Regulating your menstrual cycle will help you feel healthy and happy. These foods will help with irregular periods or amenorrhea (no periods at all).
Before we get into how nutrition affects your body, here’s something interesting about getting your period:
“When estrogen is high during their cycle, women are more at ease with themselves,” writes Rebecca Booth in The Venus Week. “They are more confident performing tasks and accomplishing goals and more socially agile and bale to articulate themselves more fully and clearly.”
But, if your period is irregular or nonexistent, you won’t benefit from the effects of high estrogen. The point of highest estrogen is your pre-ovulatory stage.
If you’re on a 28 day cycle, ovulation occurs from days 12-16 (though it varies, depending on your stress level, the foods you eat, the exercise you’re doing, etc). This means that pre-ovulation occurs on about days 8-11 (but again, it varies from woman to woman).
5 Foods That Make Your Menstrual Cycle Regular
Your first step in regulating your periods is figuring out what’s causing an irregular menstrual cycle. Once you determine the cause, you’ll be better able to find an effective treatment. Read 6 Things That Cause Irregular Periods.
Omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, sardines, etc
The blood vessels in your ovaries are tiny, which makes them vulnerable to damage and poor circulation. Smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol can negatively affect your ovarian blood vessels, which blocks hormones and blood flow. Fish oils enhance blood circulation, reduce damage from free radicals, fight the effects of aging, and increase dopamine (which improves your mood!).
Dr Booth recommends adding a fish oil supplement to your diet, instead of eating a high fish diet (because of the mercury in some tuna, swordfish, mackerel, etc).
Most natural foods are not white, so you can assume that if a food is white, it is probably processed to the point of being unhealthy! To make your menstrual cycle regular, avoid white flour, sugar, white potatoes, white bread, white pasta, and white rice. They disrupt your menstrual cycle by creating insulin surges that result in fat storage. This excess fat storage negatively affects ovulation and your periods – and can cause irregular periods.
Protein – cottage cheese, lean meats, nuts
“Finding sources of balanced protein can be a challenge for busy women, but it is a must for hormonal balance, writes Dr Booth in The Venus Week. The more you balance your hormones, the more regular your menstrual cycle will be. Plant proteins are especially good for enhancing fertility and hormonal balance: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cheese, hard boiled eggs, soy chips, hummus, canned sardines, and edamame.
Off topic a little: if you haven’t tried herbal tea to regulate your menstrual cycle, check out Yogi Woman’s Energy. It’s made with nettle leaf, which some say is good for regular periods.
Vitamin D – perhaps take a supplement
This vitamin improves communication between your cells, which stabilizes your hormones. Vitamin D is also vital in cancer protection – especially breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers. “Vitamin D is a little hard to come by in food,” writes Dr Booth. Eat vitamin D-fortified milk products, tuna, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, and (yuck) cod liver oil.
To increase your vitamin D and make your menstrual cycle regular, make sure you getting enough sunlight. Where you live and the color of your skin determines how much time you should spend in the sun, but my research tells me that the average North American should spend about 10 minutes in the sun about 2-3 times per week.
“Chocolate contains flavenoids, which have estrogen-like activity and help improve circulation by reducing platelet clumping, writes Dr Booth in The Venus Week. Flavenoids also enhance microcirculation in the ovaries and endocrine glands, and increase dopamine (a “feel good” hormone).
Not just any old chocolate will do: eat dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.
Your comments or questions on foods to regulate your menstrual cycle are welcome below. But, I can’t offer personal medical advice! Please talk to a gynecologist or your family doctor in person if you’re having problems with irregular periods.