After menarche a woman’s body goes through frequent cycles and changes till menopause. At one point of time you might get excited about nothing and another moment you might be weeping over something very silly. The worst of all is when you fulfill all your salt and sweet cravings, and then relentlessly complain about eating habits or end up heartbroken looking at the gained pounds reflecting on your weighing machine.
This happens to most girls. So don’t be disheartened; you are not alone in battling hormonal fallouts.
The most prevalent question I’ve been asked is “Can I have a hand in controlling my hormonal fluctuations?” Yes, to some extent. You have the choice of monitoring the physiological, behavioral and psychological receptions of the rising and falling hormone levels.
If lack of nutrition is one of the major factors for heightened PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and distresses during periods, even bad eating contributes to the same. From the severity of twinging abdominal pain to fickle moods, these problems can be the result of the junk you ate last night.
With dynamic and strong food cravings it is difficult to keep a check on what you eat. But trust me; this will make a big difference in the agonies that accompany periods. Here is a list of foods to avoid that could ease period symptoms.
- Starting with Refined Grains – The Staple Food that Makes You Crutch
A lot of nutrients are lost out in refined grains.
They are easily churned into simple sugars and quickly diffused into the bloodstream. This peaks the blood sugar level all of a sudden and collapses it rapidly.
Blood sugar fluctuations leave you with low energy, fatigue and feeling blue.
Major Sources of Refined Grains are:
- White rice
- White bread
- White pasta
- Foods prepared with white flour including (cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, crackers, and snacks)
A Healthy Alternative to Refined Grains
Replace the above items with whole grains in your diet. Packed with vitamins, minerals and fibers, they have higher nutritional value and moderate the blood sugar levels. It keeps you energetic for a long time.
- Are You a Caffeine Addict? – It’s Time to Surrender Your Mug of Coffee
Caffeine, the most used stimulant is not the best of beverage for your monthly cycle after all.
Being diuretic in nature, caffeine tends to be inflammatory. It develops muscle tension, initiating or worsening menstrual cramps.
Caffeine hypes estrogen dominance and is responsible for bloating and breast tenderness before or during periods. It also triggers weight gaining tendencies.
As we know, stress is a major trouble-maker for women interfering with their menstrual cycle and making it severely painful. High doses of caffeine induces stress hormone – cortisol, which is absolutely unwelcome during periods.
When the effect of stimulant is gone, you will be left feeling low, weak and irritated; most of the times accompanied with headache.
Major Sources of Caffeine are:
- Cocoa products (Of course chocolates)
- Soft drinks and energy drinks
- Carbonated beverages
- Decaf coffee
A Healthy Alternative to Caffeine
Ginger and chamomile tea are not only good substitutes for caffeinated drinks but also help ease period pain. They are anti-inflammatory in nature and contain components that combat PMS and disturbing period symptoms.
- Do a Few Ounces of Alcohol Let You Overcome Period Pain? Think Again…
Alcohol is another diuretic that worsens your period cramps.
Alcohol holds back fluids in the body that bloats your stomach and exacerbates cramps. Dehydration is another side-effect that can add on to the severity of cramps.
Consumption of alcohol boosts estrogen levels and reduces progesterone; it interferes in the normal functions taking place during menstrual cycle. This is more evident in women who have exposed themselves to long-term alcohol usage.
If you are a person who has hangovers, you just don’t want to amplify symptoms like headache and moodiness.
Major Sources of Alcohol are:
- All alcoholic beverages (liquor, beer and wines)
- Dishes prepared with alcohol
- Alcohol-filled candies and chocolates
A Healthy Alternative to Alcohol
Water; it cannot suffice the motive of drinking alcohol and hence can’t be mentioned as a perfect alternative.
But the point is to remain healthy, and drinking a lot of water can indeed ease period cramps and set you free from the harsh effects of alcohol.
- Craving for sugar-crusted candies? Or are the salty chips repeatedly calling for your attention?
We have already discussed the hostile consequences of having a high blood-sugar level.
It’s true; these candied items give you an immediate relief. But pay attention, you will realize that the sweets were only building castles in the air. When you are deprived of sugar, you end up feeling gloomy and drained. The negative pleasure is undeniably leading you to a dreadful period.
While sugar is to be blamed for inflammation, salty foods are guilty of water retention in the body. The sodium component in salt acts to puff-up your tummy and makes you feel full.
Keep your hands off sugary and salty foods the week before and during periods.
Major Sources of Sugar are:
- Chocolates, candies, cookies, cakes, muffins and smoothies (most bakery products)
- Soft drinks and sweetened beverages
- Canned or dried fruits
- White Breads
Major Sources of Salt are:
- Most processed and canned food
- Junk and fast food (mainly chips, crackers, pizzas, snacks, puffs, sandwiches, breads and rolls)
Healthy Alternatives to sweetened and salty foods
Natural fruits, vegetables and nuts, dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa), sprouts and beans, and organic food products are good substitutes to unhealthy snacking.
Go for fresh toppings and extra spicing to not miss the pinch of salt.
- Saturated & Trans Fats – An Absolute No No
We are aware of the list of unhealthy aspects tailing saturated (mainly animal fat) and trans fat. Well, here is the add-on – it heightens period pain and problems as well.
Trans fats and most saturated fats elevate the production of prostaglandin (hormone that induces uterine contractions) which would intensify cramps resulting in swelling.
These fats also channel weight gain.
Major Sources of Saturated Fat are:
- Animal fats (high-fat meat)
- Dairy products (butter, cheese, ghee, whole milk and cream)
Major Sources of Trans Fat are:
- Fried and fatty foods
- Commercially baked products
- Hydrogenated oils and fats
Healthy Alternatives to Saturated & Trans Fat
Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, lean meat, low-fat dairy products can all curb the harmful effects of saturated and trans fats. With these alternatives you just need not compromise on taste.
Gradually swap every item putting your periods at risk with the alternative and you will not be able to ignore the positive changes.
These pointers would not only gain you a healthy menstrual cycle but also a great body.
About The Author
Claudia Etura Marketing Manager at Dudley Wellness Company a key enabler in providing one of the best pain relief products to fight severe menstrual pain and joint pain, bringing a change in the life of the people.