I hate my period as much as the next girl, but this is just ridiculous.
Menstruation cycles are a literal pain. I personally suffer from horrible cramps, nausea and dizziness every month. In fact, I’ve blacked out three times due to anemia during my period. Trust me when I say I hate my period. I can see why some girls wish it never existed. It turns out that some vegans found the secret to eliminating the process altogether. All it takes is an extreme fruit diet to rid yourself of your monthly flow. These bloggers also boast about how it gave them more energy and healthier skin.
Unfortunately, they’re terribly misinformed. According to DailyMail, some vegans claim that the periods are unhealthy and act as proof of a toxic diet. What they fail to understand is that menstrual cycles are a vital part of a woman’s reproductive system. I guess they missed that part of health class.
These bloggers tell all their followers about how they lost their periods just by following a strict vegan diet. Free Lee the Banana Girl and Miliany Bonet are two vegan bloggers that boasted about how their extreme raw diets stopped their periods. It may sound like a dream come true, but don’t be fooled by how healthy these vegan bloggers might look. Sure, bananas are delicious and nutritious, but you can’t just survive on them. Without a professional nutritionist helping, these diets can be extremely dangerous and life threatening.
Because of this severe health hazard, gynaecologists and vegan dietitians are stepping in to avoid unnecessary accidents by assuring us that periods are, in fact, natural and necessary.
In a video posted in 2013, Free Lee the Banana Girl recounted her vegan journey and how she lost her period after cutting out meat, dairy and junk food. Despite others offering their concerns and criticism about how it was unhealthy to stop menstruating, she turned the question and asked, “Why do I feel so amazing, then?” Free Lee decided to follow her instincts rather than science. If she “felt” good, then surely she had to be healthy.
“So a lot of people are having these heavy periods and painful periods because they have a toxic body or have a toxic diet,” she claimed in her video.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynaecologist and pain medicine physician, quickly slammed the door on this statement and stated that periods are not toxic. “This is a very dangerous idea and displays a complete lack of understanding of female biology and the human body in general,” she said.
Periods are not bad or filled with toxins. This trend is alarming because it comes from someone who clearly has no understanding of periods or even biology in general and is just another form of body shaming.
Other nutritionists and dietitians shared Dr. Gunter’s opinions.
Vesanto Melina, a vegan dietitian and lead author for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, highly discouraged raw vegan diets that mainly consisted of fruits. These diets cannot provide the necessary amounts of protein and zinc to the body, and therefore is very nutrient deficient. In fact, Melina traced these diet trends all the way back to a 1999 German study where fruit diets led to a partial or complete loss of menstruation.
“These women believed it was a good thing. They made a mythology out of it. But it’s not a good thing. You need different food groups,” Melina said.
As much as we dread our monthly visitor, periods are proof that our bodies are working properly. Menstruation doesn’t only signal pregnancy. Usually a heavy or light period tells us if our bodies are healthy or not. A lighter or missed period can imply a nutrition deficiency, which is exactly what these extreme vegan diets are doing. Promoting these kinds of extreme diets is spreading eating disorders among women.
If you’re really considering going vegetarian or vegan, don’t rely on bloggers for your diets. Contact an actual expert, like a nutritionist or dietitian, to get you on the right track.