I’m starting a new type of birth control method this month, which means that I will be having a period again. With my previous method, an absence of a period was a very pleasant side effect for me. But now that I’m getting into all of the cycling again, I was wondering what foods I should be eating while menstruating. I know consciously the extreme changes my body goes through during the 28 days and I started to think about ways that I could support my body with food. Here is what I found from Women’s Health Information
Here are some basic dietary guidelines for you to follow during your period to help control your PMS and for better overall health:
Be sure to get enough calcium. Women need at least 1,200mg of calcium every day. Some good sources of calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt, broccoli and salmon.
If you do not drink milk, you can increase your calcium intake with soy or rice milk, tofu or kale. Look for fermented soy products as certain soy products contain phytoestrogens, which can mimic the natural estrogen found in your body, leading to reproductive health difficulties. Your fertility is significantly compromised if you have too much or too little estrogen in your body.
Eat more complex carbohydrates. If you are hungry, try eating whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated. Women lose up to 80 millitres of blood during a regular period, so you need to keep drinking water to replace your body’s loss of fluid.
Increase magnesium in your diet. Foods rich in magnesium, like beans, tofu and peanuts, are thought to reduce bloating in menstruating women. Women should strive for 200mg per day.
Reach for the vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to eliminate some PMS symptoms as well as aiding the circulatory system. Women need 8mg a day. Food with lots of vitamin E include avocado, egg yolk and liver.
Eat foods rich in vitamin B6, which aids in the metabolism of proteins and red blood cells and has been cited in numerous studies to relieve depression. Some vitamin B6 rich foods are potatoes, bananas and oatmeal. Women should try to get 100mg a day.
Make sure to get vitamin C and zinc, as these support the health of a woman’s eggs and reproductive system.
Let’s review now so I can plan my shopping list for the next week or two. I’ll need to get soy milk, whole grain bread, tofu, avocado, bananas, and oranges. Doesn’t sound too bad. My main question in my mind with menstrual blood loss was to see if I needed to eat more red meat. This didn’t turn out to be what I expected.