Craving for hot brownie sundae with ‘’extra’’ whipped cream to deal with painful and annoying cramps? Periods usually mean grabbing your favorite snacks while binge-watching.
But this much sugar and carbs intake during your periods can cause an imbalance in female-factor hormones. Intake of too sugary items can disturb your insulin levels.
We know it's difficult to ignore these cravings but instead of drooling over hot chocolate or brownie, you can have a small piece of dark chocolate.
Replace your cravings with a less harmful substitute. However, in the beginning, you may feel it is impossible but gradually it will be possible.
Let us help you to find the substitute for your cravings with some healthy options.
Foods to eat during periods-
1. Fruits- Eating water-rich fruits can reduce painful cramps and as you know fruits are a vital source of nutrients and fiber.
Fruits can be one of the most healthy substitutes for sugar cravings. For example banana, watermelon, oranges, etc.
Citrus fruits have essential nutrients which help your body to stay healthy and also help in dealing with your mood swings.
2. Fish- Salmon, oysters, and tuna are rich sources of iron, protein, and fatty acids(omega-3), which help to reduce cramps and they are very nutritious as well.
Salmon is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which relaxes the uterine muscles and reduces abdominal pain.
3. Leafy vegetables- During your menstruation, you lose a lot of blood which makes your body weak and causes hormonal imbalance. Thus, this loss can be compensated by consuming iron-rich leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, kale(leaf cabbage), they are great sources of nutrients too.
Usually, the iron level in the body drops during menstruation which leads to body ache, dizziness, and fatigue. However, spinach and kale can boost your iron level.
Cabbage, cauliflower is rich in magnesium which relaxes your muscles and prevents cramps. In addition, they also keep hormone levels balanced.
4. Water- Staying hydrated during periods is one of the most important things because you tend to lose fluids and get dehydrated which can make you feel fatigued. You should at least drink eight glasses of water a day as it will help you with alleviating muscle pain and cramps.
Female hormones like progesterone and estrogen levels dwindle during menstruation due to which the body retains more water. This can result in bloating, constipation, migraine, reduced urination, and fatigue.
Drinking hot water during menstruation prevents acidity and other gastric problems. Hot water has a calming effect on abdominal pain. It also boosts metabolism, it is an ultimate detox.
5. Nuts- Nuts are a great source of protein. Almonds are a good source of fatty acids and they are also rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E, is a powerful antioxidant and also reduces swelling.
Magnesium level fluctuates during menstruation which can be a symptom of PMS as well. In this case, cashews are scientifically proven to be a great source of magnesium and they are also high in calcium which helps with PMS.
Walnuts are warm in nature and they can naturally produce heat in your body which helps to regulate blood flow.
6. Ginger and Turmeric- It is scientifically proven that ginger inhibits inflammation in the body, it helps in relieving painful cramps. You can have ginger tea to ease the irritable periods. Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it also boosts energy in the body.
Turmeric helps to deal with irregular periods. Consume it with warm milk or boil a spoon of turmeric along with a glass of water. Turmeric is a natural source of estrogen, an important female hormone.
7. Dark chocolate- It not only satisfies your sugar cravings but also it is ideal for muscle pain and cramps as it is rich in potassium. Due to its high magnesium content, it lowers menstrual pain and body aches. It also works as a stress buster. Eating chocolates often alleviates your mood and makes you feel happier and calm.
In addition to it, dark chocolate contains serotonin, which is an antidepressant so it can handle your mood swings very well.
Foods to avoid during periods-
1. Caffeine- Intake of caffeine can make your cramps worse, it can also cause bloating. Caffeine can cause dehydration and also causes indigestion which can result in nasty period symptoms.
2. Salty and processed snacks- Fried fast food and saturated fats can cause discomfort during periods as they are a huge source of sodium. They can cause dehydration and bloating.
3. Alcohol- If you drink alcohol you should prevent consuming it during your periods as it can cause diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and can cause water retention.
4. Sugar- Consumption of too much sugar increases blood supply in the uterus which leads to abdominal pain and water retention.
Should you take supplements during periods?
Some women can have a deficiency of vitamin D as they don’t generally eat properly. So, in that case, supplements can be helpful.
Sometimes they can also have vitamin B-12 complex so in that case also you have to take supplements.
But always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
No matter how tempting hot chocolate is, you need to control your cravings during menstruation as what you eat influences your menstruation symptoms.
You need a balanced diet, proper sleep, and moderate exercise for a less painful and healthy menstrual cycle.
Eat the foods you enjoy, but remember that it should not hamper your hormones balance and menstruation cycle.
It’s common to have cravings during your periods but if you resist yourself now you will surely be thankful later. Healthy period, Happy period!