It’s known knowledge that during our ‘lady days’ our bodies go through a lot of hormonal shifts. These periodical PMS changes are accompanied by some mood swings, aches and cramps as well. Unfortunately, we have no control over these changes, what we can do is prepare ourselves (mind and body) for the cycle.
What we eat has a direct effect on our body and hormones, so if we eat well before and during our menses, we can reduce our discomforts. Some food items have a higher potential to soothe us as compared to others. We can indulge in these nutritious foods and ease our pains as well as improve our mood at the same time. Read on for Menses: Top 5 Foods to Indulge & Reduce Discomfort!
1. Anti-Craving: Tofu, Lentil, Fish & Chicken
Amino acids are the building blocks of our body, they are required for proper functioning of our muscles. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Eating protein-rich food is essential for our overall health, but during menses, it keeps us feeling full and satisfied while limiting cravings. Proteins contained in fish, chicken, tofu and lentils (for the vegans among us) are all beneficial things to indulge in.
2. Anti-Cramping: Spinach, Kale & Broccoli
Most of us women suffer the cramps, it’s the most uncomfortable feeling of our menses. Magnesium is an anti-cramping substance; it reduces the period pains we endure. Eating magnesium-rich foods will help relax the contracting uterus muscles that cause the discomfort. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli are a good source of magnesium that also helps us de-bloat during menses.
3. Anti-Inflammatory: Ginger, Turmeric, Blueberries & Green Tea
Inflammation can occur as part of any healing process. Infection, injury or chronic disease can increase the production of prostaglandins (a hormone-like substance that triggers the uterus muscles to contract), which in-turn facilitates healing by resulting in inflammation, fever and pain. Foods such as ginger, turmeric, blueberries and green tea work as anti-inflammatories to lessen the pain.
4. Antioxidant: Citrus Fruits, Bell Peppers & Tomatoes
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps heal wounds, boost immunity and provide a healthy skin, but it also helps our body to absorb iron even better. It’s common knowledge that consuming iron-rich food during our period is essential as it helps in red blood cell (RBC) production. Thus, vitamin C rich products such as citrus fruits, bell peppers and tomatoes indirectly help in increasing RBC.
5. Anti-Mood Swing: Dark Chocolate, Flavoured Yogurt, Peanut Butter & Ice Cream
The hormonal changes we undergo cause us to go through quite a few mood swings. We may react differently than usual or even feel depressed for unknown reasons. We may also have cravings during our menses; thus, we might require comfort food to ease our emotions. Food such as dark chocolate, flavoured yogurt, peanut butter or ice-creams can calm our cravings and stabilise our mood.