Boost Your Energy During Menstrual Bleeding: Easy Iron-Rich Recipes & Tips

Boost Your Energy During Menstrual Bleeding: Easy Iron-Rich Recipes & Tips

Hi!! Do you often feel exhausted during your period? I've been there, and I've discovered some crucial insights about combating menstrual fatigue that I'm excited to share with you.

I have lived my whole life tired and have recently found out I am pretty deficient in a lot of minerals. On top of that, my periods have always been very heavy. If I sit longer than 30 minutes, I know that I have to stand up very intentionally. I have to make sure I can go to the bathroom as soon as I get up because the blood that has been waiting to come out, will come out in one fell swoop.

The fact that my periods have always been so heavy can be due to many different things, but for now I am focusing on things I can do to support my body and I want to share those things with you. 

Stop saving information you will never use 

Do you find yourself bookmarking valuable information but never revisiting it? I've been guilty of this habit too. That's why I'm starting this series of blog posts - to provide you with bite-sized, actionable tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. No more overwhelming folders of saved information!

So my intention with this series of blog posts is to give you information that you can easily and slowly add to your daily life, one at a time, so that there is enough space to actually incorporate them and make a lasting change, permanent improvement. 

So, with all of that said, during menstrual bleeding, it is so important to consume foods that will replenish lost nutrients, support our energy levels, and help with fatigue and cramping.

Vitamins and Minerals that Support Menstruation

During menstrual bleeding, it's crucial to consume foods rich in iron. These nutrients play a vital role in replenishing lost energy, alleviating fatigue, and managing cramps.

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Calcium
  • Water

Now this is the part in a blog post where my eyes usually glaze over, I add the post to a folder somewhere in my computer and pretend like I will come back to it. We all know that's never going to happen. So, here I will talk to you about iron and we will leave the rest of them for another time. 

menstrual cycle phases focusing on the bleeding phase and ways you can increase your energy during this time

Exhaustion - A Little Science

I spent the last few months in a state of exhaustion I hadn't quite felt before. I went to the doctor and they ran my levels of several things, iron included. Hemoglobin is one thing they check and for a healthy woman, the levels would be between 11.6-12.3 g/dL, and mine was 9. My doctor prescribed me an iron supplement and sent me on my way. 

Why do we feel so tired when we're deficient of iron?

Here's a little science for you. Iron is a component of hemoglobin and it transports oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and organs. When your body doesn't have enough iron, it produces less red blood cells or smaller red blood cells, so then less oxygen goes to your muscles and tissues and you feel tired, weak, and like you have less energy. Makes sense, right? 

You may also notice iron deficient anemia will make it harder to concentrate, your memory might feel less trustworthy, and you'll be overall sluggish. This is because there is less oxygen traveling to your brain.

Your heart will try to help you by pumping blood faster to give your blood more oxygen. Awww, thank you heart! But now your heart is working harder and now you feel even more fatigued. What a cycle! 

Important info - Iron requires Vitamin C

I later found out that in order for your body to absorb iron, it needs vitamin C, and I also found out that calcium will prevent the absorption of iron. The doctor didn't tell me these things when they gave me the iron prescription, but that's a conversation for another day. So for now just know... don't take your supplement with milk and get yourself a really good vitamin C and take it when you take your ironI like this one. 

If you would like to read about Vitamin C and how to choose a supplement for yourself, this is a good article. 

Okay, so what can we do? 

Increase your iron levels. I got myself the iron supplement from the pharmacy and then went to my local health food store and got a liquid liposomal vitamin C and took them religiously every day. My levels went from 9 to 12 by my next appointment. So that might be enough for you. I did feel better, but not drastically.

So now that I had gotten my number into a more acceptable place, I wanted to discover other things I could do to help myself. 

There are tons of blogs and articles that tell you allllll the foods you can eat that are rich in iron. I read those and immediately feel overwhelmed and give up on the whole mission. I am trying to change that about myself. I am trying to give myself information in ways that feels easier to digest and that will help me actually implement it and I am sharing it with you here. 

iron rich foods to eat during your period to increase energy for iron deficient anemia

The list of iron-rich foods is below, but I am going to give you a couple recipes that are easy and yummy that you can start incorporating. 

  • Lean red meat (beef, lamb)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
  • Beans and legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, Swiss chard)
  • Fortified cereals and grains

Easy Iron-Rich Recipes for You

Yam and Chickpea Caesar Salad

This is the easiest thing to make, filling, and so dang yummy! Also, side note, did you know that a yam is not a sweet potato? Facts. 


  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • One medium-large yam
  • Caesar Salad Kit (or romaine lettuce and caesar dressing)


  • Peel the yam and cut it into bite-sized pieces
  • Open the chickpeas and rinse under running water
    Note: I like taking the casings off the chickpeas, there are lots of tricks you can find online on how to do this easily. 
  • Place yams and chickpeas in a big bowl and toss them in olive oil. 
  • While still in the bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper. (However much feels good to you, probably about 1/2 tsp of each) Toss again. 
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes
  • Make the salad in a big bowl, and add the yams and chickpeas once they're done. 
  • I like adding them to the salad while they're still warm/hot. It is so good! 

Avocado and Sardine Toast

In my quest to feel better, I have become more willing to try foods I am not used to and sardines is one of those foods. So since I know myself, I know that I need to find a way that makes it feel easy for me and this little recipe does that. Note: Sardines also have lots of Omega-3 Fatty acids and that also helps during your period. Win win!


  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tomato, diced 
  • 1 lemon, juiced (Vitamin C to help absorb the iron)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite sliced bread (sourdough or french bread, or whatever you like)
  • 1 can of sardines, in water


  • In a bowl, mix the avocado, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast your bread and top with the pseudo-guacamole you just made.
  • Top with the sardines. You can leave them whole, chop them, or shred them a little. 

So there you go. Now you understand a little more about iron and how it can affect you when your body doesn't have enough of it, and you have a couple super easy recipes that can help increase your levels of this important mineral.

Please know that if your levels are super low like mine, eating foods high in iron will likely not get your levels up fast enough. So you might consider making an appointment with your doctor and getting a legitimate and effective iron supplement and then use the foods to help and increase the quality of the foods you're putting in your body. 

Track your menstrual cycle

One thing that has made me feel more aware of my body and more empowered in how I support myself is to track my menstrual cycle. I have a tracker that I put up on my wall where I color in each phase of my cycle as they come, and it helps me to know when my period is coming so I can begin preparing for its arrival. It has also helped me to see how long my menstrual phase is and to notice if there are months when it's extra long or short and I can then show up for myself accordingly. 

I hope this blog really helped you and that you feel more empowered to help yourself during your period by increasing your iron levels. 

Thanks so much for reading my words. Let me know if I can help in any way. 

Instagram: @perfectly_better

Love you!

Back to blog

Leave a comment