Once a month, ‘Aunty Flo’ pays us a visit bringing gifts of cramps, bloating and fatigue. As much as you want to lock yourself in your room and stay in bed with your junk food stash, there are other foods that you should be eating to ease the effects of the unwanted gifts!
Here are foods you should eat for a more comfortable and healthier period, and a happier you!
Indulge in Chocolate
The darker the chocolate, the better! Chocolate is high in potassium, magnesium and iron. These essential minerals allow your muscles to function properly, and that includes the uterine muscles that would cramp up during your period. Eating chocolates also encourage your brain to release happy and euphoric endorphins. Moderation is key as a chocolate overdose can lead to unwanted weight gain and bloating.
Snack on Nuts and Seeds
Instead of reaching for that bag of candy, reach for a bag of nuts this time. Foods that are rich in good fats and omega-3s are more helpful and more filling than junk food. Be wary of the salted and candied versions which can lead to water retention and a sugar high that comes with a crash. Reach for pumpkin seeds that are high in magnesium which serves as a mood booster and fights water retention.
Have Your Leafy Greens
Vegetables contain iron-rich nutrients that your body needs when you’re menstruating, so cook up greens such as broccoli, spinach and kale! These vegetables are also a source of dietary fibre, which helps regulate your estrogen levels and digestive system.
Load Up on Natural Sugar and Vitamins
Go for fibre-rich fruits such as watermelon, plums, and figs. These fruits can help curb your sugar cravings and provide you with all the macro and micronutrients to help you combat period-induced weakness
Make Salmon Your Catch of the Day
Fish is a prominent source of omega-3 fatty acid that can help provide relief from cramps and pain. The recommended daily intake of omega-3 is 6g to lower the inflammation of pain during a period. Healthy fats can also be found in avocados, chia seeds and whole eggs.
Sip on Tea
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before and during your menstrual cycle. So, give (caffeine-free) tea sipping a go! Chamomile tea is a great option for relieving muscle spasms and reducing tension that leads to anxiety and irritability. Want something spicier? Go for ginger tea to help with nausea and bloating.
Peel a Banana
Rich in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, bananas can reduce water retention and bloating. Too little potassium also causes muscle cramping, and that’s the last thing you want!
Hydrate Yourself with H2O
Many of us tend to forget that our bodies are losing fluid. Drinking sufficiently will help eliminate symptoms of bloating and water retention. Avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks as they could raise the level of stomach acid that causes irritation.