutely adore spicy foods. Since I don’t want to completely avoid them, I use them sparingly.
4. Reduce the consumption of greasy and oily foods and sweets.
Since hormones are metabolized through our digestive systems, a healthy gut is essential to maintaining a harmonious menstrual cycle. These types of foods tend to cause inflammation and are hard to digest. They may be tasty, but are NOT cycle friendly.
5. Cut down on salt.
Too much salt impairs the functioning of your blood vessels and kidneys, which can cause headache, irritability, and an accumulation of fluids in the body.
6. Take Dim Plus.
DIM-plus contains diindolylmethane, a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. It supports the activity of enzymes that improve estrogen metabolism.
If you’re looking for a supplement that helps your body to metabolize estrogen more effeciently, I recommend Nature’s Way Dim-Plus Capsules.
For additional PMS support, visit my PMS Blog.
What to Eat During Your Period – Keep It Warm and Balanced
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), coldness in the uterus is a common cause of scanty period, no period, or painful period.
1. Avoid cold and raw foods if you can.
Cold and raw foods are harder to digest and use up the warm yang energy in your body. Moreover, coldness constricts, which can stagnate the normal blood flow and impair circulation causing period pain.
So try to consume foods and drinks warm or at room temperature, at least while you’re menstruating.
2. Keep it light and fresh.
Follow the same guidelines recommended before your period.
3. Replenish your iron.
Normally women lose about 30-80ml of blood and 15-25ml of iron during each menstruation. So it’s important that we replenish our blood and iron during this time.
Foods rich in iron include organic red meat, liver, egg yolks, spinach, collards, dried prunes, raisins, oysters, clams, scallops, turkey, chicken giblets, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans and artichokes.
You may also consider taking a liquid iron supplement which is gentle on the stomach and non-constipating.
4. Avoid drinking strong tea.
The tannic acid contained in tea may affect the proper absorption of protein and iron in food. Learn 10 things to avoid when drinking tea.
5. Have some nourishing herbal tea instead.
Yogi Woman’s Moon Cycle Herbal Tea contains many wonderful female tonics such as Dang Gui (Angelica) root extract, Chaste Tree berry extract, organic raspberry leaf, etc. It helps regulate menstrual cycles, ease PMS symptoms, and period pain.
For additional support during menstruation, visit my Menstruation Blog.
What to Eat After Your Period – Nourish Your Blood
The optimal time to nourish your blood is within 1-5 days after you stop bleeding.
1. Eat some blood nourishing foods.
Check out my list of simple blood nourishing foods.
2. Avoid sugary foods.
Blood sugar fluctuation is one of the main causes of PMS symptoms. You can keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding sugary foods, such as soft drinks, candies, and cakes.
I have to admit I have a weakness for chocolates, and I don’t want to give up the pleasure of enjoying them. So I go with 70-80% dark chocolates and savor them in moderation.
3. Consume foods high in fiber.
Fiber can help move excess estrogen from your body, hence regulate your periods, reducing PMS and calming your mood. Veggies, fruits and whole grains are good sources of fiber.
4. In between meals have some healthy snacks rich in Vitamin B.
Walnuts, almonds and cashews are some good choices. For more info, check out how B complex affects your menstrual cycles and fertility.
5. Make sure you get sufficient proteins in your meals.
Salmon, organic meat, eggs, tofu, tempeh or beans are examples of high quality protein.
6. Keep your meals regular.
Regular meals help avoid blood sugar fluctuation and strengthen your digestion.
7. Avoid or reduce caffeine intake.
Too much caffeine can make you prone to mood fluctuations, such as irritability or anxiety.
Try organic raspberry tea or green tea instead. They’re healthier and can be just as delightful.
8. Consume calcium-rich foods.
Food sources of calcium include organic milk and yogurt, sardines, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, turnips and collard greens, fortified orange juice, and organic soybeans.
You may also be interested in learning how calcium can help ease PMS symptoms.
This is a golden window to enhance your fertility
A few days after menstruation, egg follicles start to form and grow. Then the best of them is selected for ovulation.
So if you’re trying to conceive, here’s a golden opportunity to improve your egg quality. For additional tips on how to increase your chances of conception, visit my Fertility Blog.
Today is the first day of my cycle. I made a special chicken soup with Shiitake mushrooms, peanuts, cashews and Goji berries. It was so tasty – and nourishing!
When I treat my temple well, I can feel the goddess within me smiling and shining through. How about you?