It took me a long while to figure out that the root cause of my PMS symptoms was due to blood deficiency. I was a vegetarian for a couple of years and I used to live on tofu, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Being an animal lover, I didn’t want to harm those beautiful creatures. So I decided to become a vegetarian. But I didn’t know that in order to be a vegetarian, I needed to be a smart one, and I subsequently paid a price for it.
In a physical checkup several years ago, my doctor told me that I had a vitamin B12 deficiency, which is one of the primary causes of anemia. The other causes include iron deficiency, chronic disease and genetic factors.
It turns out that anemia is the most common blood condition in the U.S. It affects about 3.5 million Americans, especially women due to blood loss from monthly menstruation and/or childbirth.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long recognized anemia (blood deficiency) as one of the primary causes of menstrual problems, including PMS, painful periods, scanty periods, no periods, or late periods.
Symptoms and Signs:
If you have several symptoms from the above checklist, you may consider building up your blood through a diet rich in iron (required to produce hemoglobin), vitamin B12 (required for normal red blood cell production) and folic acid (promotes the production of normal red blood cell), or taking dietary supplements. It’s a good preventive strategy for women to do so, anyway.
Foods Rich in Iron: Oysters, clams, beans (especially black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans), peas, iron-fortified cereals, whole grain breads and pastas, foods containing corn flour, dark green, leafy vegetables (especially spinach), asparagus, broccoli, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, rhubarb, parsley, chives, and watercress.
Note that fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C enhance iron absorption, whereas caffeinated beverages and black tea (which contains tannins) interfere with the absorption of iron. So it’s a good idea to include foods rich in vitamin C and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and black tea with meals.
Foods Rich in Folic Acid: Fresh fruits (especially citrus fruits), vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach), fortified cereals, pumpkin, and all kinds of beans.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12: Meat, livers (beef and chicken), fish, eggs, and diary products. Since animal products are the primary dietary source of vitamin B12, you need to eat lots of tempeh, tofu and miso, and take a vitamin B12 supplement if you’re a strict vegetarian.
Chinese Medicine has been very effective in treating various types of anemia as well as the related menstrual disorders. If you’re interested in getting a personalized evaluation and receiving specific dietary, lifestyle and herbal recommendations, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.