Redefine The Good Stuff To Avoid Feeling Bad
When youre cramping and irritable, you just know that a hot fudge brownie sundae with extra fudge, nuts and whipped cream will make everything better. The problem is those sweet treats can significantly impact your insulin levels.
Foods that are really sugary and sweet will increase your insulin levels, and high insulin levels can cause imbalances in other female-factor hormones. Thats why you want to follow a low glycemic diet starting at least a couple of weeks before your expected period, says Dr. McClure.
If you eat a lot of carbs and sugar during your period, you might feel bloated or backed up. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome might experience irregular periods which could lead to other complications. But when your blood sugar levels are going up and down, Dr. McClure says you might feel tired or get headaches frequently.
The other problem with that hot fudge brownie sundae comes from the added estrogens that can be found in some animal products such as dairy and oils. Estrogens, which can be found in some animal products and added oils, can cause your uterine lining to become abnormally thickened. Then, during your menstrual cycle, your body must create more prostaglandins to break down the lining. More prostaglandins translate to more pain. Thus, you also want to avoid foods that can increase estrogen levels in your body.
What Foods Help With Period Cramps
During your period, fluctuating hormones constrict your uterine muscles, which cause cramping. Some foods that help with period cramps are those that have a calming effect like herbal teas or camomile tea, and potassium-rich food like bananas and kiwis. Also, some menstrual cup users report experiencing less cramping, even though research has yet to prove this claim.
Things You Should Avoid
Salt and spicy food
Steer clear of fried food and readymade snacks including packaged food since they are rich in salt and sodium. Consumption of excess salt causes water retention that leads to bloating during your period, said Dr Patil. In fact, also avoid spicy food since it can upset your stomach and cause acid refluxes.
Avoid drinks like coffee, energy drinks etc as they can cause headaches and constipation. It can also cause digestive problems, she said.
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Don’t Skip Breakfast Or Other Meals
“The hormone storm from PMS can lead to a domino effect on appetite,” says Elizabeth Somer, an Oregon-based dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness.
To avoid becoming overly hungry, eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. If you’re feeling blue from PMS, then skipping a meal will only make you more irritable as blood sugar levels plummet.
Eat Your Way To A Healthier And More Comfortable Period
Now you know which foods and lifestyle choices can help you feel better during your period. Keep the right ingredients on hand and stock up on healthy snacks. And remember these key takeaways:
- Your menstrual cycle is a 21-40-day fluctuation of hormones.
- A well-balanced diet and lifestyle won’t erase period pain, but they can help regulate your hormones, which will lessen your discomfort.
- Focus on iron-rich foods during your period.
- Eat calcium-rich and estrogen-balancing foods after your period.
- It’s okay to overeat in the 10 days leading up to your period as long as you make healthy choices.
- Include other pain-solving remedies like heating pads, exercise, relaxation techniques, and meditation.
- Use a menstrual cup to reduce the length of your period and help you feel more comfortable.
Once you meet the needs of your body and its fluctuating hormones with the right food, you’ll find yourself mastering those cravings, indulging in self-care, and bouncing back with newfound energy. So start eating your way to a more comfortable period.
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What Not To Eat On Your Period:
DairyConsuming too much dairy while on your period can cause inflammation and cramping. The protein A1 casein found in milk causes inflammation in the digestive tract, though it doesnt affect everyone. Try cutting out dairy if you experience painful cramps, and see if it helps.
Salty & Fatty FoodsStay away from processed food as much as you can, including anything overly salty, fatty, fried or oily. Anything high in sodium as most processed foods are will only make your bloating worse. Fatty foods can influence hormones in your body. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, acne, and tender breasts. When snacking, step away from the fried foods and try sticking to whole foods like fruits, veggies and nuts, among the others listed above.
CaffeineUnfortunately, you may want to switch to decaf while on your period. Caffeine can not only worsen any symptoms of anxiety, but can also increase pain from cramps, says Ziverts. Because caffeine constricts blood vessels, youre likely to experience extreme cramping if you load up on coffee or soda. However, keep in mind that some over the counter pain medicine that contains caffeine can still help greatly reduce headaches you experience while menstruating.
