So it's that time of the month, again.
If bleeding, literally, is not bad enough, menstruation also has the gift of making you feel as if someone is kicking you in your stomach from the inside. Along with the physical pain, your stomach bloats, you feel ridiculously tired and your face breaks out – so basically you look and feel like a mess. #truestory
Let's be real. The only thing you'd feel like doing when you're on your period is to lock yourself up in your room for the next 5 days and binge on junk food (because that's what your brain on period tells you to do). But if you are going to be binging anyway, might as well eat foods that will ease your menstrual symptoms and help you feel a tad better!
Here's a list of lifesaver foods you can try:
1. A glass of warm milk
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A glass of warm milk can go a long way! Calcium and Vitamin D, which are both found in milk, go hand in hand when it comes to reducing PMS symptoms. Together, they act as a muscle relaxant and help to ease menstrual cramps and body aches. But if you are lactose intolerant, try other foods that are rich in calcium such as green vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Because broccoli is rich in Vitamin B6, which can ease certain symptoms like bloating and control mood swings. Alternatively, you can also eat lots of pistachios, tomatoes and corn on days when you feel like setting the world on fire. In general, vitamins are great for your period, so if you prefer to take them in the form of supplements, go ahead by all means.
3. Tofu and beans
Tofu and beans are rich in Magnesium and Potassium. These two micro-nutrients can go a long way in alleviating cramps and other symptoms. If tofu ain't your kind of thing, try some pumpkin seeds instead!
According to a study by Obstetricians and Gynecology, it was found that women who received a daily dose of 6g of fish oil suffered from fewer PMS symptoms compared to those who didn’t. Apart from fish, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids which may help relieve cramps.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is extremely important. Do not underestimate the power of water! Firstly, you are losing lots of liquids during your period, so it is necessary for you to hydrate yourself. Drinking enough water will help alleviate symptoms of bloating and prevent water retention which is very common during periods.
You need even more protein and fiber during your period, as they help to stabilise your blood sugar and reduce cravings for junk food. If eating nuts by itself sounds boring, try some of these nut mixes. If not, how does a spoonful of 100% pure peanut butter or almond butter sound?
7. Whole grains
Whole grains are packed with health benefits. First of all, they’re an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to reduce muscle tension. Secondly, they are rich in vitamins B and E to help you fight fatigue and mood swings. Time to make some sandwiches with whole grain bread! It would also go really well with your almond butter. ;)
8. Chamomile tea
Caffeine is known to cause bloating and acidity during menstruation. But a caffeine-free tea, such as chamomile, proves to help relieve muscle spasms and reduce tension which may potentially lead to anxiety and irritability. If your period symptoms include nausea and bloating, you might want to go for some ginger tea.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which are all exactly what you need now. And because bananas are so yummy, it would taste like a treat! :)
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Because whatever the problem is, chocolate is the solution. Isn't it?
A few other points to keep in mind:
Consume less salt: Salty food could lead to water retention and bloating. Avoid eating processed and packaged food too as they are high in sodium content.
Have small meals: If you are feeling a little bit of nausea, don’t force yourself into eating a heavy meal. Instead, eat smaller portions or snack in between meals. Skipping meals is not an option as your body needs all the nutrients and energy it can get!
Avoid anything cold: Well, cold contracts right? If you don't want your stomach to contract even more, you should stay away from anything cold. Yes, even cold showers will worsen your cramps.
Chew your food properly: During menstruation, your digestive system slows down. Gobbling down your lunch could potentially lead to indigestion! You wouldn't want to have to deal with that on top of your period, would you?