10 Period Super Foods All Girls Should Be Eating
Men can’t get pregnant (sadly), but they say that getting kicked in the testicles is just as painful as giving birth. We doubt that very much. But even if we gave them that one, there is no comparison for childbirth and menstruation.
We’re quite sure that getting booted in the testicles is an unpleasant experience. But while this won’t happen to most men even once in their life, menstruation is a cycle that comes around once a month for women. And it’s a lot of hassle. There is bloating, mood swings – and pain. Sometimes, lots of it.
If men had to be volleyed in the scrotum once a month, we doubt they would be the people they are today. They would be shells. We, however, are expected to just get on with things!
Menstruation is often an unpleasant experience that we’re stuck with. And while around 15% of women don’t really experience any symptoms at all, most of us do. Symptoms might include headaches, bloating, weight gain, back ache, heaviness, abdominal pain, acne and muscle spasms.
It isn’t nice, and it can leave you feeling very blue. There are, however, things you can do to improve your situation. And the best – and easiest – thing you can do is fix up your diet. So, here are 10 period super foods all girls should be eating.
Water is the elixir of life, but so many of us neglect it. But during the most natural time in your life, it’s important that you drink as much of it as you can. Drink it in the morning, at noon, in the evening and again before bed.
If you drink lots of coffee, let me tell you that coffee will make you feel more bloated during your period. This is because coffee, like alcohol, is a diuretic. What this means is that it makes you urinate more frequently. As a result, your body tries to compensate by retaining fluid in your abdomen. As such, there can be dire consequences during your period.
Water, however, works wonders because your body is no longer afraid that it’s losing water. So, it doesn’t attempt to hold onto it in your abdomen. As a result, you will experience less bloating. Yay!
Flaxseed is one of the smallest super foods on the planet – but it packs a tremendous punch. And when you’re on your period, it’s ready to deliver a knockout blow to those nasty symptoms.
When you’re menstruating, your body produces way too much prostaglandin. When this happens, your uterus goes into spasms. This, then, causes pain. A lot of pain.
Flaxseed has been shown to prevent the overproduction of prostaglandins.
It’s natural to crave sugar during your period. Most of us do. But raiding the snacks cupboard once every month isn’t really helpful. It’s just not healthy!
There is a better way to satisfy those cravings – fruit.
Fruit is loaded with sugar that is released almost instantly into your bloodstream when you eat it on an empty stomach. Even better, many fruits are rich in fibre which boost regularity.
Bananas are a good option because they help to reduce cramps and bloating. Pineapples are also recommended, thanks to an enzyme called bromelain which relaxes muscles.
Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are stuffed with key nutrients that your body needs if it’s going to get through your period without much hassle.
You can add leafy grains to your meals in a variety of ways. What’s only important is that you add them. Whether you include spinach on your pizza or kale in your salad, as long as they’re there, you’re all good.
However, avoid eating too many as they can cause bloating.
Nuts And Seeds
If you usually overlook the little guys, it’s time to start giving them some attention because these super stars will ease you through your period. They are stuffed with fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and protein, all of which you need right now.
Walnuts are especially useful during your period. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and pain. They also contain beneficial vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Take a bowl of sesame seeds to work with you to reduce cramps. Their magnesium, calcium and zinc content will relax your muscles.
Other beneficial nuts and seeds include brazil nuts, pecans, almonds and peanuts.
Salmon, like walnuts, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that your relax your muscles, and therefore reduce muscle spasms. They might not eliminate cramps altogether, but they will lower their severity.
During your period, you need as many warm foods as you can get. Cold and raw produce is not easy for your body to break down and digest, and therefore can do more harm than good during this difficult time. And while caffeine can increase bloating and cramping, herbal teas reduce it.
Chamomile tea is my particular favourite. It reduces muscle spasms thanks to certain properties, and it can also lower feelings of irritability and anxiety that come as part and parcel of the menstrual cycle.
For a bit more taste, cinnamon tea is a good choice. It’s rich in anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that ease your symptoms.
Nope, your diet doesn’t have to become super boring as you try to reduce nasty symptoms associated with your period. In fact, it can almost be indulgent!
Dark chocolate has owned a reputation as a super food thanks to its antioxidants that improve cardiovascular health. But dark chocolate’s nutrients benefit your body in other ways too, and are particularly helpful whenever you’re on your period.
Cocoa is key. A mood elevator, it encourages the production of more serotonin in your brain which raises your spirits and dispels anxiety. Other important nutrients include potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
I know a lot of people who say they don’t like drinking a glass of milk by itself because it’s a bit gross. But milk will work wonders for you during your period.
Calcium is very good at reducing menstruation symptoms. It relaxes your muscles, and deuces stomach pains and aches.
Eat Smaller Meals
It isn’t a super food, but it’s important that you eat smaller meals if nausea is one of your symptoms. Although it’s tempting to eat from larger plates as usual, it’s not really a good idea. Moreover, it can exacerbate bloating.
To give you a psychological edge, you could try eating the same meals as usual – but from smaller plates.