Foods That Fight Inflammation
Naturally, eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body will help to tame menstrual cramps. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research has shown that both a vegetarian and plant-based eating pattern work to decrease inflammation in the body. This decrease is due to the high number of antioxidants and plant chemicals found in plant foods that help the body to function optimally.,,
There is a connection between the food you eat and your bodys estrogen levels. Animal products and added oils increase the levels of estrogen in the body. The more estrogen-based foods you consume, the more likely your uterine lining becomes abnormally thick. As a result, when it begins to break down during the menstrual cycle, this process creates more prostaglandins, resulting in higher levels of pain.
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When To See A Doctor
If despite following all these things, you do not see an improvement in your period or cramps, then it is best to see a doctor. If you have irregular periods, spotting or bleeding in between your periods, heave bleeding or pain that does not go without popping a few pain killers, then you must see a doctor immediately, as this could be indicative of other underlying issues.
How To Eat For Each Phase
Your diet is a great way to optimize each phase of your cycle. Not only do you get to target potential symptoms with key nutrients, but your cycle is a built-in way to rotate your foods and ensure variety in your diet.
Dont worry if you cant incorporate specific foods during each phase, but you might want to test if cycle syncing at least a few meals helps manage any unpleasant symptoms that you experience.
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Foods To Avoid During Periods
Sugar cravings will likely hit you during your period, but it is important to remember that refined sugars and processed food might worsen the symptoms of your period. While it is okay to give in to your cravings occasionally, dont make it a habit. Scroll down to find out which foods to avoid during your period.
What Not To Eat During Periods
Now we have already known what to eat during periods, then what not to eat?
1. Foods and Beverages Containing Caffeine
Caffeine and the products that contain it is a bad idea during your period. Caffeine dehydrates the body by narrowing the blood vessels. Besides, anxiety and headaches can increase during your period if you have a lot of caffeine. So avoid caffeine during your period.
2. Foods that Have More Trans-Fats
Fried foods are not your friend during your period. French fries, doughnuts, and the like will all contain hydrogenated vegetable oil which means a lot of trans-fats. Do not eat them during your period, instead, eat foods that contain unsaturated fats like seeds or avocados.
3. Meats and Dairy Products Containing Lots of Fat
Fat meats and dairy products contain saturated fats. Similar to trans-fatty food, these can increase inflammation and make your pain worse. Eating more fish and lean meats will help combat the effects from the fatty stuff.
4. Refined Grains
Refined grains can interfere with appetite control and blood sugar. These factors affect your pain and other menstrual symptoms. So you’d better avoid refined grains and eat more coarse grains.
5. Processed Food Products
Sodium is prevalent in processed foods and canned foods. Reducing your sodium intake can help deal with bloating and water retention. Therefore processed or packaged food with more than 200mg of sodium should be avoided. Be careful about what not to and what to eat during periods.
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Take Comforting Bath To Make Your Period Come Early
If you want to induce early periods, then an effective way can be a warm bath.
Before taking bath, add some bath salts and scented aromatic oils to your bath water. Prefer to use lukewarm water for taking the bath. Let your body indulge in the luxury of the water.
It relaxes your mind and refreshes your body. Once you get your mind relaxing, the concentration of stress hormones in your body will slowly reduce and your periods will come earlier.
Which Foods To Eat And Avoid During Your Period
Its hard to predict exactly how youll feel during your period. While some people barely have any symptoms, others struggle to get out of bed thanks to cramping, headaches, pain, and nausea. Today, Flo reveals the top foods to eat during your period to alleviate swelling, bloating, mood swings, and much more.
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What Causes The Pain
Before a period begins, the cells that form the lining of the uterus, also called endometrial cells, begin to break down during menstruation and release large amounts of inflammatory prostaglandins. These chemicals constrict the blood vessels in the uterus and make the muscle layer contract, causing painful cramps. Some of the prostaglandins enter the bloodstream, causing headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.2
Researchers have measured the number of prostaglandins produced by cells of the uterus and found that it is higher in women with menstrual pain than for women who have little or no pain. This helps explain why nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work for menstrual pain. Ibuprofen , naproxen , and other NSAIDs reduce the production of prostaglandins. NSAIDs have been found to decrease menstrual flow, which may reduce menstrual pain.
