Unfair as life is, some women have it super-easy on the first day of their period, while others go through hell; some may enjoy a sunny day, riding a horse, while others aren’t able to straighten their legs to save their lives! Besides the basic hormone mish-mash that we’ve been oh-so-blessed with genetically, some other factors that contribute to a bad menstrual cycle are: stress, over-exercising, lack of exercising, consumption of birth control pills and edibles that are not conducive to period cramps. Wait a minute! Could it be that eating right might save you a trip to the gynecologist, while easing your menstrual cramps? The answer, dear ladies, is yes!
Believe it or not, the food you eat can be partially responsible for regularizing your menstrual cycle. If you’re wondering where to start, we’re here to help you make some healthy choices:
1. Dark, Dark Chocolate
We can’t stress this enough: the word is DARK. To begin with, dark chocolate is not half as sinful as milk chocolate, provided you pick up the one with 70 percent cocoa content (don’t cheat on yourself!). So, don’t think you’re going on a binge, as long you’re restricting yourself to one square a day. As it turns out, dark chocolate contains flavonoids
, which are responsible for improving blood circulation. Flavonoids also increase the release of the “feel good” hormone dopamine, which aids in instant mood upliftment.
2. Whole Grains
If your go-to breakfast comprises white bread, sugar-laden cereals or other starchy stuff, it’s time to make the shift. Forget your menstrual cycle - periods or no periods, always, always
make healthier choices, which include whole grains loaded with proteins, fibres, nutrients and vitamins. Their daily intake will not only ensure the maintenance of your blood-sugar levels, but will also go a long way towards hormone-correction
. Some of these wholesome foods are brown rice, brown bread, barley and oats. Don’t go on listening to those taste buds, you!
3. Something Fishy
Proteins, proteins, proteins - building blocks of all strength. And our beloved jal ki raani
happens to be a fabulous source of it. Not only does it help balance your hormones, but it also ensures smooth functioning of your menstrual cycle
. So, at least a week before your period, start gorging on some fish meat - mackerel and salmon are particularly great.
4. Fresh Veggies & Fruits
There’s no end to the goodness fresh veggies and fruits come loaded with. Spinach, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, beans and citrus fruits, especially, are a rich source of antioxidants
, which help relieve period cramps. Now, don’t try to take the easy way out and load up on those sugar-laden juices available in the market. Make some effort already!
5. Crunchy Sesame & Jaggery
If you ask your grandma what she ate in her youth to relieve period cramps, the answer most likely would be: a mixture of ghee
, jaggery, nuts and sesame seeds - or some variation of the basic recipe. It’s age-old knowledge that jaggery helps control hormones
. Sesame, on the other hand, contains fatty acids that increase hormone production. So, roast a handful of sesame seeds, crush them to make a powder and add one teaspoon of jaggery. Gulp it down. Make this a bed-time ritual from at least a couple of weeks prior to your period.
MUST-READ: #GirlTalk: How To Take Care Of Your Lady Parts
MUST-READ: #PeriodProblems: How To Deal With And Prevent Period Rashes