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Whole Food Nutrition For Every Stage of the Menstrual Cycle

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

The topic of what to eat during women's menstrual cycle is not discussed frequently in Western medicine due to the continuous nature of the cycle. The Traditional Chinese Medicine approach is different. In Asia, many parents prepare special food for their daughters during their cycle. Further, significant others assist their girlfriends or wives to feel better by accommodating and helping them. Here, I'm going to explain how you can nourish yourself by the natural process of menstruation so you can also try it for yourself.

From a nutritional perspective, the cycle is divided into three phases: supplementary (around the time of Luteal Phase), destruction (menstruation), and repair (around the time of follicle phase and ovulation).

Supplementary period

During the supplementary period, the focus is on relaxing the mind, getting good sleep, and easing the tension in the body.

· Vitamin B supplementation: meat, spinach, walnuts.

· Some vitamins: fish, eggs, sunbathing,

· Finally, add some calcium: milk and tofu are very helpful to women's bodies.


In the menstrual cycle, the diet should be light and easy, and the main aim should be to nourish the blood and soothe the mood during this time.

· Drinking plenty of water is a must: it can replenish the lack of water in the body.

· Sesame: rich in calcium.

· Chocolate: Appropriate caffeine can relieve pain.

· Dark green vegetables: Calcium and iron supplements are absolutely crucial.

During menstruation, it is very imperative to follow the DON'Ts

Don’t eat much raw and cold food: During menstruation, you should pay attention to keeping your body warm, especially for those who often suffer from dysmenorrhea. The consumption of ice products and drinks should be avoided to prevent abdominal blood vessels from constricting and aggravating pain.

Chinese medicine also advocates not to eat cold foods such as lettuce and melons during the menstrual period, so as to avoid colder spleen and stomach, which may bury the factors of future gynecological diseases.

Avoid spicy food: Spicy food can stimulate gastrointestinal peristalsis and mucous secretion of the digestive tract, which is more likely to cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Therefore, it is best for people who have dysmenorrhea to avoid it, so as to avoid dysmenorrhea combined with abdominal pain and diarrhea, making menstrual periods more uncomfortable.

Do not eat processed foods and heavily seasoned foods:these foods are high in sodium, which can easily aggravate menstrual edema.

Repair Period

After the menstrual period is also called the repair period - supplement high-quality protein after the menstrual period to help repair the endometrium. At this time, the body is in the low temperature period of blood deficiency and follicle development. The endometrium is gradually proliferating, and the spleen, kidney and blood need to be nourished. You can eat more blood-enriching food. In particular, red meat has both animal iron and protein, which is a good choice. Using Polygonum multiflorum or Rhizoma Polygonatum plus 3 to 5 jujubes to stew beef, pork ribs, or sea bass is also a good choice for blood and protein supplementation.

· Red meat, fish, longan, red dates, mulberries, and cherries are all good choices.

For cold physique: If you are a woman who is afraid of cold and prone to cold hands and feet, you can eat some raisins, longan and red date tea, and fried pork liver soup with sesame oil and ginger.

For dry and hot constitution: If you are prone to constipation and acne, your constitution is relatively dry and hot. Try mulberry juice and cherries.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome. a symptom of easy emotional ups and downs due to the secretion of hormones in the body. Before the next menstruation is approaching, how to reduce possible menstrual pain through diet, nutritionists recommend the following 3 types of food.

Complex carbohydrates: Studies have shown that complex starchy foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal can increase the concentration of serotonin, relieve menstrual discomfort, and blood sugar fluctuations are relatively stable, and the feeling of satiety is higher, so you will not I've been craving high-calorie snacks, and foods like whole grains, beans, and bananas also contain vitamin B6, which helps nerve conduction and eases the menstrual blues.

Omega 3-rich fish: Omega 3 fatty acids can stabilize blood sugar, balance the concentration of prostaglandins, and reduce the occurrence of premenstrual syndrome. Eating salmon, mackerel, and saury 2 to 3 times a week has a good effect.

Calcium supplementation from dairy products: Supplementing calcium at the right time can help regulate the response of nerves to stimulate the contraction of uterine smooth muscle, and achieve the effect of alleviating discomfort. It is recommended to increase the intake of high-calcium foods in the diet, such as milk, yogurt, dried tofu, dried fish, black sesame, seaweed, etc.

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