5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period

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PMS & PMDD

If you’re reading this post about 5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period, it’s likely that you are someone you know is suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or the mother of all hormonal mood disruptions, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

I want you to know that there if a way for you to heal your PMS naturally with food, diet, and lifestyle changes. But, in this post, we will talk about the 5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period.

There’s going to be a bit of a backstory coming below, so if you are in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to the 5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period by clicking here. Trust me, I won’t get offended.

The Backstory

First, let me clarify something. I’m spiritual, but I’m also practical and analytical. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you also nerd out on the regular, sitting in the bathtub while indulging your senses in scientific studies and journals. Indeed, I AM A NERD! Or maybe you prefer to sip a nice Pinot and play Fisdom on your phone; that sounds fun too!

Maybe you too, every month, like clockwork, watch your calm, cool, practical side get hot (not in a good way) and irrational.

Alas, just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the logical part of you transforms into a hormone raging psycho. Sad, happy, sad, angry, REPEAT!

Of course, it’s not like we are running around murdering people (at least I hope not). But the monthly shift is noticeable enough that less enlightened people call you names behind your back and sometimes to your face. Indeed, once a month, you lose you shit.

The worst part is that no allopathic doctor (that’s the regular kind) can’t help you without prescribing toxic birth control pills, shots, or patches, and your Christian girlfriends might even say you need to have more faith and can eat whatever you want since it’s “all in the Lord.” Sound familiar?

The Science

Why do some women suffer from hormonal issues while others seem to seamlessly slide into menstruation and back into ovulation? Indeed, this has a lot to do with genetics.

 

If your mom suffered from badass menstrual problems like PMS or PMDD, heavy bleeding (menorrhagia), painful periods (dysmenorrhoea), and absent periods (amenorrhoea) then you too are likely to endure similar symptoms.

But, there is hope! There have been recent developments in a relatively new field of science called epigenetics. According to the CDC, “epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.”

Epigenetics

The term was coined by a smart dude named Conrad Waddington. You can read more about it by clicking on the word above if you’re interested.

The point here is that certain activities, (or lack thereof) foods, and environmental toxins, contribute to the activation of genes that contribute to menstrual disorders. 

The Spirituality

The Bible talks about weakness of the flesh, which I believe to be not only a reference to original sin, but also a hint about epigenetics. Romans 14 says, “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.”

As hard as I’ve tried to eat “anything”, dairy makes my skin break out, meat makes me aggressive, and other animal products give me heart palpitations so intense I used to lie in bed for 2 days before my period unable to do anything but eat and sleep.

Did I mention I turned into a crazy person? Yep, thought so.

I agree it is good to trust God, but it is also good to be practical and use common sense when choosing your foods. Would you feed peanuts to a kid with a peanut allergy? I say not! Then… be cool and stop pushing meat on your homegirls. That sounded weird, didn’t it?

Elijah Essentials and myself are dedicated to helping women heal naturally! So, without further ado, let’s learn about the 5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period.

1. COMPLEX CARBS

Okay, I realize complex carbs is not a food, but I had to cheat and include more than just one food because of how IMPORTANT it is that we eat COMPLEX carbs before our period, and not those knock-off simple carbs.

 

Get those fake cookies out of my face and get me some real cookies made with chickpea flour. I’ll link the recipe, they are the bomb!

Here’s a list of just a few COMPLEX CARBS to Boost Mood Before Your Period. And, if you haven’t seen Amber Lee’s video about complex carbs on Instagram, watch it! It’s hilarious.

Navigate the Slideshow Below for Examples of Complex Carbs

Why Complex Carbs?

Complex carbs talk the body into producing more serotonin which notoriously drops in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle causing PMS and PMDD symptoms like depression, irritability, food cravings, and that overall “I’m an unstable person” vibe.

Notice the word “complex.” While simple carbs like white bread, cake, and chips increase serotonin levels, they do not offer the same benefits of complex carbohydrates. PUT THE CHIPS DOWN. Complex carbs contain fiber and nutrients, while simple carbs have been stripped of them.

Processed (simple) carbohydrates have vitamins artificially added back into them, while complex carbs naturally contain B vitamins, which work in partnership with fiber to support digestive functioning and release a steady supply of serotonin as the body processes carbohydrates.

 

To summarize, simple carbs are a quick fix while complex carbs work in the long term. Slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to healthy serotonin levels. Word up!

2. Nuts & Seeds

Let’s Go Nuts!

