Though going through the monthly menstruation cycle is a natural part of being a woman, yet it’s still a total pain. Imagine the fatigue, bloating, cramps and moodiness. The discomfort may not bother everyone but for some, it can be severe enough to interfere with their daily activities.
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Here are some foods that may help you cope with the monthly cramps:
Calcium Rich Foods to Chase the Cramps Away
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Calcium has been found to ease menstrual cramps as it helps to maintain muscle tone. This is exactly what you need to keep the menstrual cramps at bay. However, do avoid getting your calcium from dairy products, as they contain arachidonic acids that can increase the production of cramp-causing prostaglandins and exacerbate cramping. We recommend going for non-dairy forms of calcium such as canned sardine, broccoli, kale, almonds and calcium-fortified fruit juices.
Dark Chocolates to Liven Up Your Mood
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A great way to liven up during menstruation is to consume some healthy desserts such as dark chocolates. Dark chocolates stimulate the production of the “happy hormones”-serotonin which keep you calm and cheerful. We often feel irritable and moody during menstruation, and serotonin helps reduce these feelings. Despite that, do refrain from indulging in dark chocolates, as it contains theobromine (a mild stimulant) that can worsen menstrual cramps.
Ginger Tea to Reduce Menstrual Flow
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If you are relying too much on painkillers every month, try drinking a hot cup of fresh ginger tea as it may help to ease the cramps. It is said to be able to relieve pain as effectively as the painkillers. A more compelling reason to sip the tea is that studies has demonstrated that it is effective in reducing PGE2, the prostaglandin that is responsible for excessive menstrual flow.
Bananas to Ease Water Retention
Fluid retention and bloating are common during the menstrual cycle. Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 and potassium and both are said to regulate the fluid level in the body to ease water retention and bloating. Besides, the bright yellow fruits also regulate the digestive system, which some women may struggle with around the time of the month.
Fatty Fishes to Reduce PMS
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Fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel and trout are excellent sources of healthy fats (DHA and EPA), which can help to regulate hormone balance and reduce PMS blues. The fishes are also rich in vitamin B, such as B6 and B12 that help to reduce breast tenderness and boost energy during the time of the month respectively.
Red Meat to Compensate for the Iron Loss
People usually turn to green leafy vegetables like spinach, beans and lentils for their source of iron and that is not wrong. But if you are one who prefers the meat, be glad to know that red meat is the richest dietary source of iron. If your period is particularly heavy for that month, be sure to consume more red meat than usual to make up for the loss of iron.