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I’m a guy, so when I talk about anything to do with women’s health I may seem like i’m talking on matters that I don’t understand, which to some degree I do not! because i’ve never had a period. The reason this topic interests me though is because I do have women in my life that do have periods, and… well, I prefer them to be happy and feeling great during that time! So i’m all for helping advise on how to make this time of the month a bit easier. I do know a thing or two about nutrition, hormones and blood health though, and that’s what’s important for relief for you while you’re on your period. If your body has more of what it needs when it needs it (while on your period) then your period symptoms won’t be as bad in the future if you supplement with these foods.

The two most important factors to pay attention to while on your period is your hormones and balancing the blood. The hormonal state of your body changes completely while on your period and the loss of blood means the loss of specific nutrients along with it that need to be replenished. So what does this mean to you? This means that if you build your blood and optimize your hormones just before having your period (up to a week in advance) then your period will be a less painful process.

This does take time and dedication but when you understand what to eat and drink before your period it can and will help dramatically ease the pain and symptoms associated with PMS. You can and should really eat and drink the recommended foods below both before and during your period for relief because they will continue to replenish your body nutritionally as well as balance your hormones.

1. Drink Coconut Water:

Although never recommended or talked about it is really the best blood builder on the planet. This means it keeps your blood healthy and rebuilds it quickly. So quickly in fact, that they use it in third world countries as blood transfusions. Having blood loss on your period means that you need to rebuild your blood and drinking coconut water is the fastest way that you can do that, not to mention it tastes great! Coconut water is rich in crucial nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, potassium and calcium which help to relieve cramps. Coconut water is also rich in other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants beneficial for health and longevity.

Important Tip: I recommend raw unpasteurized coconut water with NO sugar added for the best results. Sugar causes inflammation and should be avoided before or while you are on your period.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate:

I am a sucker for chocolate, It’s too good to pass up and the nutritional value is enormous. So why should you eat this before and during your period? Two main reasons… First, it’s one of the richest sources of magnesium in the world. Magnesium is the “chief relaxation mineral” meaning that it helps your muscles, nerves and body relax. This mineral really helps with cramps. Dark chocolate also helps to boost serotonin because of the unique antioxidant profile. Feeling better means that you feel better! so eat some dark chocolate with at least 70% or more cacao in it.

Tip: I recommend having cacao beans, nibs or powder on hand at all times. That way you can add it to a smoothie, or bake something up that’s sugar free but still get all those benefits of cacao!

3. Eat These 3 Fruits Specifically:

pineapplebananaEat more organic bananas, pineapple and grapefruit. Bananas are rich in vitamin b6 and potassium which help to relieve cramps as well as reduce water retention associated with bloating. Pineapples contain bromelain which is an enzyme known to relax muscles, leading to cramp relief.  Pineapple is especially great for stomach cramps during this time because of the unique nutritional and enzyme profile.  Most bromelain is in the stem of the pineapple which is not as edible but can be juiced in your juicer, so keep this in mind! Lastly, Grapefruits are rich in minerals and vitamins that help reduce bleeding. They contain vitamins C and E as well as important anti-cramp minerals magnesium, calcium and manganese.  You’ll want to include these fruits along with others in your diet before and on your period because fruits play two very important roles. They give you the nutrition you need to prevent cramps and reduce bleeding, but they also give you that natural fruit sugar that lifts your mood and spirits! Which means that you won’t go grabbing for ice cream or brownies as much. This is good because processed sugars will cause more inflammation and cramps. So use fruits to your advantage when you have a sugar craving.

4. Eat Lentils Or Spinach:

Two of the top sources of Iron on the planet. When you lose blood you lose Iron, and that needs to be replenished. Lentils and spinach are two of the top sources of Iron on the planet. Lean organic free range meats are also great sources of Iron. This metal helps to rebuild the blood and muscles and will help with energy levels as well. Lentils are also a rich protein source that helps to balance blood sugar levels and hormones, keeping you feeling more balanced and grounded.

You can also practice yoga, walking or light jogging before your period to stretch the abdominal muscles to keep them flexible and strong during this time. This flexibility and strength will help to relieve strain and stress in your muscles that could be cramps in a week.

I’d like to thank all the women out there for putting up with us men! I know while you’re on your period taking care of kid’s, cleaning the home, and working a job (this is too much btw) that you do need a break! so take some time to take an epsom salt bath, while eating dark chocolate and sipping coconut water! this is a delicious recipe for relief and much deserved “YOU” time!

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