Menstrual Cycle Coach Haley Cada on Nourishment for a Healthy Period

By Menstrual Cycle Coach: Haley Cada 

The way that you nourish your body when you bleed is so incredibly important. Your womb is releasing fluid, nutrients, tissue & blood through the process of menstruation. Our bleed truly is a time of detoxification & how you choose to nourish yourself through menstruation will support you for the entire cycle ahead. In this blog post, I’ll be going through some very simple + tangible ways to nourish your bleeding body during menstruation.

Menstruation is considered a Yin phase of the cycle, meaning that the body is moving into a more receptive, feminine state. Our basal body temperature decreases when we bleed, to typically the lowest temperatures you will see all month. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the body is cooling down, meaning that warming, more nutrient dense foods are going to balance out the coolness of the body. Steamed root vegetables, stews, soups, broths & warm beverages are really nourishing.

Here are some specific nutrients & food sources to prioritize when you bleed ~

 

IRON:

Iron is essential to replenish the blood that has been lost through menstruation. It is especially important to prioritize Iron consumption before, during & after your period if you experience long, heavy + painful bleeds. I recommend consuming 1-2 servings of pasture raised animal products during your menstrual phase, as animal products are the most bio-available forms of heme-iron, which is essential for blood production.

Other nutrient dense forms of iron ~ cruciferous greens {broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower}, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans & red + green lentils.

 

MAGNESIUM:

Magnesium is a miracle nutrient, especially for PMS symptoms + painful periods. Magnesium supports the muscles of the body to fully relax. Magnesium has been shown to support tremendously with period pain, and can be an incredible supplement to take all cycle long. Obtaining proper amounts of magnesium through our diets alone are challenging because the soil is very depleted of this essential nutrient. Therefore, I do recommend supplementation if you are looking for therapeutic support. It can also be terrific in supporting pre-menstrual bloating + breast tenderness. 

Food sources of Magnesium include ~ high quality Himalayan salt, miso, cacao, seafood + seaweed, nuts, legumes, cruciferous greens.

 

ZINC:

Zinc is important for a few different reasons! First off, the immune system is more vulnerable when you bleed, which can make you more susceptible towards getting sick. In our modern society, many of us have to continue working when we bleed {hopefully this will change!}, which can be taxing! Therefore, zinc can be really supportive in assisting the immune system during menstruation. Zinc also has potent anti-inflammatory + antioxidant properties! Supplementation of 30-50 mg of Zinc during the week prior to Menstruation has been shown to decrease prostaglandins in the blood +  reduce pain intensity. Prostaglandins are the inflammatory chemicals that the uterus produces when it is pulsing + shedding the endometrial lining. Womb holders who experience pain while they bleed have been shown to have up to 4x the amount of prostaglandins in their blood than those who do not experience pain.

Food sources of Zinc include ~ seafood, shellfish, oysters, mussels, pasture raised meat poultry, eggs

 

As for things to avoid ~ cold beverages + smoothies, excessive caffeine & alcohol are all things that can exacerbate cramping + pain in the womb space.

 Above all else, make sure that you eat enough, consistently & make space to slow down + nourish your bleeding body. You will thank yourself all cycle long.

 

 

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