Many women experience some levels of discomforts during periods. Fortunately, the symptoms can be prevented or reduced by taking the right foods.
Many factors are said to contribute to the discomforts during your period which manifests as inflammation (pain), bloating, fatigue, mood swings, cramps, headaches, and digestive issues.
A healthy diet is undisputedly important for maintaining your overall health. And it is also equally important while you’re on period as it can provide positive impacts; not only for general health but it can help prevent or reduces these symptoms.
A poor diet that is low in nutrients, high in added sugar, fried foods (especially fried foods), processed foods, or unhealthy fats should be avoided altogether as they can worsen the existing symptoms.
A well-balanced diet can reduce or prevent them. Taking certain foods and nutrients can be very beneficial as you surely don’t want the symptoms to discourage you from doing your daily activities.
If you experience severe symptoms and long-lasting, go talk to your doctor as they know the best as to what might go wrong – expertise that’s not your specialty.
Proteins and Fats
When you consume healthy carbs with plenty of good proteins, the pancreas responds by secreting a measured amount of insulin and fats which in turn causes the glucose from the meal enters your blood slowly.
Therefore, taking proteins foods such as eggs along with pure butter for your breakfast can help stabilize blood sugar as well as make you feel less hungry throughout the morning. Take more protein foods for lunch and dinner too and don’t forget to consume lots of veggies for every major meal.
Unstable blood glucose causes you to experience mood swings during your period. High glucose levels promote inflammation. Taking 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 3 X per day can help stabilize your blood sugar.
Green vegetables offer antioxidants phytonutrients, including carotenoids, bioflavonoids, lignins, and stilbenes, all of which also help reduce inflammation. Magnesium that’s located at the center of chlorophyll also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Studies have shown that dietary magnesium insufficiency is more common in adolescent girls and women, and worsens with age.
Cramps, headache, pain in certain parts of the body or the whole body is a sign of inflammation – C – reactive protein (CRP) levels are always high.
CRP is a protein, also called a marker of inflammation, produced by the liver when there is inflammation in the body.
All phytonutrients, magnesium (balanced by calcium), and potassium are thought to increase nitric oxide levels, a vital compound for relaxing your muscle and dilate your blood vessel. Magnesium and potassium also help relax the muscle and via their parasympathetic pathways.
The point I would like to make here is that taking green veggies while on period may help prevent or reduce headaches and cramps.
Dark green vegetables are loaded with vitamin K, which coagulates blood and prevents excess bleeding.
Colorful Vegetables and Fruits
Colorful fruits and veggies are loaded with significant amounts of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that include carotenoids, polyphenols, bioflavonoids. Lignins, and stilbenes. Vitamin C in and citric acid also contribute to antioxidant properties in fruit. Many veggies are also loaded with vitamin C.
All these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and organic acids can reduce menstrual cramps and headaches.
Fruits and vegetables also provide fiber and water, which can help reduce bloating and reduce pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Prostaglandins, a group of hormone-like substances in the body, are responsible for muscle contractions and menstrual pain, hence inflammation. One way to calm down their effects is by taking foods high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that include salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.
Alternatively, if you think you are lacking omega-3 via food intakes you may consume it in the form of dietary supplements. Krill oil, fish oil, mussel oil, and cod liver oil are good sources of omega-3. They are also loaded with vitamin A and D, both of which are potent antioxidants and involve in many vital physiological processes.
At any point in their life, women may experience dysmenorrhea that’s characterized by painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period. One of the ways to relieve the painful period pain is by consuming pineapple.
A painful period is sometimes thought to be a result of scanty menstrual flow with bright red or dark red blood. Consuming pineapple is said to help ease this condition. Pineapple increases your blood flow and reduces the pain.
Don’t be surprised if you experience heavier period. If this happens, reduce or stop the pineapple consumption. Consuming pineapple is beneficial especially if you have an irregular period or are waiting for your period as it promotes faster menstruation.
Bromelain is said to help relax the uterus, hence relieving menstrual cramps.
Keep in mind that everybody is biochemically and physiologically different physiologically. What works for me might do the opposite for you. So, the best thing you can do is to expect your body reactions via trial an error.
Note: Moderation is the key to wise eating habits. Eat pineapple moderately while menstruating, unless you want to induce your period.
Tips: Most pineapple sold in grocery stores or organic outlets taste sour. One of the reasons behind the sour taste is because the pineapple is harvested in its unripe form. It ripens a little bit while shipped and in storage that can take several weeks before you buying it.
Sprinkling a little salt (preferably Himalayan salt) on sliced pineapples not only help reduce the sourness but increase sweetness.
Water retention during periods is experienced by many women and it is usually not a pleasant one. The most common cause of water retention is hormonal changes and imbalance which due to the increase of estrogen that starts slowly in the premenstrual stage and is excessive in the follicular stage.
Another possible reason why many women experience water retention during periods is because they don’t drink enough water. Therefore, a simple remedy by drinking enough water throughout the day can help decrease water retention.
Taking diuretic foods is another way of reducing water retention. There are many diuretic foods you can consume, including cranberries, grapes, watermelon, cucumber, celery, parsley, lemon, lime, tomatoes, pumpkin, asparagus, onion, Brussel sprouts, beets, artichoke, lettuce, cabbage, and watercress.
Herbal teas such as corn silk, dandelion leaves, and juniper berries tea can also help reduce water retention.
Herbs like chamomile, lemon grass, sensitive plant, and chrysanthemum are natural relaxants. These herbs help relax your muscle and nervous system as well as promoting better digestions.
A beverage made of fresh cacao powder which offers high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrient contents is not categorized as a tea. However, this beverage can help many issues associated with painful periods, including inflammation, fatigue, indigestion, mood swings, and headaches.
An herbal tea made by combining ginger, clove and a little turmeric can help reduce your painful period as it is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrient contents.