Here are a few surprising causes of irregular periods, plus a list of what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle. Getting your period at different times of the month is a pain in the patootie! Trust me, I know. My own period used to be regular as rain, but now it’s all over the map.
Omega 3 Fish Oil Softgels are a healthy, safe supplement to take if you don’t eat enough salmon or sardines. Fish oils increase heart health, cognitive functioning, and help treat depression. They also reduce anxiety and inflammation, and reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. I couldn’t find solid research linking omega-3 or omega-6 fish oils to a normal menstrual cycle, but I’ve seen it in the past. If your periods are irregular, you have nothing to lose by taking six grams of fish oils a day.
One of my most popular articles is 5 Foods That Make Your Menstrual Cycle Regular – and hundreds of women have asked for help regulating their periods. I can’t offer medical advice or personal health counseling but I decided to expand on that article, and research tips and what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle. This is not a substitute for a visit to your doctor or gynecologist. You should never take online information as a personal prescription for better health or regular periods. This is just information that will help you eat healthy – and it could possibly lead to a normal menstrual cycle.
What to Eat for a Normal Menstrual Cycle
Regulating your period isn’t just about eating more bananas and drinking less coffee. Abnormal menstruation might be a sign of polycystic ovaries (PCOS), an eating disorder, unbalanced hormones, or stress.
The bad news is that knowing how to get a normal monthly period is about more than knowing what to eat. If you have a health condition such as endometriosis or PCOS, then it doesn’t matter what you eat. Getting a normal menstrual cycle will involve a trip to the doctor.
The good news is that learning what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle is an easy, safe way to attempt to get regular periods! You have nothing to lose by eating these foods.
Reduce caffeine by drinking decaf coffee, tea, and soda
The first tip on what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle is actually a hint on what NOT to drink. Avoid caffeine when you’re getting your period, as it raises the level of stomach acid. Also, caffeine can cause bloating and acidity during menstruation. Caffeine also affects your sleep patterns, and research shows that women with delayed sleep phase syndrome are at increased risk for menstrual irregularity.
While we’re on the topic of what not to eat for a normal menstrual cycle: eat less salt. Salt makes your body retain water, and it causes bloating. I’m not just talking about the salt in the salt-and-pepper shakers on your table – I’m including processed and packaged foods because they are REALLY HIGH in sodium.
Salmon, sardines, flax seeds, and pumpkin
What do those foods have in common – besides being what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle? They all contain omega 3 fatty acids. A study in Obstetricians and Gynecology showed that women who received six grams of fish oil every day suffered from fewer premenstrual syndrome symptoms than those who didn’t consume the same.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in salmon, sardines, fish, flax and pumpkin seeds. These foods can also help relieve the cramps and pains that accompany many normal menstrual cycles. If you aren’t a fan of those foods, then make sure you get six grams of fish oil every day by taking the supplements. Then you don’t have to worry about chewing your food properly when you’re learning what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle! (Eating fast and not chewing your food properly could lead to indigestion. This doesn’t cause abnormal menstrual cycles, but it’s not good for you).
Fresh or frozen fruit – especially blueberries and strawberries
Your period might increase your sugar cravings. Instead of turning to chocolate or Twizzlers like I do, eat more apples, pears, berries, and melons. Fruit helps you deal with sugar cravings and provide with all the macro and micronutrients you need to help you get a normal menstrual cycle. What to eat if you don’t like fruit, you ask?
Vitamin and mineral supplements
This is not a food tip for what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle, but it will help ensure you’re getting the right nutrients – especially if you don’t like eating fruit, salmon, or bananas.
There are some vitamins, such as B6, that are essential for women. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include pasta, broccoli, tomatoes, corn and fortified cereals can help reduce symptoms such as bloating and control mood swings.
Lemons, oranges and limes are rich in vitamin C, which is good for your reproductive health and can keep you energised during your menstrual cycle. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts and sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E, which helps reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Milk and yogurt
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, calcium and vitamin D help reduce the aches and pains of menstruation. Calcium in milk and yogurt – along with vitamin D in the same – can act as a muscle relaxant and help ease stomach aches.
If you are lactose intolerant, eat foods that are rich in calcium — leafy greens, nuts, soya, sesame seeds, and broccoli.
Bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes
Foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium are definitely what you should be eating for a normal menstrual cycle! Why? Because these micro-nutrients help alleviate period cramps and other symptoms of menstruation.
Pumpkin seeds, beans and tofu are also good sources of magnesium – and they help reduce bloating. Bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, which helps improve your mood during your menstrual cycle. Potassium also helps with sleep and regular bowel movements.
If you tend to get bad premenstrual cramps or headaches, read How Magnesium Helps Relieve PMS Symptoms.
Chicken, eggs, low fat cheese, nuts, beans
Protein is what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle because it helps build muscle, keeps your blood sugar levels in check, and limits sugar cravings. Some experts recommend staying away from beans and legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas because they cause bloating. I say have some of those beans because they’re high in protein and low in fat, but don’t eat a ton of them! If you eat canned beans, rinse away the salt.
Walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts are packed with essential nutrients and proteins. Avoid processed and salted nuts (my favorites!), as they’re less healthy and will make you feel bloated due to high salt content. Remember that nuts are super high in calories, so don’t eat more than a handful a day.
I welcome your thoughts on what to eat for a normal menstrual cycle – but I can’t offer health advice or medical counseling. You’re welcome to share your thoughts, but please see your family doctor or gynecologist in person if your periods are irregular. An abnormal menstrual cycle isn’t easily fixed, especially over the internet.
May your hormones be balanced and your periods regular, all the days of your life.