Is Diet important during periods?


Every women will have hard time during menstruation period as they go through intense pains called menstrual cramps. I have alreadydiscussed about menstrual cramps, its causes and symptoms in my last article.Today let us understand how to reduce the pain during menstrual cycle by just keeping check on your diet.

As we know, menstrual cramps are caused due to the contractions of the uterine and abdominal muscles to expel the menstrual fluid out of the body. These muscles contractions are caused by certain chemicals called prostaglandins.

Studies have shown that some food causes increase inprostaglandins resulting in more pain and irritation such as dairy products and red meat. Meat and meat products contain arachadonic acids that instigates the production of prostaglandins causing cramps. On the other hand, food rich inomega 3 fatty acids inhibits the release of prostaglandins. Similarly calcium and magnesium are also found to relieve menstrual cramps.

Bloating is another major symptoms occurs during menstruation. Consuming food like salted, processed and canned food causes excessive bloating as these foods are rich in sodium. Hence it is also recommended to avoid such food during this time of month. Whereas increase in the intake of high fibre food, fruits and vegetables, reduces bloating problems.Drinking of good amount of water is also important during menstruation cycle.

Excessive bleeding can be observed in many women’s menstrual cycle which can lead to anaemic condition in them. Eating green leafy vegetables which are rich source of iron will help to prevent iron deficiency anaemia.Consuming vitamin C is also recommended to increase iron absorption in the body.

High fat foods have strong influence on hormonal changes during menstruation which causes bloating and breast tenderness and hence should be avoided. Therefore it is best to choose low fat milk, yogurt and cheese over high fatty foods.

Food to eat during menstruation cycle:

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables as a source of energy and fibre

Food rich in omega 3 fatty acids: walnuts, salmon, flax seeds etc.

Calcium and magnesium rich food:  Broccoli and fortified rich foods

Food rich in Vitamin C: Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, oranges,lemons

Food rich in potassium and Vitamin B6: beans, pineapples,bananas

Drink plenty of water and fruit juices

Food to avoid during menstruation cycle:

Avoid caffeine containing food such as coffee, tea or caffe inated soda as it elevates estrogen level, increasing symptoms of periods.

Avoid too much of sugary (pastries, cakes) and salty foods(chips, pickles).

Avoid fatty, oily and fried foods.

Avoid alcohol as it increases depression.

Try to eat healthy homemade food.

As there are lot of mood swings, tiredness and depression during periods, best way is to keep your diet light and well balanced. Along with your proper diet it is also recommended to have good amount of exercise for proper circulation of blood and oxygen to different parts of body which will in turn keep you energetic and happy.

So keep a check on your diet during your periods



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