Alright, ladies — it’s time for some period talk! It’s something no one really likes to talk about, but periods can tell you a lot about your overall health, so it’s important to get in sync with it. Here’s your go-to period guide, things to look out for + natural ways to maintain a regular menstrual cycle.
HORMONES IN BALANCE
The color, texture, + frequency of your flow can provide invaluable clues to your hormone levels, providing genius biofeedback. A *normal* period would be cranberry red in color, a consistency like jello mix that hasn’t set [medium viscosity], ++ should last 5-7 days, cycling every 28-35 days. Irregular periods are common + not necessarily something to worry too much about, but here are some things to look out for:
- Thin//streaky brown periods that have inconsistent cycle lengths could indicate low progesterone levels. *Flow Fix: Try eating foods rich in Vitamin B-6 + Zinc like chickpeas, spinach, potatoes, + cashew nuts, + taking herbal supplements like chasteberry//primrose oil can help with this as well.
- Dark blue//purple periods with clots that last longer than a week is a sign of too much estrogen. *Flow Fix: Incorporating Maca + broccoli into your diet, as well as trying passionflower//chamomile tea, can help manage estrogen levels.
- A super short + extra light pink period may indicate low estrogen levels, likely due to vitamin//nutrient deficiencies or adrenal burnout. *Flow Fix: Luckily there are LOTS of foods that can help raise estrogen levels, including sesame or flax seeds, carrots, kale, tofu, soy yogurt, lentils, peas, olives//olive oil, ++ herbs like turmeric, thyme, + sage.
- HUM Moody Bird: This supplement includes chasteberry to help balance progesterone levels + reduce PMS symptoms.
- NATURE’S ANSWER Female Complex: It’s never a bad idea to take a female complex vitamin//supplement!
- MYCOBOTANICALS Woman: This blend of herbs + host defense mushrooms supports hormonal balance [made with organic mushrooms, shatavari, broccoli, sprouts, ++ chasteberry!]
SUSTAINABLE PERIOD OPTIONS
We’ve grown up in a world full of pads + tampons, but let’s face it — those are not the most comfortable, healthy, or sustainable ways to live 12 weeks out of the year! Here are a few awesome new sustainable options for your monthly flow that are better for our bodies [no worries of toxic shock syndrome] + better for our Earth —
PMS + cramps are every girl’s worst nightmare, + while there’s no cure-all for these symptoms, there sure are plenty of ways to reduce//minimize the cramping. Our diet has a lot to do with any physical symptoms we experience, so be extra mindful of what you’re putting in your body during this time of the month!
- Avoid processed + inflammatory foods like grains//dairy
- Instead eat *good* fats that boost proper hormone production like ghee, coconut oil, + olive oil.
- Herbal supplements, as listed above, can help with cramps, as well as Magnesium, Vitamin D, ++ Maca
- Menstrual cup users have reported relief from cramping, so if you haven’t already, it might be worth it to make the switch!
- Rest! It’s okay to skip your workout on a day of heavy-cramping, so rest up + your body will thank you!
Of course, it’s important to consult your doctors//gyno with any questions + concerns relating to your cycle, but we also have the power to check in with cycles to make huge changes in our energy levels on our own. Elisabeth wrote this post about the importance of *syncing up with my cycle* when she reviewed the book Woman Code, which explains *The Ovary Oath* — check it out ; )
Balancing our hormones should be of the utmost importance to us empowered women! The Body Positivity Challenge was an awesome way to put this mindset in the spotlight, but why not let it inspire us to keep it going all year + forever?