Ironically nuts may help prevent us from going nuts before our period. Isn’t that nuts? Nuts and seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to help people with mood disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, and enable us to deal with stress more effectively.

When we transition from the luteal phase of our cycle into menstruation, our bodies go through significant hormonal changes which causes our bodies (and minds) to become stressed.

 

“Stress creates greater physiological demands on the body . More energy, oxygen, circulation, and therefore more metabolic cofactors are needed” (Singh, p. 2).

Say NO to Cupcakes!

Stress leads us to reach for less healthy foods high in starch and fats when what we really need are healthy carbs and fats.

Choose nuts and seeds over buttery cakes, since nuts and seeds have nutrient dense fats that contain compounds called fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are so powerful that they are believed to prevent depression for those who are at risk.

Have you ever seen a depressed squirrel? Nope. Just saying! SQUIRREL! 

Stress compromises the conversion of the parent omega 3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is metabolized into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which serves as an activator of genes that produce serotonin. And, as we know, a lack of serotonin is BAD NEWS for our mental health. The brain also needs omega 3 fatty acids to form healthy nerve cells and since our bodies can’t make them, we must consume them in diet.

Here’s some nuts and seeds that are high in omega 3 fatty acids. But, remember, nuts are high in calories so don’t actually go nuts for nuts!

FUN FACT: pumpkin seeds and walnuts also contain tryptophan and magnesium which boost mood and improve sleep quality.

3. Fruits & Vegetables

You would think that I’m trying to convert everyone into vegans, but the health benefits of fruits and vegetables have been clearly shown to improve mood.  

 

Fruits and veggies are high in mood-boosting compounds like B vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium.

It’s good to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try to regularly consume the colors of the rainbow, (and I’m not talking about Skittles here). 

While it’s okay to consume starchy vegetables like white potatoes, try to consume them alongside other veggies. This is because white potatoes can spike blood sugar levels, especially in those with diabetes or insulin resistance.

Here’s just a few of the delicious fruits and vegetables you might enjoy to boost mood before your period. The more fruits and vegetables you can eat, the better! Try getting creative by cooking vegan recipes and making your own stress relieving smoothies. 

Navigate the Slideshow Below to Explore Mood Boosting Fruits & Veggies
Spinach
3 cups of spinach supply about 40% of our daily recommended amount of magnesium. If three cups seems like a lot, try cooking down your spinach or adding it to a smoothie.
Brocoli
Broccoli contains stress relieving B-6 along with folic acid which have antidepressant effects on the body, DOPE!
Blueberries
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and are full of antioxidants which decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Bananas
Bananas have a combination of vitamin B6, A, and C along with fiber tryptophan (a serotonin precursor) and sugar. These vitamins work together with the sugar to balance mood and blood sugar levels.
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That’s right, chocolate is a healthy way to relieve stress! The trick is to eat low or no sugar dark chocolate.

 

Chocolate contains compounds like theobromine, iron, magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, and that’s just a few of chocolates’ powerful mood-lifting chemicals!

In fact, chocolate is such a powerful antidepressant and mood lifter that scientists have classified it as a psycho-active food. But remember, no sugar or low sugar chocolate is best and make sure you eat DARK chocolate.

5. Coffee

Coffee contains caffeine which stimulates the central nervous system, blood flow in the brain, and serotonin levels. It is also an antioxidant and is composed of anti-inflammatory compounds that help to boost mood. 

Did you know that coffee has chemicals that work by blocking receptors in the brain from bounding with adenosine? I didn’t!

Adenosine is sort of like your X boyfriend, it causes fatigue and depressed mood when allowed to bond with your brain’s receptors.

Yep, that’s a good description. 

So, that’s it This concludes our post about the 5 Best Vegan Foods to Boost Mood Before Your Period!

What are your favorite foods to eat before your period?

Have you tried any of these?

Let us know in the comments below. 

Much Love, Many Blessings, Jesus is Lord.

References

 

ACE. (2019). The Professional’s Guide to Health and Wellness Coaching. (J. A. Matthews, C. X. Bryant, J. S. Skinner, & D. J. Green, Eds.). ACE.

 

Carbohydrates. http://www.heart.org. (2021, January 12). Retrieved June 2, 2022, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/carbohydrates

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, May 18). What is epigenetics? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/epigenetics.htm#:~:text=Epigenetics%20is%20the%20study%20of,body%20reads%20a%20DNA%20sequence.

 

English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+14%3A1-23&version=ESV

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