Striking the balance between nutrition and hormones
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
When women are in the thick of their menstrual cycle, it can be an unpleasant time. Fortunately, if we make a few small changes, we may help alleviate some emotional (and maybe physical) symptoms. Our goal should be to live in harmony with our bodies, thus improving our vibrancy and energy.
1. Remove processed foods from your diet. This one may seem intuitive, but it's quite challenging to avoid common culprits like granola, cereal, high-sugar yogurts, etc. Aim to consume foods that didn't come packaged! By avoiding the nonsense of preservatives and additives, you are helping your body come into full alignment. What percentage of your foods come with a label?
2. Remove synthetic hormones. If we're consuming hormones from food, our periods may include more cramping, mood swings, and even a heavier flow. Instead, opt for local, grass-fed, and clean meat/dairy sans hormones.
3. Be cognizant of dairy in your diet. Dairy is one of the biggest contributors to cyclical imbalance. Since it is a mucous producing food, it can clog up the digestive systems and exacerbate cramping during your menstrual cycle.
4. Fruits and Vegetables. Neither of these come in a package AND are loaded with vitamins, mineral, phytonutrients, and polyphenols which will help to balance our menstrual cycle.
5. Be careful with your selection of protein. By reducing our consumption of animal products, some may report less cramps and a lighter flow. On the flip side of that, in the case of amenorrhea (lack of period), animal protein may be needed and necessary. Bioindividuality is key with this macronutrient. Once again, opt for hormone-free, grass-fed and local protein, and observe your body's response.
6. Fat isn't always the culprit. The concept that fat makes you fat is simply untrue. High quality fat is vital and deficiencies can spur hormonal imbalances, inflammation, amennorea, and a slew of other health issues. Incorporate avocado and olive oil to balance your hormonal cycle, and omega-3s to reduce inflammation.