Periods. Oh, the horror! As if bleeding for 7 days straight wasn’t enough, we also have to go through the horrible cramps, the acne, the mood swings, the cravings and oh, the bloating!
It’s safe to say, whoever experiences periods- dreads them. They bring discomfort, pain, and sadness.
Don’t worry though, we’ve got some advice that’ll help you sail through your period smoothly. These foods ease pain, reduce bloating, and promote hormonal health.
Right before our periods, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone are high, and during periods, they fall drastically. High levels of oestrogen retain water and salts, whereas, low levels of progesterone (a natural diuretic) causes bloating. Which is why a lot of us bloat before and during our cycles. Some people also experience weight gain during their periods.
Majority of our symptoms are caused by fluctuations in our hormone levels, which are controlled by various vitamins and minerals. Therefore, consumption of certain foods can improve the symptoms you experience, and make the process a lot easier!
Here’s a list of power foods to help you through your period!
Bananas carry essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and fibre, which can help relieve pain from cramps! Plus, bananas will give you a much needed boost of energy.
2. Whole Grains
Whole grains like Quinoa, Barley, and Millets during periods will give you fibre, antioxidants, essential minerals, and vitamins. Fibre can help combat constipation- which is another common occurrence during the menstrual cycle.
During a cycle, your body tends to go through temporary insulin resistance, which may result in higher blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Barley, a whole food, is known to reduce this increased blood sugar in your body since it contains magnesium- a vital mineral for insulin production. Barley is also rich in soluble fibre (Beta Glucan) which slows down the absorption of sugar by binding with it in the digestive tract.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan which is converted to serotonin inside the body. Serotonin is the body’s “happy hormone”, resulting in an improved mood and better sleep. Pumpkin seeds can relieve bloating, and headaches too!
Water-rich foods like melons, are natural diuretics, and they’ll help you cure that puffy, bloated feeling.
5. Omega 3 fatty acid
You should consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid like salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, oysters, kidney beans, and Soybeans during your cycle. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, and an anti-depressant- relieving pain and period blues!
6. Spinach and Broccoli
These foods are high in iron, fibre and magnesium. Magnesium and potassium reduce symptoms like cramping.
7. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and is Magnesium-rich. It uplifts your mood and relieves pain.
8. Carrom seeds (Ajwain)
A spoonful of Ajwain in hot water can reduce cramping pain, and bloating. It can also help fix your cycle if your period is late or you’re experiencing a constricted flow.
Other than the foods mentioned above, you should increase the intake of water and have a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. You can also incorporate a calcium and vitamin-D supplement in your daily routine.
Processed foods, salt, caffeine, dairy, and sugary foods should be avoided during periods. We know it’s hard- caffeine, dairy, and sugary foods are hard to resist (especially during your period) but do it for your body, and your mind.