Honestly, there’s not just one thing that can cause your period to become irregular. It could be because you’ve gained or lost weight. It could be due to some stress that you are under. Maybe you’re taking a certain medication that’s causing it. Perhaps you’re exercising too much or eating too little. Again, the answers tend to vary. Yet if there’s one thing that a lot of these issues boil down to it’s that your hormonal levels aren’t as balanced as they need to be. That’s why, if you’ve noticed over the past few cycles that your period is all over the place, it’s important that you make an appointment to see your doctor sooner than later. It’s also a good idea to add some of the following foods into your diet; ones that are proven to help to bring some consistency back to your cycle, if you consume them on a regular basis.
Although pineapple probably has the best reputation for helping to make our bodily fluids down below taste better, it’s got a ton of other benefits too. Pineapple is good for you because it’s got a ton of Vitamin C and manganese in it, not to mention the fact that it contains properties that can help to boost your immunity, fight cancer, ease digestion, suppress inflammation and even help with arthritis-related symptoms.
The reason why it’s helpful on the irregular period front is because the enzyme in it called bromelain increases the production of red and white blood cells (which makes for an easier blood flow) as well as makes it easier for your uterus to shed its lining when it’s time for your period to start.
A couple of years ago, when I wrote about how putting some cinnamon oil on your genitalia can take oral sex to new heights (you can read more about that here), some of y’all asked if there was a burning factor. Nah, it’s more like a warming sensation (although you can add a carrier oil like sweet almond oil if that will make you feel “safer” about it). Anyway, that’s my introduction to how much of a fan of cinnamon I am. I like the way it smells, I like the way it tastes and it’s definitely good for you. Cinnamon is another food that is full of antioxidants. Not only that but it contains anti-inflammatory properties, can help to lower your blood sugar levels, is able to help fight fungal and bacterial infections and there are even studies to support that it helps to fight HIV too.
Since cinnamon is great at helping to bring balance to insulin levels in your system, this is why many medical professionals say that it can be beneficial when it comes to regulating your period; this is especially the case if you happen to be a woman who deals with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
There aren’t too many articles that touch on the topic of foods that are good for you where salmon isn’t going to be somewhere on the list. It’s full of protein. It’s super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which reduce inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and help your arteries to stay healthy). They also contain a good amount of B vitamins, potassium and selenium that work together to help you to manage your weight, boost your brain health and help your skin, hair, and nails to remain strong. Also, due to the omega-3s that are in this particular kind of fish, salmon helps to balance hormones and reduce the severity of period discomfort — both are huge wins in the menstrual cycle department.
Mushrooms are good for you because they’re a great source of Vitamin B, copper, potassium, and antioxidants. Also, because it contains compounds that “mimic” prebiotics (which are basically plant fibers that help your gut to produce the good bacteria that it needs to stay healthy), mushrooms can aid in digestion and strengthen your immunity as well. So, why are they so good at regulating your period? A lot of it comes down to the Vitamin D that is in them. There are a good amount of studies that say that having Vitamin D in your system won’t only help your cycles to come on time, they can also shorten them if they happen to last longer than six days. All good reasons to cook with them more often, if you ask me.
5. Chia Seeds
There are plenty of good things to say about chia seeds. They are full of protein, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. They contain antioxidants to keep your immune system in good shape. The calcium in them can help to support your bone health. Some health professionals say they are good at reducing blood sugar levels. Chia seeds are a pretty good source of iron as well. These nutrients, combined with the omega-3s that are in them, all work together to ease your blood pressure, decrease your cholesterol levels, increase blood flow and reduce damage to your blood vessels including the ones in your ovaries — all of which make having a more regular period possible.
6. Raw Papaya
If you’re looking for a fruit that’s basically a multivitamin, raw papaya has totally got your back. Aside from the vitamins A, B, C, and E that’s in it (which makes it the kind of fruit that is really good for your skin), it has fiber, folate, and potassium in it. Raw papaya is also really good for you because it’s got antioxidants, anti-cancer properties and it’s able to fight bodily inflammation. Some other perks are it helps with cellular repair, relieves constipation, and can help to improve your heart health over time.
Because properties in it can also trigger muscle contractions (including when it comes to your cycle), that’s why it gets a period regulating shout-out. A word of caution on this is to eat or drink it a couple of times a week in order to help to get your period regulated but to AVOID it during your actual cycle. Again, because it can get contractions going, I’m not sure how much more intense you want your cramps to be while you are actually on your period.
When it comes to the spice turmeric, make sure that you get the kind that contains curcumin because that is the active ingredient that will give you all of the benefits that I’m about to mention. Turmeric can be super beneficial because it has powerful medicinal compounds that are able to reduce inflammation, lower your risk of heart disease, help to prevent cancer, reduce depression-related symptoms and fight free radicals. As far as your period goes, because turmeric also has anti-spasmodic properties in it, that along with its anti-inflammatory benefits can help to balance your hormones which definitely attributes to you having a more regulated cycle.
Just a word of caution, though — I used to take turmeric on a pretty consistent basis and what it did to me was significantly increase my period flow (I mean, A LOT). I think it’s because it’s also a blood thinner. If you’ve got clots during your period, that could be a good thing. Otherwise, it could end up looking like a mini crime scene in your bathroom. Just a heads up.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
It certainly isn’t the best-tasting stuff on the planet, no way around that. Still, if you want to boost your health, apple cider vinegar can certainly make that happen for you. It kills harmful bacteria. It can assist with lowering your blood sugar. It helps to balance your skin’s pH levels. It lowers cholesterol. It can help to burn belly fat. It really deserves an article, all on its own. And what does apple cider vinegar do for your cycle? There are actually a few studies that say that it’s so potent that it can help to restore ovulatory function in women who have PCOS, so long as they consume it on a regular basis. How amazing is that?
