As women we need to be conscious of our bodys' need to build blood through each month.
Blood is the juice that keeps all our cells fed. The flow of blood keeps everything else flowing and glowing!
Blood is much more than just iron, but if you are aneamic or iron deficient, then you definitely need to focus on building blood.
At times of the month and at certain times of our life we lose blood. Obviously when we bleed. But also when we stress, when we go through intense experiences of loss or illness, when we have operations or hemorrages and through growing and birthing and breastfeeding a baby.
There are certain dos and donts if you want to increase your capacity to build blood.
You DO need to eat a diet rich in blood building foods, optimise your digestion so you can get the most out for said diet, exercise and stress less.
You DONT want to burn the candle at both ends, drink too much coffee, tea or chocolate, smoke cigarettes or weed or take any recreational drugs - all these things deplete blood and reduce your efforts to become nourished.
If you have a weak digestion (are you not able to digest wheat? have allergies, feel tired after eating? not have much of an appetite? or take a long time to digest your meals? ) then you DO want to work on getting your digestion fired up and focus on blood building foods that are super simple to digest.
If you dont make an effort to build blood, and your digestion is less than optimal then you may be on a downward path that can lead to all kinds of pelvic and hormonal problems.
Painful periods, late periods, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, fibroids, missing periods, chronic miscarriage and prolapse, fatigue and weakness, headaches with your cycle and more are just some of the terrible symptoms of being blood deficient.
So today's a great day to start learning about blood building!
Although you can build blood all month long, there is a certain building superpower that we as menstruating women have that we can use to maximise blood creation. In the time just after we bleed, our body starts to make a new lining of the womb and our body gets into blood building mode. Its time to jump on the blood building bus and get eating lots of yummy, easy to digest blood building foods.
An interesting and important thing to learn is that animal products also put your body into blood buoilding mode. If you eat meat or even just eggs, this is enough to switch on your body's blood building engine - so take your iron suppliment with your eggs or add a side of cooked greens and beetroot chutney.
If you're already deficient, and really many many people these days are, blood building is actually a long term project. If you're open to eating meat for its blood building superpowers then making a BIG stew, with lots of warming herbs (to inspire your digestive fire) and adding some blood building tonics like moringa, nettle and goji berries is a great monthly ritual. You can keep some in the fridge and freeze some so theres always a small portion available to nourish you.
Below is a list of blood building foods and herbs that help support and maximise the process.
Its important to note that some foods are very cooling or heavy and that they will be very hard to digest if you have any digestive sluggishness, bloating or irritable symptoms at all. I would therefore suggest sticking to warming, cooked foods to make sure you're building blood, not wasting your time and body's energy.
Relatively Easy to digest
Slow cooked red meat++
Organic organ meats well cooked++
Slow cooked chicken++
Cooked leafy Greens++ (super important)
Cooked green vegetables+
Cooked Beetroot and red/purple foods+
Water Cress++ (cooked)
Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet and Brown Rice+
Sultanas and Raisins+
Blackberries and Raspberries**
Apricots & Mangos+
Figs & Dates, Dried Fruits+
Herbs that Help Digestion, but not warming
Cardamom & Fennel+
Chinese Red Dates++
Foods marked ++ are the
most beneficial blood building herbs and foods
Harder to digest
Raw leafy greens (spinach, lettuce et al)**
Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass powders**
Suppliments or powders with many ingredients
Meat thats not slow cooked
Almonds, Cashews and walnuts (very heavy)
Sesame seeds black and white
Oysters and Shellfish**
Coconut meat and juice**
Nori and seaweeds and vegetables**
These harder to digest items would be helpful
If your digestion is very strong + no sensitivites.
**these foods are very cooling to your digestion
and therefore may be very hard for your body to use - a drain on your system.
Useful Blood Building Herbs
Goji Berries++ (nightshade family)
Parsely+ Alfalfa+ (both cooling)
Macca Root+ and Ashwaghanda+
Useful Warming Spices to warm up cold food
Ginger fresh or cooked (dried is very heating)++
Black Pepper, white pepper+
Cooked onions and garlic
Basil including tulsai
So get creative! Get Cooking!