The food you eat and your menstrual cycle have a complementary relationship. Your diet can affect how your reproductive system functions, while menstruation affects your need and use of micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals).
For example, calcium supplementation has been shown to decrease the severity of PMS symptoms, such as depression and fatigue.
Your menstrual cycle also affects your sensitivity to the insulin hormone and, in turn, your insulin resistance. In the beginning half of your cycle, you’re more sensitive to the effects of insulin and are better able to efficiently use carbs for energy.
As progesterone levels rise and estrogen dips in the second phase of the cycle, you lose this sensitivity and become more insulin resistant. Insulin resistance impairs your ability to properly use carbs for energy, thereby increasing blood sugar, insulin levels, and fat storage during this time if a high-carb diet is consumed.
Does all this period talk make you squirm? (Maybe you’re thinking, finally, women talking openly about bleeding!) Either way, you know as a woman how much mythology there is about periods. From cramps being a punishment for being a woman (yes people actually believe this) to, PMS being all in your head.
It’s not surprising that there are so many misconceptions, in the first 3,200 years of written language, there isn’t a single mention of the menstrual cycle. And it’s time to bust misconceptions.
The biggest one being PMS and cramping are normal, and there’s nothing you can do about it. While over 80% of women report PMS and cramps, making them super common, they are NOT necessary.
Every aspect of your menstrual cycle—the length, volume of blood, color of blood, the timing of ovulation, body temperatures, PMS, and cramping—gives you important information about your health and provides a valuable feedback mechanism to measure your progress in getting healthier.