Healthy Menstrual Cycle Tips: During Your Period

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we recommend some specific lifestyle changes around the time of your menses:

  • TCM warns against cold, which contracts muscles and slows down circulation. During menses, we want the body to be warm to promote circulation. Try to avoid overexposure to cold and damp environments. Keep properly bundled up with warm clothing in cold weather.
  • For those who experience menstrual cramps, a hot water bottle can be used nightly for a week before menses begins to help warm the uterus and prevent blood stagnation.

Food Tips During Menses

  • Avoid eating cold foods including anything with ice – ice cold drinks, ice cream, ice cold popsicles, and frozen fruit smoothies.
  • Raw vegetables are considered cold, so eat steamed/cooked vegetables instead of salads.
  • Dairy products, including yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir, should not be eaten straight from the fridge. Let them sit for about ½ hour to reach room temperature before consuming. This is a general recommendation in Chinese Medicine, but it is especially important to avoid cold foods before and during your period. This is a great time for soups and warm teas.
  • Eat regular meals at regular times, and include snacks if needed. Keeping stable blood sugars will help regulate hormones.
  • Eat enough protein through meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, dairy foods, and beans. Minimize processed sugar and refined flour products to help reduce spikes in your energy level.

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