It’s that time of the month yet again! Back pain, stomach cramps, headache..it’s a full package (of pain). And to a certain extent, you take care of your body during periods, externally that is, with hot water bags and cramp-relieving exercises, right? But what about the food that goes inside? Kabhi socha hai that it affects your period too? Nahi na?
Your diet directly influences your reproductive cycle. When you menstruate, you lose a lot of blood, which leads to a lowered percentage of iron and other micronutrients in your body. Are you filling your body with enough nutrients? Are you avoiding food items that disturb the period cycle?
Wait, you don’t know what those are? Don’t worry, here’s a compiled list of 10 foods you must have and must avoid while you’re on your period.
10 Must-Have Food For Your Period
1. San (Flax)
Do you experience heavy periods? Then these seeds are your vardan. They help in flushing out extra oestrogen, which is responsible for heavy bleeding and clotting during menstruation. You can have them with your favourite fruit smoothies or sprinkle them on your dahi to get the best of both worlds.
2. Leafy Greens
Bloating is a common precursor of periods among a lot of females. Leafy green vegetables like methi, palak, patta gobi and kale are rich in magnesium and fibre that help in relieving bloating. Bloating is normal, but if you see it happening a lot, you should consult a doctor.
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3. Chana (Chickpeas)
Ah, now this is the one you’ve been waiting for because who doesn’t love this? Chane ki sabzi ho ya salad, everyone usually enjoys it. Chickpeas are filled with vitamin B6 and help boost your progesterone levels. That promotes a regular and healthy period cycle.
“Badam khaya karo” you must have heard your mummy and dadi saying this to you a zillion times. Nuts are not just beneficial for retaining memory but also help with your period. Nuts like almonds are rich in protein, fibre, vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium and riboflavin. That alone should make you want to grab some right now.
One of the reasons for bloating is that you retain a lot of water around your period. There’s one mineral that helps you counter that. Potassium. And one of the richest sources of potassium is bananas. Potassium helps balance the natural fluids in your body. Other sources of potassium are oranges and dried fruits.
6. Herbal Tea
Chai bina life adhuri hai, right? But there’s more than one type of tea. Among them, herbal tea is the most beneficial for your period. You can try chamomile tea, ginger tea or green tea. Some benefits include:
- Reduces menstrual cramps
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps relax muscles
- Aids with better sleep
7. Haldi (Turmeric)
Terrific turmeric! It has so many benefits that you’ll get bored if we list them all. So, here are the ones that are important in your case. Haldi has curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory, along with vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other antioxidants. Curcumin helps ease the tension and inflammation you feel during your period. Remember your haldi wala doodh? Time to make it a daily ritual on your period.
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8. Dark Chocolate
You know you get really ajeeb o ghareeb cravings when you’re on your period. But if there’s one craving that’s universal and not so ajeeb, it is chocolate. Dark chocolate especially is rich in magnesium and iron. Studies have shown that magnesium reduces the severity of PMS symptoms. So next time you crave some of this delight, indulge wholeheartedly.
“Pani ko kaise khaye?” Oh c’mon, you know what we’re talking about. Keeping yourself hydrated during periods has proven to diminish the PMS symptoms like bloating and indigestion. So with your hot water bag, keep a filled water bottle too.
A little biology lesson. Fatty acids in your body control the production of prostaglandin, which among other functions, influences the contraction of the uterus. Particularly prostaglandin E2 is linked with the murderous cramps you experience during this time. You can reduce fatty compounds from your routine to combat that. And increase healthy fat food such as omega-3-rich fats from avocado, flaxseeds and mangoes.
10 Must Avoid Food For Your Period
Namak shamak dal dete hai. Think again. You know salt is important for taste, but if you overdo it? Health issues are on your way. When you consume a lot of salt, your body retains water, which can cause bloating. Instead, eat food that naturally requires less salt and sprinkle your salt on a light hand.
Read Why Women Get Diarrhoea Or Constipation During Periods & How To Deal With It
But you just advised me to eat chocolate! Ruko toh sahi, it’s okay to have your sugar but in restraint. Because eating sugar energises you quickly, and then comes the fall. If you’re udas, depressed and prone to quick mood swings, then maybe you need to watch your sugar intake.
You can’t do without your taza kadak cup of coffee every morning, right? But do you know that a high amount of caffeine during your period leads to headaches, bloating and indigestion at times? If you’re a hardcore addict, then we don’t advise cutting it off completely but maybe bring it down to a cup or half.
You already know the harmful effects of alcohol on your body, don’t you? Here’s a shortlist of it:
You don’t want these added problems on your period, do you? So, cut back or abstain from alcohol completely.
5. Spicy Foods
Tikha khana is not just food, it’s a lifestyle. And it will be tempting to give yourself up to the allure of taste and flavours but wait! Spicy foods lead to a lot of health issues among people that include but are not restricted to upset stomach, diarrhoea, and even nausea. If you’re one of those people, it’s best you avoid it at all costs.
6. Red Meat
Prostaglandins are produced by your body throughout your period. These compounds help in the contraction of your uterus and the removal of the uterine lining, resulting in menstrual flow. But when prostaglandin levels get too high? They cause cramps. And even though red meat is filled with iron, it also contains a lot of prostaglandins, which should be avoided during menstruation.
7. High-Fat Foods
A burger and pizza while sitting on the couch during your periods might sound like heaven. But it doesn’t come without a cost. While it’s fun to let loose at times and just eat whatever you want, you need to be careful during your period. High-fat processed foods should be avoided at all costs since they wreak havoc on your hormones. They promote irritation and add to period pain. So, make your choice.
8. Processed Foods
Talking about processed foods, maybe it’s better you avoid all processed food while on your period. Why? Because food items like biscuits, chips and snacks are the most major sources of sodium in your diet. And as you’ve heard before, it’s better to avoid excess salt.
9. High Fibre Foods
Food items like beans, whole grains, etc. can be very healthy for your body. But some people experience symptoms like bloating, gas, and constipation. So, read your labels and limit those food items.
10. Foods That Doesn’t Sit Right With You
Now, this one’s a given but it’s worth mentioning at least. If you have certain food allergies or you see bloating when you eat something, please avoid it during your period.
But eating and avoiding food is not the only way to ease your period of suffering. You can try yoga, exercises and over the counter medication if the pain gets intolerable. With this knowledge in hand, #BeALittleMore cautious to have a healthy period. Do you know some period hack that you haven’t seen on the internet? Spill the tea and share it in the comments below!
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