Women all around the world struggle with irregular periods. No matter how often you plot out the cycle on the calendar and count the days, your period surprises you. If the thought of going on birth control to try regulating the natural flow is not an option, have you considered improving your health?
It should be no surprise that diet, exercise, and emotional health all play into having a regular cycle. Take a moment to think about your habits and routine.
Do you have disease or disorder you are taking medication for? Do you consume a lot of fast food? Exercise too often? Have too little healthy body fat? Are you more stressed than usual?
If you answered yes at least once, read on.
You need real food
As much as cupcakes and sugary sweets are oh-so-delightful, you need to remember that nutrient- and antioxidant-rich meals are the way to go. Not only that, you need the appropriate amount of calories to maintain a healthily functioning body.
Restricting too much, not getting enough valuable minerals, and eating foods high in saturated fat will only affect your cycle negatively. Try incorporating the following foods into your diet:
- Whole grains: these carbohydrates nourish the body while providing B vitamins, protein, and fiber. The low-glycemic index also helps regulate blood sugar, promoting positive energy and mood. Also, cereal fortified with iron will reduce menstrual-related anemia.
- Fruits and vegetables: vitamin C and beta-carotene are essential for hormonal balance and a regular menstrual cycle. Also, opt for fresh and unprocessed fruits and vegetables without added sugar. Sweet potatoes, carrots, red pepper, citrus fruit, strawberries, mango, and Brussels sprouts should be on your plate frequently.
- Omega-3s, PUFAs, and MUFAs: these are healthy fats that your body honestly needs to maintain healthy vitamin absorption. Without fat, normal processes in the body cannot function, including your hormonal cycle. A decent amount of omega-3s also reduces PMS bloat and inflammation.
You are too stressed
Adrenaline and cortisol are brutal on the body. When women get an overload of these hormones, your sex hormones get thrown into the backseat while stress takes the wheel. Your body can literally forget to signal that it is time for your period. Remember, your body is built to survive. If you are stressed, reproduction is a secondary function.
You are sleep deprived
This ties into being stressed. Your body needs rest. When you decide to pull repeated all-nighters or function on a reduced amount of sleep, your body again produces cortisol instead of estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.
Disrupted sleep patterns have also been known to cause hormonal imbalances with leptin, which can cause an early or late onset of your period or increase the intensity of your PMS symptoms.
You need to stop exercising so much
Over exercising and under eating is a recipe for developing exercise-related amenorrhea, which leads to the body sapping energy from the bones, causing premature osteoporosis, infertility, and other dangerous issues.
Women, unlike men, need a certain amount of fat (21-33%) for their body to function properly. When you get below that ideal percentage of fat, your body goes into a state of shock.
Read also – 10 Workouts to Try If You Hate the Gym
The challenge of keeping your period regular can be lessened when you consider these four factors. Once you begin to bring your stress levels under control, get an appropriate amount of sleep, eat properly, and have a moderate amount of exercise, your period should normalize.
Though this certainly means you may have to put more effort into taking care of yourself, your body will thank you for it – by rewarding you with much more pleasant periods.