Nutritionist is advising women on how diet can manage period pain

Introducing seeds and leafy greens to women’s diets can help to relieve menstrual pain, says Pontcanna-based nutritional therapist Angharad Davies

Angharad Davies says that colourful, plant-based foods high in vitamin C, such as berries and citrus fruits, can help absorb iron and relieve pain during the menstrual phase (Photo Credit: Angharad Davies)

A Pontcanna-based nutritionist is helping women to manage their period pain by optimising their diet. 

Bloom Nutritional Therapy‘s Angharad Davies promotes “cycle-syncing”, the practice of adjusting women’s diets to match the different phases of their menstrual cycle to relieve painful periods.

“You lose a lot of blood during the menstrual phase, so you want to try to eat iron-rich foods such as lentils, beans and leafy greens.

“Also, eat foods high in vitamin C to help absorb that iron,” says Davies, ahead of Self Care Week, which is running from 14-20 November.

Her comments also follow a recent YouGov report which found that 80% of working women who menstruate have experienced period pain so severe that it affected their ability to work.

“We shouldn’t be in so much pain that we can’t live our lives,” says Davies. “It’s not right and it’s not normal.”

To help combat such severe menstrual cramps, the nutritionist suggests eating foods that are rich in omega 3, such as mackerel, walnuts, and flaxseeds. 

While social media posts about cycle-syncing have become popular during the last couple of years, Davies is sceptical of the “blanket approach” these posts take. “These posts insinuate that certain foods are good for anyone,” says the practitioner. “They could recommend ingredients that some individuals may not be able to tolerate.

“I take a more personalised approach and tweak diets based on the individual’s needs, problems, and deficiencies.”

Davies set up Bloom Nutritional Therapy in 2018 and says that it began to thrive during the first lockdown.

With a clientele that is 95% female, she now takes on a new client every week. 

She credits the boom to increased media coverage of women’s health issues and lockdown affording people more time to focus on nutrition and meal preparation. 

“It’s such an impactful thing to do because you can really benefit so many women,” says Davies. “It can be life-changing for people.”

Angharad Davies’s top places to eat in Cardiff 

Secret Garden Cafe is popular for its freshly made salads (Photo Credit: Frances Daniels)
  • Longa Turkish Cafe, Whitchurch Road

Davies recommends their Turkish egg-based dishes, as eggs are a “quick and easy” protein source which can be “super helpful” for hormonal balance.

  • Secret Garden Café, Bute Park

Fresh-from-the-garden salads, locally produced lunches, and incredible surroundings makes this independent, eco-friendly cafe one of the best places to lunch in Cardiff, according to Davies. 

  • Beanfreaks Cafe, Canton  

A cafe focusing on health food, their organic dishes are perfect for people conscious about nutrition, says Davies.