Periods Or PMS? 5 Yummy Healthy Foods To Help Relieve The Symptoms
Periods or menstruation is the time when it’s the most natural thing to crave comfort food. And not just when you’re on your period, but even during the days leading up to it. Your reproductive hormones are at an all time low and this causes a dip in serotonin and dopamine, the body chemicals responsible for keeping you in a good mood.
But, have you noticed you feel a lot worse once you’ve finished that cake, or tempura prawns, or even good ol’ pizza? While your brain is craving junk, your body doesn’t want any of it because it’s feeling bloated and lethargic. So, give in to your cravings of snacking more often but try these foods instead.
5 awesome foods to have during periods:
1. Dark Chocolate:
A known mood elevator, swap the cupcakes for some dark chocolate. Opt for varieties that are over 60% dark. They are packed with magnesium which helps regulate the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. What’s more, dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants that naturally protect your cells from free radical damage. Heart healthy, immunity building and perfect for that cramping pain, dark chocolate can quickly become your favourite treat during PMS and periods.
2. Bananas & Watermelons:
The great thing about fruits is that they’re extremely hydrating and packed with nutrients. The high water content is just what you need to beat the bloat during that time of the month, so load up on watermelons through the day! As for bananas, the potassium-packed fruit with vitamin-B6 also helps combat water retention. It even gives you a burst of energy when you’re feeling down and out during your period. Also, some women struggle with diarrhoea, constipation, loose motions, or poor gut health in general during their menses. Bananas are a great way to regulate bowel movements.
Having dairy (milk, cream, cheese) is controversial because many women are lactose sensitive during their periods. It can cause a number of reactions like feeling gassy, skin breakouts or even an increase in cramps because of the arachidonic acid in dairy products. However, yogurt is an exception. Packed with natural probiotics, yogurt can help improve digestion and gut health during your periods. Also, it’s a great source of calcium which takes a dip when you’re menstruating. Low calcium levels further contribute to PMS and period mood swings, and pains and aches.
4. Fish & Nuts:
Common to both are body nourishing good fats like Omega-3s that help relax the muscles. Having salmon, sardines or tuna can significantly help you combat those cramps and give your body a much-needed booster dose of iron as well.
If you’re vegetarian, relying on healthy nuts and superfood seeds is a great alternative to get your Omega-3s. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans and even sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds can prove to be great sources of good fats.
5. Broccoli, Spinach, Kale:
While a salad is usually the last thing on your mind when you have PMS and period cravings, adding at least one dose of dark leafy greens to your day is extremely beneficial when you’re menstruating. You lose a lot of iron when you lose blood and replacing it through your diet is key. In some cases, excessive menstrual bleeding can lead to iron depletion in measures where the woman becomes anaemic over time. Period delay and period pauses are a result of this lack of red blood cells caused by anaemia. Kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens and cabbage are great ways to replenish iron in the body.
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