We understand that for a few of you women reading this, that time of the month can be really painful or uncomfortable, and you eventually turn towards food for respite or comfort.
However, did you know that eating a few foods can actually reduce your period’s symptoms, while a few others can further aggravate your condition?
Well, fret not. In this article let us look at the relation between food and periods, what to eat, and what not to during that annoying time of the month.
The first and foremost point to take note is that, what you eat before your actual periods begin, determines how your symptoms are shaped during the actual period. Confused?
Let’s break it down for better understanding. As you know that our diet has a direct impact on our hormonal balance, what you eat during the rest of the month impacts your hormonal balance, which in turn can have an aggravating effect on the symptoms like mood swings, cramps, bloating, and others.
Doesn’t it give you another reason to rethink your eating habits? Well, if it is already too late, here are some foods you may eat during your periods to alleviate your symptoms.
Foods to eat
This magic spice cannot be more approved than now, given how new studies on its positive effects on our body seems to pop up every often. Its inflammatory attributes are found to reduce severe period symptoms.
Perhaps the most popular food among this list, dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium. And, guess what, according to a study, people who are deficient in magnesium are more prone to painful periods. So, you may want to increase your magnesium intake by indulging in dark chocolate. However, make sure that you choose a chocolate bar that is of 70-85% dark chocolate with minimal sugar and preservatives.
Green leafy vegetables
The iron levels in your body drop considerably during your periods and this maybe even more if your menstrual flow is heavy. This loss of iron may result in fatigue, dizziness, and all kinds of sluggish attributes.
Replenish your body with iron by eating loads of green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and others. Eat more of spinach as it is also rich in magnesium.
Lots of fruits
Keeping your body well hydrated during your periods is very important, and, what better way to ensure it is, by eating lots of fruits that are rich in water content. The healthy sugars in it may also cut down your sweet cravings and prevent you from hogging on unhealthy processed junk that is rich in refined sugar, which eventually results in your glucose levels spike and then crashes.
A warm cup of ginger tea will have an anti-inflammatory effect on your achy and sore muscles. It is also known to ward off that nauseous feeling. However, you do not want to go overboard your ginger intake as it can cause heartburns and stomach aches.
Flaxseeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower the levels of estrogen in your body during menstruation. Excess estrogen leads to heavy bleeding and clots. So, include flaxseeds in your diet by sprinkling ground flaxseeds on a smoothie or shake.
Chicken is another rich source of iron and protein that you can easily add to your diet. Protein is one of the most important components of everyone’s daily diet as it helps in developing our body by repairing our muscles. Including protein through chicken in your diet during menstruation can give you the feeling of fullness and essentially cutting down on your food cravings.
Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, magnesium, and other important vitamins. Do we need to say more about this superfood? You can include nuts into your diet as a snack or to distract yourselves from eating junk when you have a craving.
Drink water, lots of water
Now, this might not be something you can eat, but, you sure want to drink lots of water every day, especially, during your menstruation, as it prevents you from getting dehydrated. Dehydration during menstruation is common and that leads to headaches.
Now that you are aware of the good foods that you can include in your diet during menstruation, here are some of the foods you must avoid at all costs.
What to avoid
Any food in moderation is not bad for you, however, there are a few food items, that you must avoid or keep to an absolute minimum during menstruation. Below are a few.
Eatings foods rich in salts like chips and other processed foods retails water in your body and eventually make you feel bloated. So, avoid salty food during your menstruation.
Sugar is one of the most harmful things you can induce into your body. This holds especially true during your periods as it causes an energy spike which eventually results in a crash. This aggravates your mood swings and depression. So, it is recommended to keep your sugar intake as low as possible.
Too much coffee can retain water in your body and cause bloating. It can also disrupt your sleep. That being said, you do not want to completely cut down on it if you are used to having a few cups every day, as caffeine withdrawal causes headaches.
For most people, eating spicy food would normally upset their stomachs by causing diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. If you are that kind of person, avoid spicy foods as you do not need another reason to be uncomfortable.
Yes, this is not a food, but, it sure is something you must limit to a minimum during menstruation as it can aggravate your symptoms. For example, indulging in alcohol can dehydrate your body, and in turn, cause headaches.
Other than setting your diet right, you can workout lightly or use hot water bottles on your abdomen or back to soothe the pain during periods. If you sense that the pain is abnormally high, we recommend you consult a doctor as it can be a deeper health issue, like endometriosis for instance.