Without a doubt, the time of the month that you get your menstrual cycle can be painful. By some estimates, more than 50% of women experience some sort of discomfort on more than one occasion. And for others the pain can be almost unbearable nearly every month.
Suffice it to say, dealing with PMS can zap your energy and make you ache all over. One way to deal with the pain is to try one of many over-the-counter medications.
But what may prove even better is to watch your diet. Start by making it a goal to eat healthier and drink more fluids during that time. This mean that you should avoid foods high in sugar, sodium, and additives. Replace your soft drink consumption with water. Skip the Twinkies and nibble on fresh fruits and nuts. And choose to have fresh veggies with your meals.
Specifically, here are 5 foods that can help fight menstrual cramps and 5 that can make them more painful.
Foods that you should avoid:
Milk and cheese are known to cause more cramping. So if you want to get your calcium intake, try other foods and supplements during this time.
You may swear that Coke, Pepsi, or Starbucks are necessary to get you through the day, but that caffeine can make you antsy and more tense. That’s not good for easing the pain.
Just like dairy, sugar can trigger cramping. So keep your consumption to a minimum.
Give your liver a break during your cycle. It’s busy doing other things to make your life easier.
A nice juicy burger may be great at any other time. But it makes your digestive system work harder. This can result in a greater likelihood of cramps and stomach aches for you.
Foods you should eat:
One of the common conditions of menstruation is bloating, which is the retention of water. Bananas contain potassium which helps to curb water retention. Plus, there’s lots of vitamin B6 which is great for fighting cramps.
Parsley is not simply meant to be a chef’s favorite decorative food garnish. It contains “apiol” which is a menstrual cramp fighting compound. Studies have shown it to be quite effective. So eat up!
You’ve probably hear of omega-3 fatty acids. Well, walnuts are loaded with the stuff. That’s good for you because omega-3 possesses pain relieving properties. Walnuts also contain vitamin B6 which can help to soothe cramping.
I might sound like a broken record, but wheat germ is high in vitamin B6. And you know by now the benefits of this vitamin. But wheat germ also contains other key vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin E and zinc.
Ginger seems to be one of those foods that can serve many purposes. I put it right up there with vinegar. Anyway, ginger has long been a favorite in Chinese medicine for treating cramps.
Finally, you should continue an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be as rigorous as what you do when PMS is not around. For example, you could do yoga exercises. But some exercise is great for helping your body to recover faster from the cramping and other aches.