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Foods That Help Alleviate Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Foods That Help Alleviate Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
A variety of nutritious foods may help reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

Heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia, refers to excessive uterine bleeding that causes long, heavy menstrual flow. In severe cases, menorrhagia interferes with your ability to function normally. While most women experience heavy menstrual flow on occasion, only a small percentage of women experience symptoms severe enough to need medical treatment, according to In addition to treating underlying conditions, which may include hormonal imbalanced, polyps and dysfunctional ovaries, altering your diet may help reduce your symptoms.

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Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Whole grains are also low-glycemic, meaning they have a mild impact on your blood sugar levels. Women's health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends replacing high-glycemic carbohydrate sources, such as white bread, sweets and salty snack foods, with low-glycemic foods as a useful way to manage hormonal imbalances that may contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding. Whole grains also provide valuable amounts of iron, which can help remedy iron-deficient anemia associated with the condition. Examples of low-glycemic, nutritious whole grains include 100 percent whole grain breads and cold cereals, steel-cut oats, pearled barley, quinoa, long-grain brown rice, wild rice and air-popped popcorn.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help your body protect itself from infections and disease. Many fruits and vegetables provide rich amounts of vitamins C, A and E — antioxidants Northrup recommends for improved menorrhagia symptoms. For maximum benefits, incorporate a variety of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables, such as berries, cherries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and squash, which tend to contain richest amounts of these ingredients, into your meals and snacks regularly. Replacing processed snack foods with fruits and vegetables can also improve your blood sugar levels and hormonal balance.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, sardines and flounder, provide significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids — healthy fats linked with improved heart health and reduced inflammation. Omega-3 fats can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with menstrual problems, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Since fish oil supplements may increase bleeding, consume fatty fish regularly instead. As protein-rich foods, fatty fish have a positive impact on your blood sugar and hormonal levels. Fatty fish are also rich sources of iron and other immune system-promoting nutrients, such as B-vitamins and zinc. Incorporate fatty fish into nutritious, balanced meals for best results.

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