Foods for a Healthy Period

Prostaglandins usually cause period pains. These fatty acid compounds are in the cells throughout our body, but the ones in the epithelial layer of the uterus are responsible for causing cramps. 

Another factor in painful periods is estrogen. Among other things, estrogen is responsible for thickening the uterine lining so the uterus can support a healthy pregnancy. Too much estrogen (common in women with estrogen dominance) creates more prostaglandins, which equals more period pain!

The good news is there are things you can do to help balance your hormones, even out your estrogen levels, and squash period pain for good! 

 The easiest to implement is a little shift in your diet. Let’s talk about what foods to focus on and what to avoid:

  • Xenoestrogens are natural or synthetic compounds that mimic estrogen; they are found in our environment and are known to cause hormonal imbalances. 
  • Phytoestrogens are specifically disruptive estrogenic compounds found in plants.

Phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens may cause insomnia, cystic breast tissue, acne, prepubescent development, hormone imbalance in children, and certain cancers.

Phytoestrogen-rich foods to avoid include soy milk, edamame, tofu, soy protein isolate, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, flax seeds, wheat and other grains, vegetable oils, processed foods, bottled water, conventional meat, dairy, and alcohol.

Xenoestrogen sources include natural gas and propane, synthetic cleaners and beauty items, artificially fragranced products (candles, air fresheners, perfumes, body care products), vinyl shower curtains, #3 plastic wrap, #6 and #7 plastics and cash register receipts.

To help the body metabolize estrogen and clear xenoestrogens, focus on and include in your diet: cucumbers, cantaloupe, citrus, squash, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, wild salmon, and other oily fish, like sardines, dandelion root, and milk thistle. A diet rich in leafy greens, fresh veggies, and berries also helps! So, doesn’t this make you want to eat some delicious hormone-healthy foods? 

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