Nutrição, Exercício Físico e Saúde Menstrual

Nutrition, Exercise and Menstrual Health

Each phase of the month for women of childbearing age has its demands and needs. If we can listen to our body and respond assertively to what it asks of us, we will certainly feel positive changes in accordance with our lifestyle. Promoting a balanced diet and regular physical exercise is fundamental to our health, providing us with physical and emotional benefits, helping us meet the demands of our body - especially in the different hormonal phases.

Why is diet an important factor in menstrual health? Now, a balanced diet, rich in ideal nutrients, can help regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce premenstrual symptoms and improve general well-being. The main nutrients for menstrual health include:

  • Complex carbohydrates - provide energy for daily activities and help regulate blood glucose levels;
  • Fruits and vegetables - are sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, essential for overall health;
  • Proteins - are necessary for the development and maintenance of muscles, bones and tissues;
  • Healthy fats – provide energy, help you absorb vitamins and minerals, and are important for heart health.

Throughout the month, nutritional recommendations for the menstrual cycle may vary. From the follicular to the menstrual phase, there are different needs and, therefore, corresponding foods for each one.

The follicular phase is the period from the first day of menstruation to ovulation, during this phase estrogen levels increase. Ideal nutritional recommendations* should include foods rich in complex carbohydrates - brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables. At this stage, the consumption of lean protein sources - chicken, fish, beans and lentils - and the intake of healthy fats such as those found in olive oil, nuts and seeds, are recommended.

The luteal phase is the period from ovulation to the start of menstruation. At this stage, progesterone levels increase. Within nutritional recommendations we must continue to include foods rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats; increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin B6* - banana, avocado and sesame seeds.

*Vitamin B6 is important for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep.

In the menstrual phase bleeding occurs (menorrhea) and estrogen and progesterone levels are lower. As nutritional recommendations we have the intake of foods rich in iron - red meat, poultry, fish, beans and green leafy vegetables - iron is important for the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the body. Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals helps to alleviate premenstrual symptoms, such as headaches, cramps and fatigue - citrus fruits, bananas, dark green vegetables and pumpkin seeds. It may be beneficial to include anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3-rich fish and nuts, to help reduce inflammation associated with menstruation. At this stage we are more likely to eat sweets, and chocolate black can be a good option, as it contains flavonoids* and magnesium, which help reduce inflammation, swelling and headaches.

*These are antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. 

In general, at all stages, we must consume adequate water intake to maintain good hydration; moderate caffeine consumption, which can affect female hormone levels; limit your intake of refined sugars, which can negatively impact hormonal regulation; maintain a healthy body weight, as excess weight or low body mass can affect menstrual regularity; reduce or cut out alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Note : It's important to consult a nutritionist to get a personalized eating plan that meets your specific needs.

The best ally of a careful diet is regular physical exercise, which is equally beneficial and important for menstrual health - it can help regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce premenstrual symptoms, improve mood, increase energy and improve sleep quality. Activities such as yoga and pilates can be ideal and/or complementary at all stages, they help both physically and mentally.

In the different phases of the menstrual cycle, the effects of physical exercise are diverse:

In the follicular phase they can help increase estrogen levels, which can lead to a more regular menstrual cycle and more effective ovulation;

During the luteal phase , exercise can help reduce stress levels, improve mood and increase serotonin production;

During the menstrual phase , exercising can help reduce cramps, improve mood and even alleviate fluid retention. Some women may prefer low-intensity activities during menstruation, others may feel more energized, however, at this stage we should avoid high-impact exercises such as running, jumping, crossfit, etc.

Throughout the cycle it is important to choose physical activities that are comfortable and do not cause pain. Some tips to keep in mind when exercising during the menstrual cycle include starting slowly and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of the exercises; drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise; listen to your body and stop if there is any discomfort.

Note : professional guidance from a nutritionist and a trainer helps adapt the diet and exercise plan to individual needs. It may be the solution to some issues associated with hormonal disorders.

In any physical exercise you do during your period, Flow's menstrual collection products are ideal, we don't even remember we're having our period! Take a look at the online store menstrual underwear, the menstrual cup and menstrual disc.

For natural hormonal balance, try the new generation food supplement in gummy form, Pink Croissant by Ouity, available in the Flow online store.

To help balance your mind, trust Enecta brand CBD oil, also available on Flow.

Margaret L.

Sources: -emotional-symptoms -menstrual
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