The good cycle comes with eating

Reduce menstrual irregularities, but also cramps and mood alterations typical of “those days” you can. Just follow the right diet.

Proper nutrition, which allows you to maintain a healthy weight, helps to avoid menstrual irregularities. But even the cramps and mood alterations typical of “those days” can be effectively countered with suitable food.

Food imbalance is one of the most frequent causes of alterations in the menstrual cycle. A correct balance of vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients helps to better cope with its different phases.

Insulin plays a fundamental role in this sense: a diet rich in carbohydrates can promote the development of resistance to this hormone, often involved in the genesis of ovarian polycystosis that is the basis of menstrual irregularities.

Eating regular meals and paying attention to the correct ratio of protein to carbohydrates in individual meals helps balance insulin spikes throughout the day.

It is not surprising, therefore, that a sudden weight gain, or, more often, a rapid weight loss can alter the menstrual cycle.

Added to this is the fact that a diet that leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies alters hormonal balances. Among the vitamins that must never be missing are E and B6, contained in brewer’s yeast, extra virgin olive oil, lettuce, cabbage, fennel and parsley, leafy vegetables and whole grains.

At each stage its foods

The irritability and increased appetite that often characterize the days before menstruation demonstrate the close correlation between food and the menstrual cycle.

These phenomena are due to the alteration of hormone levels and the drop in blood sugar, closely associated with a decrease in serotonin levels, a molecule essential for mood control.

Reducing these imbalances also helps to limit the appearance of acne, due to the increased activity of the sebaceous glands. The most suitable foods in this period are pasta, rice, cereals, potatoes and, more generally, complex carbohydrates, legumes and fish, which provides the proteins necessary for the synthesis of hormones.

Red meats, eggs, sea fish and shellfish, potatoes and tomatoes stimulate ovulation, providing proteins and vegetable fats. On the contrary, cheeses are not recommended at this stage.

After ovulation, when the major problems are swelling and water retention, it is better to prefer fish, celery, fennel, salad, asparagus and white meats, which promote diuresis.

On the other hand, the excessive use of salt and the consumption of cheese, butter, cream, sauces, pickled products, stock cubes, smoked meat and fish, cold cuts, confectionery, alcohol, sodium-rich waters, carbonated and sugary drinks, to which it is better to prefer infusions of verbena, dandelion and fennel.

In summary, here are the foods to prefer or avoid at different stages of the cycle:

Cycle phase Preferred foods Foods to avoid
Ovulation Red meat, egg, sea fish and shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes Cheese
Post-ovulation Fish, celery, fennel, salad, asparagus, white meat, infusions of verbena, dandelion and fennel Salty foods, cheeses, butter, cream, sauces, pickled products, stock cubes, smoked meat and fish, cured meats, confectionery, alcohol, sodium-rich waters, carbonated and sugary drinks
Pre-menstrual period Pasta, rice, cereals, potatoes, legumes, fish

Each cycle has its own diet

However, the symptoms associated with the cycle are different from woman to woman and the most correct diet changes depending on the case.

If the flow is abundant fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, kiwis, grapefruits and peppers, improve coagulation. Cheeses and red meat are also recommended, especially liver, which helps to replenish the strong iron losses associated with menstruation.

This mineral is also contained in turkey, chicken, oily fish, eggs, legumes, bran, green vegetables, brewer’s yeast, dried and dehydrated fruit. Foods that thin the blood, such as pineapple, mushrooms, parsley, onions, melon and fish, are not recommended. In contrast, these foods, vitamins C and K and calcium are not recommended if the flow is poor.

Those who suffer from cramps during the cycle can find help in all foods that promote physical and mental relaxation. Wide, therefore, to bananas, green vegetables, cereals rich in bran and sardines, which contain magnesium, responsible for relaxing the uterine muscles and regulating good mood.

Calcium, contained in semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yogurt, also regulates muscle contractions. Finally, fish rich in omega 3 counteracts this problem by regulating the production of prostaglandins, molecules responsible for cramps and pain. Instead, foods that ferment in the intestine should be avoided.

Sometimes the pain also depends on constipation. In these cases, the ideal solution is represented by foods rich in fiber, such as fruit. Breast pain, on the other hand, is effectively counteracted by vitamins E and B6.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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