At any time whether you are on your period, far from it, sick or pretty fit you should eat a widely varied and balanced diet with minimal or zero processed foods. You need the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals twice over when you are a particularly sensitive one during your cycle. Vitamin C is a given for immunity and a feeling of being cleaner and lighter since it is a powerful antioxidants and of course B-complex or the B vitamin family which are the building blocks and workers of your feel good centers, vital for maintenance and production of serotonin, dopamine and other hormones.
Magnesium is a vital mineral that we definitely feel a lack of, we feel shaky, flimsy, weak and not fully there. Magnesium helps the skeletal system keep dense and strong, it regulates the heartbeat, and it serves improvement in muscle, nerve and immune function. It even regulates blood glucose and aids in cell energy production.
Zinc is also needed for immune function and aids in healing wounds and the division and growth of cells. Also what makes it important is that it allows us to break down carbohydrates- something bleeding women can eat more of, it also allows us to access our sense of taste and smell.
Calcium is another mineral we really, really need to- access. Yes access, because we actually consume more calcium than we think and it ends up as deposits, the key to unlock these deposits is Vitamin D, ideally from sunlight and Vitamin K- a new vitamin that unlocks deposits.
1.Greens: Kale, Bok Choy, Spinach and Mustard greens are funner greens to eat even for younger folk for they are popular for being deeply green tasting and delicious and packed with nutrients including protein! Vitamin K1 is found in greens too and not to mention high-fiber foods will ease bloating and inflammation and help you digest more efficiently.Go for green beans, chickpeas, lentils, French beans or string beans too and you can cheat a little bit by adding a little bit of butter (use more olive oil than butter okay?)
2.Avocado: Versatile, creamy and delicious this is a very cravable crop that can feed and still help you slim down…a lot. It is packed with antioxidants and lots of good fatty acids, therefore it is a fatty food that fights bad fat and even lowers bad cholesterol. Great for working out and random Mexican dinner night.
3.Nuts and seeds: high in Magnesium, Calcium, B Vitamins including folate for blood production and iron a definite mineral you lose a lot of when you lose blood. They are filling and tasty and easily customizable flavor. Sesame seeds we forget are nutritious and delicious, if you did not grow up with sesame seeds as a food staple than tahini or sesame sauce is a great way to spice up your pantry and comfort your rich, Middle Eastern cravings. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans can be tossed into a bean salad with garlic, olive, oil, spices and parsley or be blended into a wonderful hummus. Or you could go for Western comfort and make beef chili, with extra beans and spices if you can handle it. The spice, heat, protein, fiber and nutrients of the whole dish with a heavy hand of richness is a nice treat to shove away the blues.
4.Pumpkins or squash and their yummy seeds: They have a similar nutritional profile both containing abundant minerals of iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, calcium and phosphorous. The toasted seeds can even have more nutrition than the flesh itself and when they are toasted- make a great crispy topping for pumpkin soup, other veggie dishes or as a snack. This is definitely health, comfort food.
5.Chilis: One of the highest sources of Vitamin C, more than oranges and lemons for sure. They are clean, very low calorie and they do wonders on your metabolism. The spiciness can get really addictive if you do not shock yourself too much and start a bit slow, moving onto spicier chilis. Gauge your stomach capacity but as long as you do not eat very spicy things on an empty, sensitive stomach you should be fine.The heat adds to your dopamine levels and causes you to sweat, therefore detox faster, the heat and oils in the chili are good for you too and clean you out faster, surely an anti-inflammatory as well and antiseptic. They are cheap, easily attained fresh, come in many different flavors including fruity ones similar to cherry, natural beautifier, powerful antioxidants effects.
6.Good ol’ plain steamed tofu: Make sure it is good quality, fresh and at a texture of your liking, tofu ranges from pretty stiff to silky soft. We mentioned that leafy greens and other beans are high in Vitamin K1 and tofu is made of soy beans, they are also a good source of Calcium and can be eaten instead of snacking on a glass of milk for vegans or allergic reactions.
7.Omega 3-rich foods: Unsaturated fats like these are anti-bad fat and pro-heart all the way. Keep in mind that it is totally fine to enjoy healthy fats in the diet…but a severe lack of exercise and a full on feast on these oils can still slowly, slowly clog your heart. Remember it is unnatural to not exercise and your body will show it!Some of these foods high in Omega 3 includes salmon, fish roe or caviar, chia seeds, walnut oil, oysters and oily fish like mackerel and sardines. Kale, spinach and soybeans are included here too.
8.Omega 6-rich foods: Still of course like any other basic mineral and nutrient we need Omega 6 but not a whole lot of it, plus its natural sources are already packed, we should take it easy on Omega 6 foods and go for more Omega 3 foods in comparison. They are crucial in brain growth and many basic functions such as providing normal growth and development. It is also heart friendly and improves on existing conditions or helps prevent them such as breast pain, hypertension and low bone density therefore helping ease rheumatoid arthritis.
9.Carbs! Hurrah!: This is the time to cheat because when carbs are eaten at a time they are actually needed it feels awesome. If you do not exercise too much or you are simply not used to bread, it can cause discomforting bloat or even constipation. But because you are bleeding and cramping and losing calories being in pain suffering and losing a pretty good deal of blood you should make up for it with some carbs such as whole grain rice, fresh pasta (semolina ideal), and yummy little sourdough, rye or pumpernickel slices!There are many healthy options for bread too and can even taste better! Make sure you do not overdo it and keep in mind that balance is key! Have mostly vegetables, clean and lean protein and healthy oils. Get your sugar source from natural sources like honey and cane sugar or rice and bread, but treating yourself to cake, chocolate bars and ice cream is okay every now and then!