brainAfter you’ve been hanging around this Hormonology website awhile, you’ll come to discover that my favorite cycle-boosting tip for your Week 1 is to eat more iron-rich foods (such as fortified cereal, beans, spinach, tofu and lean beef) or to take an iron supplement (18 mg. for women between the ages of 19 and 50; 15 mg. for women 14 to 18) every day of your cycle.

That’s because during your period, blood loss lowers your body’s level of iron, which can be a key cause of fatigue and crankiness.

Reverse the iron loss and you’ll up your energy and mood!

Need more motivation to get more of this essential mineral? Then listen to this:

According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who were low in iron and took an iron supplement experienced a dramatic five to seven-fold improvement in memory, accuracy, mental speed and other brain functions.

The reason? Iron helps deliver more oxygen to brain cells, which is critical for sharper thinking.

So, if enjoying more energy, a better mood and super-duper brain skills during your period can’t convince you to up your daily iron intake, I’m not sure what else can. (Except possibly learning that dark chocolate is a good source of iron, too!)

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