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Author lectures about women’s dietary health

Christin Kloski | Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By dieting in accordance with their menstrual cycles, women can feel satisfied with their bodies and their emotions, “Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition” author Marilyn Shannon said at a lecture Monday.

The lecture was part of Saint Mary’s first official Food Week, which provides students tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The week’s events focus on food choices, nutrition facts and sustainability in food.

Shannon said women who improve their overall health will also improve their menstrual cycles because irregularities, such as cramps, long cycles and premenstrual syndrome, are caused by poor diets.

Shannon said women must better their diets and take essential vitamins to make their cycles more regular. Adequate sleep, moderate exercise and proper weight gain or loss also contribute to healthy cycles, she said.

“Nutrition is the number one way to improve the body, but so is eating whole foods and taking the right vitamins,” Shannon said.  

Shannon said women who have no or little premenstrual syndrome take in more vegetables, dietary fiber, vitamins and vegetable oils than other women. These reduce symptoms, but also improve a woman’s health.

Shannon said there are 12 rules women should follow for better nutrition, including eating plenty of whole plant foods, avoiding trans fats and drinking pure water instead of soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.

“When you go to the store, choose a variety of food and change the routine,” she said. “Pick something you usually don’t eat.”

Variations in the diet allow the body to obtain the essential vitamins found in different food groups, Shannon said. She said women must be confident in their dieting and follow the 80-20 rule.

“Follow your diet or nutrition balance 80 percent of the time, but you can have 20 percent for things outside of the diet,” she said.  

Shannon said self-care for better cycles and fertility makes a difference in women’s lives.

“Improved nutrition is the natural way to start,” she said.