Every woman has a unique menstrual cycle. Although irregular periods, extremely painful periods or sudden changes in your menstrual cycle could be a cause of concern, often they can be taken care of by bringing about some lifestyle modifications.
Certain foods that can cause hormonal imbalances and disrupt your menstrual cycle include:
Unless you are having milk that is sourced from cows that are completely free of external hormones, staying off or minimizing your dairy intake would be a good idea. When there is already a hormonal imbalance in your body, you don’t want to add more hormones into your bloodstream to create further disharmony.
Besides causing high insulin secretion, sugar robs your body of essential nutrients like B-complex vitamins, many of which are essential in hormonal synthesis. While going off sugar completely may not be doable for everyone, minimizing your intake if you are facing hormonal imbalances may be a good idea.
Alcohol temporarily increases levels of oestrogen and testosterone, which may hinder normal hormonal fluctuations that are necessary for ovulation. As a result, your periods may become irregular.
But you don’t need to worry just yet! There are ways to maintain hormonal harmony for a regular period and menstrual cycle:
- Eat wholesome foods: Include fresh homemade meals, whole grains (rice, jowar, bajra, whole wheat, amaranth), quality fats like nuts, seeds, coconut, avocados, and adequate protein in your daily diet to get the right balance of macros. Unprocessed foods in their natural form would be your best bet, which means instead of having a packaged orange juice, eat the whole orange and so on.
- Get adequate sleep: Quality sleep is non-negotiable when it comes to balancing hormones and working on correcting one’s menstrual cycle. It is only when we are in a state of deep rest that hormones are synthesized optimally.
- Exercise regularly: Structured exercise helps promote circulation to vital organs including reproductive organs and helps optimize their function. Besides that, regular exercise may help reduce menstrual cramps as exercising helps release endorphins (chemicals that help cope with pain or stress).
- Relax and unwind: Mindfulness is a key factor in maintaining hormonal health. A calm mind supports emotional stability. High-stress levels may disrupt oestrogen balance & low levels of oestrogen are known to lower serotonin secretion (Serotonin is a calming hormone). Deep breathing, watching your breath, meditation, simply spending time doing the things you love are great ways to unwind and relax. This will not just balance your menstrual cycle but will also boost your overall health.
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Read other articles by Puujaa Kukreja here.