Did you know how and what you eat during that time of the month can help alleviate the all too common menstrual cycle symptoms?
HOW to eat: 4 tips to keep in mind
Snack Smart with Lean Proteins & Fiber
Focus on Lean Protein and Fiber to help stable your blood sugar, which will also help offset cravings. This is especially important when those peak afternoon cravings hit, so make sure you have a fibrous snack on hand. For instance an apple and a protein shake, cottage cheese and apples, greek yogurt with some flax & chia seeds Etc.
Split up your meals!
If you normally eat a larger breakfast, lunch and dinner with a snack or two, try breaking up your main meals into two smaller portions(i.e – split breakfast up and have half of it an hour or two later). This is especially important if you are someone who gets really bad cravings, or nausea & bad cramps. Splitting up your meals and eating smaller meals more frequently will help kick cravings and keep nausea at bay. Being too hungry or too full is never a good mix at that time of the month!
Watch what you drink & eat in order to Minimize Bloat
Sipping water and eating frequently throughout the day can help reduce the period bloat, but you must watch what you are sipping and snacking on. High sodium foods and sugary drinks can lead to more bloat, so stick to fresh whole foods rather than the packaged stuff, and sip on lots and lots of water!
Have another cup of coffee!
If you have ever looked at the ingredients on a Midol bottle you may have noticed caffeine as one of the main ingredients, and for good reason too! Not only does caffeine have a high antioxidant profile, but it can help alleviate that lethargic feeling you get during your period while also helping to reduce cramps.
So go ahead and start your day with an extra cup or two of coffee if you need to, and don’t feel bad about needing the afternoon pick me up either!!
Ok so now that you know HOW to eat, I figured knowing WHAT to eat may also be beneficial.
WHAT TO EAT: Best foods to eat during your period
There is a reason your body craves chocolate when it’s getting around that time! Cocoa is FULL of magnesium!! But this doesn’t mean you can go grab whatever chocolate bar you want, you must go for the highest level of dark chocolate you can find
The key is here is to actually avoid sugar, as sugar doesn’t help and can make symptoms worse.
The magnesium and antioxidants in dark chocolate help reduce mood swings and regulate serotonin. I almost always recommend dark chocolate in all of my clients meal plans, especially for this reason! If you love chocolate why restrict it? Eating a few squares a week can dramatically reduce those cravings people often complain about!
So if you are having chocolate cravings like crazy, please do your body the favor and indulge in some real dark chocolate(70% or higher is best) ! I promise you can still hit your fat loss goals while enjoying a few pieces of chocolate!
Leafy greens are filled with iron which can get low when menstruating. This means eating foods like spinach, kale, collard greens and swiss chard. You can try making a salad, throwing spinach in a shake or even sataying (or roasting) spinach, kale and swiss chard with a little bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper J
Salmon is an ideal protein source because of the omega 3 fatty acids which play a role in relaxing and steadying your nerves. If you don’t like salmon, keep Omega 3 supplements on hand and start taking them when it gets close to your period or substitute the salmon for some walnuts of avocados – all are full of Omega 3’s which will help to deal with cramps and moodiness!
You know how when your period hits you often feel ravenous and like you could eat all the carbs – well your body is smart, and your body is likely trying to tell you it’s craving whole grains(oatmeal, sprouted grain breads, whole grain pastas, popcorn, brown rice).
Whole grains are a great source of magnesium which helps reduce muscle tension, and they also contain B&E vitamins which help to combat fatigue and depression.
So be sure to incorporate whole grain foods throughout the day. They will keep you feeling fuller longer, and if you eat a serving every few hours you won’t end up hangry or as moody!
I assure you that if you take this proactive approach, your cravings for refined and processed carbs will be dramatically reduced.
Another great option to include is bananas! They are full of potassium & b6 which help to boost mood and regulate bowel movements!