Growing up as a girl, I felt that I was not duly educated on a lot of things pertaining womanhood; especially in the aspects of MENSTRUATION, funny but true. I picked up on random knowledge about the journey through womanhood from parents, friends, strangers, the internet and random educational talk shows.
Because of this, I've found myself faced with different perspectives and opinions on how the female body works—some conflicting severely with others.
I know that I am certainly not alone. A lot of women have been presented with different orientations on how the woman's body works, why we sometimes feel pain during our period and even what happens during menstruation! And it's not uncommon to find whatever information it is spiced up with superstition, yeah that's a thing .
Of course not everybody feels pain during their period and there are basically different reasons why you would experience pains during that time of the month, but it is important that we aren't misinformed about it because, honestly, we could really do with more info and less pain, right?
I remember vividly how mine started. I was gracefully entering my teens at that time and I had discovered that my breasts had started getting full and round. I was SUPER excited because at last I had started experiencing those changes I'd been taught of in class. I WAS BECOMING A WOMAN! So, not surprisingly, I was very happy, and being the curious person I am, I started asking questions.
And guess what??
The answers were variably but seemingly accurate. I mean different encounters, same outlines.
One major issue was the fact that I was told that sugar could make your cramps more intense, but then I avoided sugar and still got cramps! At that point, I started wondering what the heck in Megan Thee Stallion's body was going on?!
It kept happening for a while before I discovered that spicy foods ALSO makes my cramps severe!
So, to the BIG question—Does food affect menstrual cramps?
Hell yeah! It absolutely does.
It even influences the flow; that's how far it goes to show you that food has great impact on the body.
I wouldn't rule out the reality of other factors such as stress, excessive exercising, medications and psychological habits like smoking which also affects the severity of your cramps.
The menstrual cycle is regulated by the complex interaction of hormones. These hormones include-
Luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and the female sex hormones(estrogen and progesterone).
Bear in mind that “hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood” and the food you eat pass through the lining of your small intestine into your blood as well.
So to say, we get direct nutrients from the foods we consume and that's basically why we react either positively or negatively when we ingest food.
Knowing this, you mustn't experiment with your bowels to know which food it would receive as it could end badly pretty fast
So, I have done my research, and I'm serving it hot . Put on your seatbelts people!
These foods below should be refrained from, at least for that period of the month.
The first to make it to my list are
REFINED CARBS AND SUGAR
Taking these while on your period is just like adding fuel to an already burning fire. It's first going to seem like everything is alright because there will be a spike in energy level but then it goes down drastically and causes serious mood swings, abdominal pains and bloating.
Then we have
SALTY AND FATTY FOODS
When there is high amount of sodium in the blood it makes the blood vessels constrict, and it increases the water retention capacity of the body. This basically leaves you looking like a swollen potato.
Fatty foods on the other hand increases the amount of prostaglandins(a group of lipids that control processes such as inflammation and blood flow). The increased amount of prostaglandins in the body triggers the contraction of the uterus, which equals more pain.
✯ Spicy foods
✯ Processed foods
These foods should be avoided as well during that time of the month as they all have similar effects as your carbs, sugars and salty foods.
I believe that justice wouldn't be served if I only mentioned the food that could affect menstrual cramps without highlighting the ones that we should concentrate on to replenish lost nutrients.
Riffle through to get the best choice of food for that time of the month.
When a woman menstruates; she loses blood, mucus, dead tissues and blood clots. Her need for iron essentially increases because iron is an essential element for blood production.
This is where the need for foods rich in IRON come in.
These foods includes-
- Beef liver
- Pumpkin seed
- Shell fish
Tackling pains and inflammation is the next big thing during this period and
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID
rich food has a specialty in this field. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid include:
- Soybean oil
For general mood improvement go for
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES;
emphasis on Bananas which are a natural mood stabilizer. Enjoy your Bananas and keep this moodiness at bay!
Understanding that you can eat your way to a healthier you is really underrated.
Nobody is particularly asking you to stop eating meals you enjoy at that time of the month, it is just advisable that you eat with moderation and caution.
Fun facts:✪ The sea of tranquility found on the moon is deeper than the highest mountain on earth.✪ A typical cloud ☁️ weighs about 1.1 million pounds.
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