Menstruation is a powerful process within a woman’s body, however often we see it as a nuisance. We tolerate it a few days a month and grump our way through it.
Often we suffer from symptoms such as bloating, heavy flows, cramping, sore breasts and acne. That doesn’t seem very powerful does it? Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”FeNZe” via=”yes” ]A healthy cycle, one free of symptoms, is a great time of cleansing and renewal for our bodies and a sign of a vibrant and balanced life. @TheHolisticates[/ctt]
So, how can we lessen our symptoms, ditch the bloat and swollen breasts and start to view our cycle as a beautiful and natural process? The answer is FOOD. Food changes everything! The types and qualities of foods we are placing into our bodies have an incredible effect on period symptoms.
Here are my 5 tips to heal your menstrual cycle naturally:
Reduce processed foods.
This is the most important step you can take to heal your body during menstruation and all the time really. Packaged foods are highly processed, packed full of chemicals and sugars and generally awful for you. The effects of these foods can be heightened during your cycle and should be avoided. Many times we think we are eating a clean diet when in actuality we are still eating a lot of processed foods.
Take some time to go through your fridge and pantry. Have packaged yogurts, granola and cereal bars become a part of your daily diet? Aim to mostly eat foods that have no package and require no label, such as organic fruits and vegetables. These foods will give you the most nutrient value and help to balance your body.
Take synthetic hormones off your plate!
Today, meat and dairy are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics to increase productivity. These two things wreak havoc on our bodies and especially on our cycles. Eating meat and dairy that contain added hormones can lead to heavier flow, mood swings and even ovarian cysts. Eating these products is a huge mistake for women who are trying to regulate their hormones. Instead, opt for grass-fed, local, clean meats and dairy. You will see a big difference in your overall health and the health of your cycle.
Evaluate if you need dairy in your diet.
Dairy is a mucus producing food that clogs the respiratory and digestive systems making your cycle heavier and more uncomfortable. It also contributes to cystic breasts and acne. Try eliminating dairy for a while and see how you feel. You may find that your symptoms reduce drastically.
Pick your proteins wisely.
The great thing about being human is that we are all bio-individual, meaning that our bodies may look much the same on the inside but how they react to foods, medications, allergens, etc. is much different. This is part of what makes getting healthy a struggle, there is no one right answer on how to get there.
This is the reason why it is important to listen to your body and what it is telling you. One thing our bodies seem to have a loud opinion on is protein. Some bodies thrive on animal protein where other bodies see it as poison. It’s important to check in with yourself and see what your body is asking you for.
Experiment with vegetarianism or veganism and see how your body responds. There are plenty of healthy sources of protein outside of eating meat. Does your body seem to need meat to thrive? Opt for grass-fed, high quality meats that are hormone and antibiotic free. Realizing the right source of protein for your body will greatly improve the regularity of your cycle and reduce the symptoms you experience.
Get honest about FAT.
A diet that is lacking in high-quality fat is linked to poor skin health, hormonal imbalance, lack of period, ovarian cysts and a slew of other symptoms. Healthy fats are your friends not your foes! Try adding in healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and high-quality butter and see what a difference it makes!
Doing these things, or even one of these things, can have a profound effect on healing your cycle and bringing balance to your body. On top of these suggestions, make sure that you are staying active, getting enough sleep and finding healthy ways, such as meditation or yoga, to deal with daily stresses.
Your menstrual cycle can be a good instrument in knowing when your life is out of balance. If you are not experiencing a healthy cycle I suggest you take time to check in with yourself and find the source of the disruption. Your period doesn’t have to be a burden; it can be a great source of power.
Ashley Black is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and currently runs a health coaching Practice in Indiana. She works with clients who are looking for support in the areas of weight loss, freedom from emotional eating and creating balance in the areas of work, relationships, spiritual practice and health.You can learn more about her on her website and connect with her on Facebook.
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