When a client comes to me for nutritional therapy we have a consultation and during that consultation a picture of the health needs become apparent. There is usually a clear link between what and how they eat and the symptoms they are experiencing. Here is short post about some useful foods women should do their best to include regularly in the diet.

1. Food for the cycle

It is known amongst practitioners in holistic therapies that women living in non western countries without fertility issues actually have lighter to no periods. While we can argue if the absence is indicative of perfect health, what we do know is that heavy and foul smelling menses is not good news. If you are experiencing heavy and long periods you may feel tired and irritable. If you are experiencing an absence of periods you may also be prone to mood fluctuations and possibly have a hormonal imbalance if you are not breastfeeding. In either case the hormones need balancing and while herbal remedies and massages can be beneficial, it is important that we nourish our bodies correctly.
If you are experiencing heavy and foul smelling periods it is an indication that the body is getting rid of excess waste. Some people may argue it is excess iron while others will say it is a toxic load. In order to keep the hormones in check we should look after our liver. Foods that support liver health include; radish, apple, beetroot, carrot, grapefruit, lemon, dates and walnuts.
For women who have an absence of periods we recommend emmenagogues. Useful foods include; almonds, pistachios, parsley, potatoes, brocolli, celery, ginger, turmeric, and milk thistle.

2. Food for digestion

In order to keep the body in good condition we must feed it healthful foods. We must also ensure that the unused matter from food is removed from the body regularly through healthy bowel movements. Stools should be soft (not loose or fluffy), easy to pass, not unbearably smelly and regular. Ideally one after each meal. Whole pieces of food passing through the bowels may indicate a digestive problem. Also blood and mucus in the stool is not a good sign. When stools are retained in the body it creates an environment for disease. This also means that toxins in faeces will be reabsorbed into the body and not only make you sick but place an extra burden on other organs including your reproductive organs. We get sick and see cancers in strange places because the body has become a house trying to contain disease. You can help your body by eating foods easy to digest and that aid digestion. Here are some of those foods; apples, berries and whole grains such a oats, spelt, quinoa are great for the bowels. Additionally warm lemon water and garlic occasionally on an empty stomach can help relief sluggishness and bloating.

3. Food for hair, skin and nails

As we get older and particularly following child birth women often complain about skin problems, dry hair and brittle nails. Again with food nutrition we can optimise our hair, skin and nail potential by selecting choice foods. Foods rich in omegas and vitamin e are great for that. Nuts, likes almonds and cashew are great for the skin and hair as they are great source of healthy fats. Coconut oil and coconut foods are also great choices. Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds are also great sources of the above.

Disclaimer: The above is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance from your doctor. Please consult a doctor before changing your diet or stopping any medications. Additionally please check contraindications before using herbs or supplements. *Please be aware that grapefruit should be avoided if using medication especially blood pressure medication.