Menstrual Cycle & Nutrition



The Menstrual Cycle is a natural change occurs in female body specially uterus and ovaries to make possible pregnancy. A woman's body goes through number of changes each month during the years between puberty and menopause. During each cycle a an egg developed and released from ovaries. It leads to build up uterus. If pregnancy does not happen during cycle then it starts again. This cycle divided into four phases:
  • Menstrual phase
  • Follicular phase
  • Ovulation phase
  • Luteal phase

Framework 

Please find a framework of Menstrual Cycle  with four phases. Below mentioned days differ with different people.




Symptoms


Many people face uncomfortable symptoms during menstruation. These symptoms include:

  1. abdominal cramps
  2. headaches
  3. nausea
  4. fatigue
  5. bloating
  6. mood swings
  7. diarrhea
If you experience any of these symptoms, adding certain foods to your diet and removing others can help you feel better.

Foods to Eat


Water

Drinking a lot of water is mandatory. Especially important during your period. Staying hydrated will reduce your chances of getting dehydration, headaches. It can also stop you from retaining water and bloating.

Fruit

Water-rich fruits such as watermelon and cucumber are great during the cycle. It keeps you hydrated always. Sweet fruits will help you curb your sugar cravings.


Leafy green vegetables

During your period iron levels decreased particularly when menstrual flow is heavy and it is normal for all. This can lead to fatigue, bodily pain, and dizziness. Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach can boost your iron levels. Spinach is also rich in magnesium.

Ginger

A ginger tea can improve certain symptoms of menstruation. Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects, which can soothe dull pain in muscles. Ginger may also reduce nausea, a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. Do not consume too much ginger. Consuming more than 4 grams in one day could cause heartburn and stomachaches.

Chicken

Chicken is another iron and protein-rich food you can add to your diet. Eating protein is essential for your overall health. It can help you stay full during your period and cravings free.

Fish

Fish is another food rich in iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming iron will counteract the dip in iron levels that you might experience while menstruating. Omega-3s can reduce the intensity of period pain, according to study. A study showed that omega-3s can also reduce depression. For those who experience mood swings and depression around menstruation, omega-3s may be helpful.

Turmeric

Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory spice and curcumin is its main active ingredient. Study found that people who took curcumin had less severe symptoms.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium. Magnesium reduced the severity of PMS symptoms. People with magnesium deficiencies have severe PMS symptoms.

Nuts

Most nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and they are a great source of protein. They also contain magnesium and various vitamins.

Quinoa

Quinoa is rich in nutrients such as iron, protein, and magnesium. It is a great food for celiac disease. It has a low glycemic index, means will keep you feel full and have energy for a long time after eating it.


Lentils and beans

Lentils and beans are rich in protein, so they are good meat replacements for vegans and vegetarians. They are also rich in iron, which makes them great additions to your diet.

Yogurt

Yogurt is also rich in magnesium and other essential nutrients, like calcium. Many people get infections during or after their period. If you want to get rid of it yogurt is the best option. 

Tofu

A popular source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, tofu is made from soybeans. It is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea can soothe the symptoms of PMS. Specifically, it can relieve menstrual cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.


Foods to avoid

You might want to avoid certain foods that worsen the symptoms of your period. They are:


Salt

Consuming lots of salt leads to water retention, which can result in bloating. To reduce bloating do not add salt to your foods and avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of sodium.

Sugar

Sugar intake should be moderate but eating too much of it can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash. This can worsen your mood. If you tend to feel moody, depressed, or anxious during your period, watching your sugar intake can help regulate your mood.

Coffee

Caffeine can cause water retention and bloating. But caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches to. So do not cut out coffee completely, having a few cups a day is preferable. Coffee might also cause digestive issues. If you tend to get diarrhea during your period, reducing your coffee intake could stop this from happening.

Alcohol

Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on your body during your period. It can dehydrate you, which can worsen headaches and cause bloating. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhea and nausea. A hangover can bring on some of the same symptoms that occur during your period, including:

  1. headaches
  2. nausea
  3. vomiting
  4. diarrhea
  5. fatigue


Spicy foods

Many people find that spicy foods upset their stomachs, giving them diarrhea, stomach pain, and even nausea. If your stomach struggles to tolerate spicy foods or if you are not used to eating them, it might be best to avoid them during your period.


Red meat

Red meat may be high in iron, but it is also high in prostaglandins. During your period, your body produces prostaglandins. These compounds help your uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining, resulting in your menstrual flow. However, high levels of prostaglandins cause cramps. So, red meat should avoid during periods.


Exercise to Do


Here is a very general guideline of possible exercise intensities that may be beneficial during the hormone fluctuations around your cycle.



Takeaway

Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. What is normal for you might not be normal for someone else. Certain foods are great to eat during your period, while others can worsen your symptoms. The foods you choose to eat or avoid will largely depend on your specific symptoms and food sensitivities.

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