It’s kinda crazy, how much a lot of us don’t give parsley a second thought beyond it being garnish on some of our dishes because it really is an herb that’s pretty good for our overall health and well-being. For starters, it’s a fair source of protein and fiber. Parsley also contains a ton (and I do mean A TON) of vitamins K and A per serving, along with a pretty impressive amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants. If you’re looking for food that will keep your bones and teeth strong, protect your eyes and even freshen your breath, look no further than it. Period-wise, it’s good for you because it helps to increase blood flow which could result in your periods coming more on time (if you consume it semi-regularly, that is).
10. Dark Chocolate
If you’re looking to get a good dose of fiber, manganese, iron, magnesium, and copper, you don’t need to look any further than dark chocolate. It also has antioxidants and fatty acids that help with lowering your cholesterol levels and keeping your heart healthy. As if that’s not impressive enough, dark chocolate can help to ease feelings that are associated with depression, lower the risk of you having a stroke, suppress coughs that are related to the common cold, boost your brain function, and even protect your skin from damaging skin rays.
And if you eat a piece of it on a daily basis, the flavonoids in dark chocolate can “mimic” estrogen, so that your hormones are able to level out and your blood circulation will be able to improve all throughout your body. Just make sure to not get a Hershey’s bar but rather the kind of dark chocolate that has no less than 65 percent cocoa in it. It might not taste as good, but you’ll get a lot more benefits — your body, including your period, will thank you. Guaranteed.
To learn more about all things vaginal health and wellness, check out the xoNecole Women's Health section here.
Featured image by Getty Images
- Tips For Women Struggling With Endometriosis - xoNecole ... ›
- Are Your Periods All Over the Place? - xoNecole: Women's Interest ... ›
- Living With PCOS As A Black Woman - xoNecole: Women's Interest ... ›
- How To Balance Your Hormones - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Recently, a young content creator named Mayte Lisbeth posted an emotional video about experiencing touch starvation. She expressed that she feels she is dying from touch starvation and does not receive hugs. Additionally, if she were to receive a hug, she would crumble. The nearly three-minute video continued as Lisbeth breaks down her need for touch. Healthline says touch starvation or deprivation “occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things.”
According to research posted in the National Library of Medicine, “touch is a powerful tool for communicating positive emotions.” Furthermore, other studies emphasize the importance of social touch. When an individual lacks touch, they can experience the following: depression, anxiety, stress, relationship dissatisfaction, difficulty sleeping, and detachment. Moreover, people who do not enjoy being touched can also experience deprivation due to occasionally longing for a hug or handshake.
Lisbeth’s video was triggering because touch starvation is something I experienced in the past. The first time I experienced this was when I was 17 years old after moving across the country to a state where I had no family. It happened again during the pandemic. I remember going into the pandemic optimistic as I really could be.
It worked for the first several months but quickly spiraled into some of my most challenging times, emotionally and mentally. That feeling was amplified when there was no one I truly loved to hug me. Something about a long embrace from a loved one assured me that no matter how dark my world was at the time, there was a light at the end of my darkness. Being away from my support system was rough during that time of uncertainty.
I was not fully aware of what touch starvation was at the time, but I knew I longed for touch. It was not until I was visiting my best friend and randomly asking for a hug that I remember having an immense sense of anxiety and sadness.
The content creator stated in her video that the solution is more complex than scheduling a hair appointment and receiving services. The form of touch was not suitable because she had no ties to these people. It is more about receiving affection, which can come in touch from someone who cares about her, not specifically a romantic touch.
Its been five years of touch starvation. I’ll probably have some more years of it. I’m not handling this well.
First, I commend Lisbeth for her vulnerability and courage to speak on a subject many sometimes do not know about or even acknowledge. She even commented that her family was not big huggers, which did not help her touch starvation. She could count how many times she hugged her parents when she saw them last. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this is the norm for many families. “I do not know how to heal in a community; I only heal alone,” Lisbeth tearfully explained in a follow-up video. People instantly flooded her social media pages with support and suggested solutions, including breathwork, touch work, and even hiring a professional cuddler.
Sadly, many suffer from touch starvation and do not have family or a tribe to contact. If that is your current situation, here are some exercises that copy touch sensation when experiencing touch starvation.
- Blankets – Wrapping yourself up in a blanket can provide comfort. Another option is a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket mimics receiving a hug, which can provide a sense of calm for an individual.
- Self-Touch Breathwork – The counselors at Twinpowerment, LLC taught us a five-step self-holding technique that could help remedy touch starvation.
- Body Pillows (or pillows) – Cuddling up to a body pillow can mimic cuddling and allow comfort during sleep.
- Cuddle Therapy – Like the name states, you can pay a professional to cuddle with. The Institute of Counseling in Nigeria explains that “Cuddle therapy fills a niche that is complementary to traditional talk therapy.” With traditional therapy, a mental health professional cannot touch their clients.
- Companion Animal – Dogs and cats make excellent companion animals. The endless number of cuddles and “kisses” they provide can offer comfort during hard times.
Even though traditional therapists cannot provide touch to their clients, they are a great option if your symptoms from touch starvation increase.
Since then, Lisbeth has posted videos explaining remedies she has tried or is willing to try. Some days are better than others, but she keeps moving forward. I pray she finds peace during these times.
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Feature image by People Images/ Getty Images