The Instagram logo

Go with the flow

Expert tips to support your health during your period

Taking a natural and holistic approach to your health during your period can help to support your physical and emotional wellbeing. Good nutrition, good quality supplements and self-care can help to make this time of the month more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are our expert tips.

Eat according to your cycle

“I work with many women who have disrupted / lost cycles, or painful, heavy periods with PMS and digestive issues, and find that nutritional therapy is really helpful,” says Laura Southern, nutritional therapist at London Gynaecology ( During the follicular phase (days 1-14), Laura recommends adding nutrient-dense foods to your diet. She says: “Try to ensure that each meal and snack contains protein (to help build hormones and balance blood sugar), good fats (to help build hormones and support mood) and lots of fibre-rich plant foods (to provide blood-sugar supporting energy and nutrients).” During the second half of the menstrual cycle (the ovulation and luteal phases), Laura recommends focusing on foods that support the liver to aid with detoxification. She says: “The liver loves brassicas – so this is a good time to add in kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi. You can steam them, roast them, stir fry, add to soups etc. Just try and eat a portion daily. The liver also loves dark pigmented fruits and veggies – think beetroot, berries, dark plums. Then to ensure good excretion you need to support your gut – seeds are great here – especially chia seed if you’re prone to constipation.” Supporting the gut is important too. Laura recommends eating fibre-rich foods, like a variety of vegetables, as well as fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and live yogurt.

Practice some yoga

“The teaching of yoga is very much based in developing mindfulness and a respect for yourself and others,” says Jess Parkinson, yoga expert and tutor at Goldster ( “This can be a great lesson when it comes to being on our periods, or even going through fluctuating moods, as it can help us to take a step back when we need to - whether physically or emotionally. Of course, yoga also provides physical benefits for bloating, cramps and other related symptoms that come with the menstrual cycle. Some people choose to avoid inversions, but others love the feeling of inversions when they’re menstruating. Poses I always recommend include apanasana (knees to chest pose), child’s pose and sphinx pose. These are great for reducing bloating and are very gentle, nourishing poses that can be held for a number of minutes if desired.”

Opt for natural products

“During your period, using natural period care products can help reduce exposure to harmful chemicals found in conventional pads and tampons,” says Dr Paula Oliveira. “Consider opting for reusable menstrual cups or cloth pads made from organic cotton or bamboo. These products are eco-friendly, more comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run.”

Get a better night’s sleep

“Your period can increase your body temperature which can result in an uncomfortable night’s sleep,” says Katherine Hall, a sleep expert at Somnus Therapy who has partnered with Get Laid Beds ( “I would recommend keeping the blinds down and your window slightly open for a gentle breeze. Changing your sheets can also help, and if you are experiencing a particularly hot flush, keep a wet flannel by the side of your bed so you can dab it on your forehead to regulate your body temperature. Finding a sleeping position that works for you is an essential part of ensuring that you get a good night’s kip during your period. Evidence has shown the foetal position to be effective when on your period as it focuses on relieving any tension from the abdominal muscles which may be causing cramps. It may also be worth placing a pillow under your knees as this can once again relax some of the muscles which are causing you grief.”

Try some journalling

Penny Weston, a fitness, wellness and nutrition expert who runs the health spa, Moddershall Oaks (, recommends writing down your feelings in a journal, to alleviate any anxiety or low moods you might experience during your period. She says: “Downloading the contents of your brain can be very freeing as the simple act of formulating the sentences can help clarify your thoughts and position on something bothering you. Just go for it and let the thoughts flow. It can be very therapeutic to look back on past worries and realise how few of them are still meaningful even a few weeks on. It can really help improve your mental health, especially as your period can bring increased feelings of anxiety. A good place to start is by writing three amazing things that happened to you today. You might think you can’t think of any but it doesn’t have to be anything big. What about just that you walked to work instead of driving? Or you managed to finish an email you’ve been meaning to write all week? Small successes make big ones.”

Supplement your diet

“Taking specific supplements can provide extra support for your health and wellbeing during your period,” says Dr Paula Oliveira, a medical doctor at JustCBD ( “For instance, magnesium can help reduce cramps and promote relaxation, while calcium can help regulate hormone levels. Vitamin B6 can help alleviate mood swings and irritability, and zinc can support immune function and reduce acne. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts and seeds can also help reduce inflammation and alleviate menstrual cramps.”

Read articles from our latest issue here...