What To Eat During Each Phase Of Your Cycle
During every phase, focus on making half your plate veggies of all types. You want to get plenty of different types of fiber to support estrogen detox and to provide food for your gut bacteria. Also get plenty of B vitamins all month long. I take a supplement, or B rich foods include egg yolk, meats, and dark leafy greens.
Phase one: Some women find they feel better eating lighter during the first couple days of menstruation. That means focusing on easy to digest and nutrient-rich soups, broths, stews, green juices, smoothies, lighter proteins. If its summer, do veggie packed salads with dark greens like arugula, and top with lighter proteins like wild salmon or eggs. Get iron-rich foods like beets and leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard. During winter, focus on soups and stews packed with leafy greens, bone broth, and legumes or sweet potato.
Listen to your body, though: some women crave red meat during this phase, which is probably because youre losing iron during menstruation. Eat a burger or make a meat sauce to eat over spaghetti squash pasta if this is you!
Avoid alcohol, sugar , processed foods that are high in sodium, gluten, and dairy, which contribute to bloating.
I recommend taking an omega 3 and evening primrose oil supplement, like this one . You can even try liver, if you like it, during this phase, as its very nutrient dense. I often begin to crave red meat during this time, so Ill do more grass fed beef and lamb.
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Things You Should Eat
Its common to experience a dip in your iron levels during your periods, particularly if your menstrual flow is heavy. Often, this leads to body pain, fatigue and dizziness, said Dr Patil, adding that green leafy vegetables help combat the same. Make sure you also incorporate water-rich fruits such as watermelon and cucumber. If you have sugar cravings, switch to sweet fruits. This can help curb your sugar cravings without eating a lot of refined sugar which can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash she suggested.
In fact, a warm cup of ginger tea can help you feel better because it has anti-inflammatory effects, which can soothe achy muscles. Ginger may also reduce nausea.
Chicken and fish
A great source of iron and protein, make sure you add these to your diet. Eating protein is essential for overall health and can help you stay full for a longer period of time. It is rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming iron will counteract the dip in iron levels while menstruating, said Dr Patil.
Quinoa and lentils
Quinoa is rich in nutrients like iron, magnesium and protein. It is also gluten-free and will make you feel fuller. Whereas lentils are great sources of protein and can also be replaced with meat for vegans and vegetarians. They are also rich in iron, making them a great addition to the diet, she said.
Nuts and dark chocolate
Stop Taking Medications Early
A hormonal pill is probably the best assured way to get your periods come faster. It is used by most women as a birth control pill. The course of the pill is of 21 days.
You continue the pills for 21 days and then there is pill free span 7 days. In these 7 days, the menstrual bleeding occurs.
So, you can stop taking the pills before 21 days to have the periods arrive earlier. The pills are basically combination of estrogen and progestin. The doctors prescribe these pills for those who are into active contraception.
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What To Eat On Your Period: 8 Foods That Relieve Pms Symptoms
What should you eat during your period? A big question you probably dont know where to begin to answer.
Believe it or not, your diet actually does matter when it comes to your period, especially for PMS symptoms. There are foods out there that can make PMS worse, but there are also foods that help reduce bloating, pain, and period blues.
It all comes down to nutrients minerals, vitamins, proteins, etc. in the food you eat. The nutrients in your food is what keeps your body up-and-running on a daily basis. They can also help ease the more painful symptoms of menstruation.
Nutrients to Boost During Your Period
There are certain nutrients out there vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats thatll help you combat some of the worst menstruation symptoms. These are nutrients we should try to get naturally through food on a daily or at least consistent basis.
The key nutrients to prioritize during your period are:
- Magnesium Relaxes muscles in the uterine wall to relieve cramping, plus boosts mood.
- Zinc Supports the immune system and reduces cramps and swelling. It absorbs into the body best when paired with vitamin B6.
- Iron Iron and oxygen levels dip during menstruation due to blood loss. Vitamin C boosts irons absorption into the body.
- B-complex vitamins Is a family of vitamins that ease painful symptoms of menstruation. B6 and B12 are the most helpful during periods.
- Protein A macronutrient that helps keep your body well-nourished and your periods regular.