Menstrual pain is very real, and very difficult to deal with! As the lining of your uterus sheds during periods, we experience mild to severe period pain.
The nature of the pain might change from person to person, right from severity and duration to the area. Every women has different period cycle, the cycle which is normal for me may be abnormal for others.
Period pain happens when the muscles in the uterus contract or tighten. Women who experience painful periods can have higher levels of prostaglandins – a natural body chemical that causes contractions of the uterus, bowel and blood vessels.
When you understand your usual period symptoms, you’ll be better at treating yourself during this time. Here are some other typical symptoms of periods you might have experienced:
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Food cravings/overeating
- Mood swings and/or depression
Food is a primary source of energy for our bodies to maintain its health and well-being. During periods, your body is already under a lot of pressure and stress, and is using up large amounts of stored energy.
By having adequate nourishment through healthy and nutrient rich foods, you can help your body during these days.
You can start with what to eat during periods even before they begin, to provide your body with adequate nutrients and the strength that it requires. This will in turn make your body stronger and well-equipped to tackle the symptoms of PMS with minimum effort.
There are natural ingredients and nutrients which can help you deal with the period symptoms by:
1. Reducing cramps
2. Reducing bloating
3. Improving mood swings
*Calcium rich foods - It is a nutrient required for strong and healthy bones. It is also known to reduce menstrual pain because it can help maintain muscle tone.
Source-milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy ,soya beans, tofu.
*Vitamin B12 - This is helpful in case of heavy periods because it will replace your lost blood (red blood cells). It is believed to reduce pain by telling the body to produce pain relieving hormones called prostaglandins.
Source-Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.
*Vitamin B6 - It helps boost metabolism and provides energy from the food we eat. This up in metabolism reduces bloating. Vitamin B6 also helps the body maintain a healthy nervous system. It makes the body produce more progesterone which helps in increasing happy hormones on the body and boosting your mood.
Source-Bread,wholegrain cereals, such as oatmeal, wheatgerm and brown rice,soya beans, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit.
*Magnesium - Magnesium can tell the body to make Serotonin from a component called Tryptophan. This will in turn help balance mood.
Source-Dark Chocolate, Avocados, Nuts, Legumes, Tofu, nuts and Seeds. Walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese, which eases cramps.
*Fibers - A source of dietary fiber promotes the growth of beneficial or ‘good bacteria’ in the gut.
Sources-green leafy,whole grains,fruits and vegetables
*Water - drinking water keeps your body from retaining water and helps to avoid painful bloating during menstruation. Warm or hot water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to your skin and may relax cramped muscles.
There are few herbs which helps to reduce the period pain and cramps-
*chamomile tea - helps relieve muscle spasms.
*fennel seeds - gives you feeling of relaxation,improves digestion.
*cinnamon - helps in less bleeding, pain, nausea, and vomiting
*Ginger - it is shown to reduce water retention, improve digestion/ metabolism and reduce bloating. It is also known to reduce period cramps.
*Pepper - it contains a special component called Piperine which tells the stomach to produce Hydrochloric acid. This acid can help break down proteins in food. This eases digestion and bloating.
Wondering where you can find all the above ingredients?
Checkout &Me’s Happy Period Drink and how it has benefitted women. It is a preservative free drink that provides the right nutrition for period care. Each drink contains 9 Vitamins, 5 Minerals and 5 Ayurvedic herbs known to provide care during periods
"Best drink for period cramps!" Now you have a reason to jump during periods!
Written By Nutritionist Annie Katare
A post graduate in food and nutrition from Sarojini Naidu college Bhopal M.P.Having 10 year of experience in field of nutrition and dietetics
She strongly believes that a regular routine of health and fitness is the first step to a healthy lifestyle.