Many of us have started our periods late — or completely missed them — at least once in our lives. But what if you’ve been menstruating irregularly for quite some time now?
For some people, irregular periods are the norm, while others may have only experienced these irregularities recently. Whichever the case, an out-of-whack menstrual cycle usually boils down to hormonal imbalance, in which various factors may trigger it. Usually, an irregular period isn’t a major cause of concern but it’s always a good idea to get it checked out just to be on the safe side.
So, how can you bring your period back on track? Aside from conventional medications and treatments, a healthy diet is a good place to start. In fact, superfoods like beetroot are well-known for their abilities in promoting healthy periods. We’ll see how beets can help during menstruation, particularly for irregular periods, and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Please note: This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from a licensed healthcare professional. If you have any concerns relating to your period, consult a gynecologist as and when necessary.
Period Problems: An Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle starts from the first day of your current period and ends on the first day of your next period, averaging 28 days in length. That said, your period is still considered regular if it occurs once every 24-38 days.
If your period comes earlier or later than this window of time, or is absent for a few months, you may be experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle. Generally, hormonal imbalances are the root cause of period irregularities and are usually linked to:
- Insufficient calorie intake and/or nutritional deficiency
- High stress levels
- Being overweight or underweight
- Certain medications, like birth control pills
- Certain health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism
To get your period back on track, it’s crucial to identify the exact causes behind it, so your primary doctor can work with you to formulate an effective treatment plan. Besides that, natural remedies like beetroot can help address irregular menstruation for overall wellness.
How Do Beets Help During Menstruation?
Beetroot is highly regarded as a superfood, thanks to its rich nutritional profile of nitrates, iron, and folic acid, amongst other nutrients. Most significantly, beetroot contains the highly active biocompounds called betalains and betaine that are hailed for their health-boosting properties.
Here are four ways beets can help during menstruation to promote more regular periods:
1. May Address Hormonal Imbalance
As mentioned earlier, hormonal imbalance is usually to blame for menstrual irregularity. This imbalance can be traced to the liver — the organ primarily responsible for managing excess hormones circulating in your bloodstream. That said, too many hormones present in the blood can also impair the liver’s detoxifying prowess, preventing this major organ from keeping your hormones in check.
That’s where beets can help as they are famed for their liver-protecting abilities, courtesy of the betalains and betaine present in these veggies.
- Betacyanins: These natural antioxidants are a type of betalains that have powerful free radical-scavenging properties to support liver detoxification.
- Betaine: It’s a naturally occurring chemical that reduces fatty liver tissues (nonalcoholic fatty liver is a common liver disease).
In essence, beetroots help enhance and maintain healthy liver functions, aiding in hormonal balance within your body. This, in turn, may then naturally promote menstrual regularity.
2. Boost Low Iron Count
During your period, blood vessels lining the uterus detach and pass out from your body as menstrual blood. Given that most of the body’s iron stores reside in hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells), women tend to lose 3-24 milligrams of iron every menstrual cycle. As a matter of fact, iron depletion is the first stage of iron deficiency, a health issue linked to negative impacts like a weakened immune system and poor cognitive functioning. Research suggests consuming beetroot during this time of the month can help replenish your body’s low iron count.
In a small study of seven healthy women, the participants took eight grams of dried beetroot powder every morning for 20 days. Laboratory results indicated a 2.4% to 11.4% increase in hemoglobin levels, which correlates with an upsurge of serum iron levels of all subjects. This confirms the effectiveness of beetroot in lowering the risk of iron deficiency during menstruation.
P.S. Beets are a great vegan alternative to meat sources for boosting your body’s iron levels.
3. May Improve Blood Flow and Color
Beetroot is a potent source of nitrate, an inorganic compound linked to several health benefits from stronger cardiovascular health to better athletic performance. But, how do nitrates help with your menstrual cycle?
Once ingested, inorganic nitrate in beetroots is converted into nitric oxide, subsequently raising your body’s nitric oxide content. Research explains nitric oxide helps increase blood flow to the muscle cells. Consuming beets may thus boost blood flow to the uterus and other reproductive organs involved in your menstrual cycle to promote more regular periods.
Another side benefit from better blood circulation relates to the color of your period blood. Some of us may have encountered dark brown to black period blood, aka dark menstruation, from time to time. While the color may seem alarming, it’s usually no cause for concern. Darker shades of menstrual blood actually represent old blood that had stayed in your uterus longer than it should, causing it to oxidize and change color. Better menstrual blood flow, courtesy of the nitrates in beetroot, will likely put a stop to dark menstrual discharge, returning it to its usual red color.
4. May Alleviate Menstrual Discomfort
Period discomfort often manifests as aches, cramps, and pains. A study of 408 young women revealed the prevalence of menstrual pain is exceedingly high at 84.1%, with 43.1% of participants experiencing painful menstruation in every cycle. Given that inflammation is the root cause of all pain, beetroot being high in anti-inflammatory betacyanins may possibly help with menstrual discomfort.
Scientific evidence shows betanin (a type of betacyanin present in beets) “suppresses 97% of enzyme activity in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2),” a feat comparable or even better than pain-relieving drugs like Ibuprofen. (For the uninitiated, COX-2 plays a major role in your body’s inflammatory reactions). Simply put, regularly drinking a beetroot smoothie may lessen — or even prevent — menstrual aches and pains.
Get Your Period Back on Track With Beets
If you’ve been on the hunt for a natural remedy to regulate your period, try beetroot. That said, not everyone has the time to shop for fresh beets and grind them up into a fine powder to add to their meals.
That’s where Zen Principle’s Organic Beetroot Powder comes in handy. Made with whole beets harvested at peak ripeness, the veggies are dried at low temperatures to preserve key nutrients for high nutritional value. Unlike the high-sugar, low-fiber beetroot juice, our beetroot powder is free of added sugars, fillers, and additives.
Each bag of pure, organic beetroot powder is sourced from North America (the U.S. and Canada) and India. To provide you with the freshest, highest quality products, we only work with small organic farms that are USDA-certified. For an extra layer of quality and safety, our beetroot powder is packaged in the U.S. in a GMP-compliant (Good Manufacturing Practices) and organic-certified facility.
To enjoy the goodness of beets in your daily diet, simply add two teaspoons (roughly 6 grams) of our beetroot powder to a glass of water. You can also get creative and add beetroot powder to other dishes like lattes and baked goods. For more inspiration, check out our recipe for Beet Energy Balls — a healthy yet delicious alternative to sugar-filled energy bars.
P.S. If you’re interested to learn more about what beets can do for your health, hop over to our ultimate guide on beetroot powder.