Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
During those days of the month, experiencing tiredness, mood swings, bloating, lower back pain, irritability, and menstrual cramps are common for a woman.
Along with these signs, a woman can also have a strong urge for comforting foods. Some of these foods can provide momentary relief, but they can also worsen menstrual pain.
To help manage the impact of menstrual effects, this article will help you learn about what not to eat and drink during the menstrual cycle.
Most women crave caffeine products such as coffee or tea when going through the menstrual cycle. It is common because caffeine increases dopamine levels which helps with boosting mood.
According to experts, caffeine can cause vasoconstriction- a condition that causes narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels and increases cramps and bloating.
Therefore, avoid excessive caffeine consumption to minimize discomfort during periods.
Reduce refined carb & sugar intake
Other factors responsible for increased period discomforts are refined carbs and sugar intake.
During the menstrual cycle, the rapid changes in the blood sugar levels can affect your mood, strengthening the craving for sugary or refined products.
Having them can raise the blood sugar levels drastically, and multiply the secretion of insulin.
In a few hours, insulin lowers the blood sugar levels and you can feel extremely tired, irritated, bloated, and cramping with increased willingness to have more sugary products.
Thus, reducing refined carb and sugar intake is an important measure to control menstrual cramps.
Less dairy, more relief
Having too many dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream can be held responsible for the worsening of period cramps.
Studies suggest that dairy products can also give rise to bloating, gas, and diarrhoea. Therefore, it’s best to reduce their consumption to reduce period aches.
Say no to fatty foods
Saying no to fatty foods such as chicken and meat is another way to reduce menstrual pain.
These foods are loaded with trans fats, which is considered one of the unhealthiest fats. Trans fat can increase the levels of estrogen, leading to increased period pain.
Some research studies suggest that having fatty foods can also increase prostaglandins, which causes contraction in the muscles of the uterus, resulting in heavy menstrual cramps.
Minimize processed food intake
Processed foods are unhealthy for you, especially during the menstrual cycle. These foods have a high volume of trans fats, which causes inflammation and makes the period cramps more severe.
Here are some processed foods that you need to avoid:
- French fry
Stay away from salty foods
Avoiding salty foods during those days of the month is important because they increase sodium levels in your body. High sodium levels are responsible for bloating, which can make period aches worse.
Limit or avoid chocolates
The menstruation cycle affects you at hormonal levels. It reduces the levels of serotonin (the hormone which makes you feel happy) and increases insulin secretion.
This phenomenon impacts your mood and augments the craving for mood-boosting food like chocolate. Studies show that chocolate can spike the prostaglandins level, giving rise to more cramping.
To reduce your chocolate cravings, opt for better alternatives such as peas, beans, whole grains, and fruits.
Although menstrual pain is common and unavoidable, yet, it is possible to reduce the pain by keeping yourself away from the above-mentioned seven dietary choices.
Moreover, you should also frequently opt for menses screening. This health check can provide you with vital insights to help you get an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment plan.
Thinking about what else you can do to manage period pain? Read here.
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