Your monthly cycle can disrupt just about every system in your body, especially your digestive system. This is why many women experience bloating, constipation, diarrhea and similar period problems every month. However, this does not mean that there is nothing you can do about it. There are several foods for periods that can help to eliminate or at least reduce some of those pesky period symptoms. But, before we get into what you should eat during your periods, let’s take a look at some of the foods to avoid while menstruating.
Foods You Should Avoid When You Are On Your Period
Most of us have junk food occasionally, but there are some foods that put an unnecessary strain on your digestive system and so you should avoid them when you have your period. Here are some of the foods to avoid when you have your periods.
– Refined foods, especially bakery products, are delicious but they are among the worst foods to eat when you are menstruating. You will notice that you get gas and bloating a couple of hours after you’ve had your favorite pastry – so avoid these foods at all costs. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, white breads, pastas, and sugary foods, all of which have simple carbs, are some of the other items that should be on your list of foods to avoid when you have your period.
– Trans-fatty acids can be found in partially hydrogenated oils and they are considered to be among the unhealthiest fats. These fats are also likely to aggravate period symptoms and so you should eliminate or at least reduce your intake of trans-fats while you have your period. Margarine is a common ingredient that contains high amounts of trans fats, so avoid packaged biscuits, cookies, and cakes. Trans fats have also been linked to an increased endometriosis risk.
– Caffeine has been linked to fatigue, breast soreness and mood swings, so decrease your caffeine intake when you have your period. A study found that women who drank a lot of coffee during their period, were more likely to have unusually short periods, which would likely cause other issues. Carbonated drinks are also high in caffeine and so you should definitely skip your daily bottle of coke!
Foods You Should Eat When You Are On Your Period
There are certain foods that have been proven to have definite benefits in reducing period pain, cramps, and other PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms.
Bananas are about the best food to eat when you have your periods as they have a variety of benefits. Bananas contain a protein called tryptophan which your body converts into serotonin, thus enhancing your mood. They are also an excellent source of potassium and magnesium – these minerals have been proven to reduce water retention and bloating. Bananas are easy to digest and they are also high in fiber, which will help to ease any digestive discomfort you might experience during your period. Maybe the old saying should be, “A banana a day keeps period pain away!”
Yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium – some studies show a link between low calcium intake and depression. Cheese is also a good source of vitamin D which is required for serotonin – the “happy hormone”. Make a delicious yogurt and cheese nacho dip and have this with baked nachos or papad instead of your usual comfort foods when you get home from work.
Green Leafy vegetables
Your iron levels dip when you have your period, so you should have plenty of iron-rich foods during this time. Put together a delicious salad with plenty of leafy greens such as palak (spinach) and methi (fenugreek) as well as seed and nuts.
In addition to eating healthy when you have your periods, you should also drink water throughout the day and exercise. While you might find it uncomfortable to exercise during your periods, studies show that light to moderate exercise can decrease period pain and other menstrual symptoms.
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