There is a lot of speculation, a tonne of studies, and an abundance of personal accounts about menstruators who have chosen to go vegan. An increasing number of studies popping up on the internet describe the many health and environmental benefits and drawbacks of avoiding an animal-based diet. Veganism is said to prevent colon and breast cancer, reduce congestion issues, and promote healthy skin and nails. Veganism is also known to cause many changes in a person’s menstruation cycle. What really happens when a menstruator opts to go vegan? When asked what news would I like to hear first, the good or the bad, I always go with the bad news.
The Bad News
Low iron, one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, is the source of anaemia in women. This is especially typical amongst vegans and vegetarians. Menstruators need to be sure to get enough iron, even more so during heavy bleeding. When one menstruates, they lose iron-containing blood every month through their period, which coupled with low iron intake from avoiding meat, can increase your chances of developing an iron deficiency.
The Good News
Studies are inconsistent when it comes to PMS with regards to a vegan diet, however, varying accounts state that menstruators were cured of their PMS after making the switch. Inflammation is believed to be associated with more severe physical PMS symptoms. This is due to the fact that dairy contains a protein (A1 casein), that can make up 30% of the protein found in cow’s milk and is a significant source of inflammation. So, vegans and dairy-free vegetarians could experience less severe or no physical PMS symptoms.
The vegan lifestyle is a personal choice that more and more people are adopting for various ethical and environmental reasons. At the end of the day, what you put in your body can have a huge effect on your period. Instead of just jumping on a bandwagon, track your energy, sleep, emotions and motivation and make an informed decision based on that. It’s about eating smart and eating right.