While your period might not be something you look forward to, it shouldn’t be something you dread either. Feeling like a hot mess for around a week each month certainly isn’t how we want to be living our lives.
If an anxious mind, moodiness, hormonal acne, irregular or heavy periods, bloating or cramping make you feel less ‘you’ up to 12 times per year, this blog is for you.
We’re dedicated to period health at Eve. From both extensive research and analysing thousands of at-home hormone test results, here are our top five tips to get you closer to a drama-free period, naturally.
1. OVULATE (if you take one thing from this blog, make it this one)
Ovulation is the main event of the menstrual cycle which involves the release of an egg from its follicle, into the fallopian tube, and generally takes place between days 13 - 21. This brief description makes it sound like something that happens easily and automatically each cycle, but in actual fact ovulating isn’t always easy to do.
All going to plan, oestrogen climbs to a juicy peak to build up to ovulation, and progesterone (the relaxing, feel-good hormone) surges after ovulation has occurred. Our experience of our menstrual cycles and periods is closely linked to the delicate balance of these two key sex hormones.
If we ovulate, the surge of progesterone balances the effects of oestrogen, increases metabolic rate, calms the mind, reduces inflammation and lightens your next period. And if we miss out on a juicy dose of this wonderful hormone, the result can be feeling off balance in both the body and mind before and during our period.
2. GET nourisheD
Ensuring we have plenty of key nutrients on board is important for our health in so many ways and our period health is no different. Our ovaries require a steady supply of certain nutrients to work their magic each month.
Key nutrients that support a balanced cycle and period include:
- Zinc and iodine, both of which are particularly important for ovary function. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds and red meat, and seaweed is a rich source of iodine. Now you’ve got yet another reason to enjoy some sushi or a wakame salad. Eve’s new ‘Period Pal’ has zinc and iodine as two of its main ingredients to address this very concern.
- Magnesium helps to relax both the mind and body and eases period pain. You’ll find magnesium in cacao, leafy greens, and avocados.
- Vitamin B6 helps clear our system of excess oestrogen and supports balanced moods before and during our periods. Poultry, sweet potatoes, oats and bananas are your go-tos for this vitamin.
3. Stress less
High stress levels and our hormone health really aren’t the best of friends. In high amounts, stress hormones can prevent ovulation (which we know from step #1 is essential), and cause more painful or heavy periods, or lead to spotting between periods.
This is because cortisol—our primary stress hormone, and progesterone—the lovely, calming sex hormone we mentioned earlier—are both made from the same precursor hormone, pregnonolone. In response to both physical and emotional stress, progesterone production takes a backseat as a rather caveman form of ‘survival mode’ evolution hasn’t yet provided a better answer to.
Some of the best ways to reduce and manage your stress in the name of drama-free periods include getting more sleep, limiting caffeine, reducing high intensity exercise and practising mindfulness, meditation and diaphragmatic breathing.
We’re so obsessed with the magic stress-busting powers of kava, we made it the stand alone hero ingredient in Chill Pills - our favourite fast-acting stress and anxiety support.
4. Fuel your bod
Eating regularly, eating enough, and eating the right kinds of foods are all important factors in ensuring your body is fuelled enough to have a healthy cycle and ovulate each month.
While what and when we eat is a rather individual thing, ensuring you are including a source of complex carbs, quality protein and healthy fat in each meal helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day and the ‘hanger’ at bay.
Unstable blood sugars can show up as brain fog, the dreaded 3pm slump, irritability, and sugar cravings. Be wary of any diet that heavily restricts either calories or macronutrients and leaves you feeling like the above.
5. Try Period Pal
Keeping on top of the above four tips is a great way to encourage hormone balance and non-event periods, but sometimes a little something extra is helpful. Which is exactly why we made Period Pal.
Containing herbs and nutrients that nourish our ovaries and promote ovulation, we can give our bodies, and particularly our reproductive organs, a lot of love every day. Happy uterus, happy period, happy you.