Period pains are consequences of natural functioning of women’s body and food we eat can impact on it intensity.
Every month women of reproductive age experience menstruations and this may come with some degree of pains that often vary from one woman to another.
No matter how often you get the pains, no one ever gets used to it. It often a sign of bravery that women have to bear that pain and always prepare it.
The intensity of pain can be so severe for some that they have to take medication to ease the cramps and get through.
Eventually, the body might get used to a certain category of drug and make it difficult to stop the pain.
Likely for most we have found that before, during and after your cycle, there are certain foods that exist and one can take to decrease the level of pains.
Besides that, we also found that there are foods that might increase the intensity of pains and that one should avoid during periods.
Researchers have found that healthy diet can have an impact on the stress level and may play a role in the control of period pains (1)
Where do come menses?
The real origin of menses is shedding of the endometrium (uterus lining) when after ovulation the pregnancy did not to occur.
Women from the age of 12-15 years can start seeing periods (Menarche). If by age 16 or three years after development of breasts a girl has not seen her menses, then she should be evaluated by a medical practitioner.
The average of a menstrual cycle is 28 days with a normal range of 21 to 35 days. Bleeding can last up to 7 days.
What are the causes of period pains?
Pains during periods are caused by the blocking of blood supply to the thickened endometrium, phenomenon called Ischemia and the contractions coming from the uterus to eject the blood and its contents out of the uterine cavity.
FOODS TO EAT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER PERIODS
Vegetables are source of calcium and the body greatly needs it during this particular time to preserve muscle tone and decrease bloating.
Eating more vegetables especially green ones can be of great benefit.
Water is vital for the body all the time. During menses it helps to hydrate the body. With sufficient water consumption, your body will not retain fluids which works in keeping you comfortable.
Read more about benefit of water here
Steak is rich in iron which is necessary for the body especially when one has a heavy flow or if the bleeding lasts for more than four days.
This is the option if you have to avoid red meat. Salmon are rich in omega-3, Vitamin D and has anti-inflammatory benefits decreasing the pain.
In the pineapple there is a complex combination of ingredients that decrease irritation and help your muscles to relax which then reduces contractions. Also, it helps decrease bloating which happen sometimes in women during their periods.
In the same way that they prevent muscle cramps after physical exercise, they also work to reduce period cramps. They are an instant energy booster which can also help you be productive, it contains a good amount of fiber and ease digestion.
FOOD TO AVOID DURING PERIODS
Sugary foods: these foods will cause a rapid increase in energy levels for a moment and make you feel good at first, but your energy levels will decrease suddenly after a while, leaving you even more irritable and lethargic than before.
Alcohol: Liquor intake may increase estrogen levels making your condition worse by increasing both your flow and cramps. Subsequently, when dehydrated, the body have a tendency to retain fluids which causes more cramps or increases the existing pain.
Caffeine: during periods there is hormone fluctuation and it would advisable not to take products containing caffeine.
Stimulants such as caffeine can bring your body to an overdrive state and deepens your condition. This includes coffee and many other fizzy drinks.
Fatty meat: Any meat (including beacon) with visible fat on it is source of saturated fats. Particularly red meat.
They cause an increase in prostaglandins, and as said earlier for dairy, can worsen period pains.
Milk, yogurt and other dairy products: large part of fat found in dairy products is saturated, and this can induce inflammation and irritation, which is likely to increase period pains.
Dairy also causes a rise in the production of prostaglandins. High level of prostaglandins can cause inflammation and can be responsible for cramping.
Processed foods: These foods contain a high percentage of salt and chemicals, and will leave you feeling more bloated and uncomfortable.
They can also cause dehydration, affecting therefor your energy levels and mood.