Us women, get our periods every month, feel the symptoms and struggle through it for days in the end. While symptoms and their extent vary from person to person, most women experience a range of inconvenient symptoms like nausea, cramps, lower abdominal pain, mood swings, back pain, breast tenderness, anxiety, indigestion, sensitive skin etc., during periods making us often hate this healthy but disturbing phenomenon. What about foods for healthier periods?
While there are solutions like exercises for lower back pain, none of them seems to be permanent or lasting, but like any other physical discomfort, a healthy lifestyle, a specific diet and drinking lots of fluids goes a long way!
Essential Ingredients in Foods for Healthier Periods!
- Iron – to make up for the lost blood and hence iron deficiency, during menstruating
- Healthy fats – keeps skin bright, energy levels high, fights muscle inflammation, relieving pain and helps your body absorb essential vitamins
- Vitamin A, C, D, B6, and E – helps fights against dry skin and hormonal acne, reduces bloating, boosts your mood, wards off PMS symptoms, builds healthy hormones and helps with the stress
- Potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium – eases cramps, aches, and pains, acting as a muscle relaxant, reduces water retention and bloating, promotes building blood, ensures healthy blood flow, beats PMS and even regulates your digestion
Add These to Your Diet
Now that you know the essential ingredients, here are 6 foods that have these ingredients to add your diet for healthy periods!
Cramps can often be caused due to lack of potassium in the body. Being high in potassium and vitamin B6, eases bloating and helps your muscles relax, regulates blood pressure and sends oxygen to your brain, while also keeping your mood in check, which is exactly why athletes enjoy bananas on a regular basis. The high potassium count reduces both cramps and bloating and are especially great for PMS.
2. Dark Chocolate
Being inherently high in antioxidants and magnesium, dark chocolate is a great delicious food to have for healthy periods. The high content of magnesium not only eases cramps and mood swings but also helps regulate serotonin—the happy hormone, which reduces the body’s perception of pain and gives the body a “natural high” feeling. So darker the chocolate, the better the results!
This green veggie is a great source of fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium, which are all necessary supplements for healthy periods. Being high in vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E, it would provide you with all the vitamins you need. It’s useful nutrients help you beat indigestion and regulate your PMS and its high iron content also makes up for the craving your body has for iron-rich foods during this time. Fill your plate with this healthy veggie to fight fatigue, boost your mood, and combat depression.
4. Fatty fish
If you’re a fan of fishes, here’s your excuse to grab a lot of it! Fatty fishes like salmon and tuna are the solution to all your period woes. Their high omega-3 fatty acids aren’t just good for your heart, but also help fight muscle inflammation which could be causing pain, therefore easing muscle tension and reducing cramps. Further its high vitamin B6 content helps reduce breast tenderness experienced by some during periods, and high vitamin B12 content gives a much-needed energy boost.
5. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy vegetables are a solution for more or less all physical problems and menstruation is no exception. Dark green leaves like spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard and kale should be your best friend during periods. These healthy leaves are a great source of Vitamin A, which helps fights against hormonal acne and dry skin during periods. Also, to tend to your dipping iron levels during bleeding, choose these dark green leafy vegetables to replenish your body’s iron supply.
Raw cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron, contains more calcium than cow’s milk, is full of magnesium, contains insane amounts of antioxidants (about 40 times more than blueberries) etc. which makes this superfood perfect for menstruation, hormonal balance, energy, blood circulation and skin. Just consuming a tablespoon of raw cacao a day by adding it to your smoothies, or puddings or nut milk can solve pretty much all your period problems.
Now that you know what you’re supposed to eat for healthy periods, you should also know what foods to avoid which might cancel out the effects of any other healthy foods that you had or even aggravate your period symptoms and make the discomfort all the worse!
So here are 6 sorts of foods to avoid for healthy periods!
- Processed foods – being high sodium foods, processed foods are our biggest sodium source. Cutting down on packaged food can help reduce our sodium levels and hence alleviate bloating.
- Carbonated drinks – sugary, carbonated drinks like soda should be avoided as they can contribute to bloating and water retention.
- Fried foods – fried foods which contain trans fats elevate estrogen levels, which in turn could up your pain levels during periods. So avoid anything with hydrogenated vegetable oil on the ingredients list.
- Legumes – Legumes like kidney beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, etc. cause bloating and should be kept to a minimum to reduce your discomfort.
- Refined grains – refined grains, like processed food, having lost most of their nutrient content, interfere with blood sugar and regular appetite control and so choose whole grains over pasta, white bread, cereal, crackers, rice, cakes, and cookies.
- High-fat food – foods with high content of unhealthy fats like trans fats, saturated fats etc. have a strong negative effect on the hormone activity in your body contributing to period pain and inflammation. So avoid heavy meats and dairy to regulate your estrogen levels.
Jessica is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, She Believes that healthy diet is a key to healthy living .Visit hxbenefit.com for more info on healthy eating habits.