Honestly, I feel like, as a woman, we should be granted a golden trophy every month. Not only do we have to suffer constant pain for seven days straight, we lose about 50% of our blood! On top of that, we have to avoid certain foods during our periods. This is actually quite a generic topic that most women fail to pay attention to. Some foods and compounds can make us feel much worse during that time of the month, so taking the right precautions before and during menses can mitigate and even prevent some of the pain.
So, here are foods that aggravate menstrual pains, and why they do so:
Psssst, read this: ‘’Is It Safe To Have Sex While I’m Menstruating?’’
1. Anything Caffeinated
Yes, you need to steer clear of coffee. I know it’s hard, but only for a couple of days. Coffee is a heavy, potent vasoconstrictor, which means it tightens the blood vessels that supply the uterus – mixed with the increased contractions of the uterus, this can contribute to more painful cramping. We suggest you opt for a healthy alternative such as matcha latte or low fat milk. They serve as a great way to get that much-needed energy boost while also providing pain relief. The reason why I’m obsessed with matcha is because they contain high-antioxidant treats. Plus, if we add our favorite healthy milk alternative and a little Manuka honey, it’s a delicious, craving-curbing treat!
2. Processed Foods
Snacks and frozen meals are high in preservatives, chemicals, unhealthy fats, and added sugars, which are all associated with inflammation in the gut, brain, and body. If you consume these during the time of your period, you can exacerbate symptoms of bloating, fatigue, abdominal pain or cramping, and general low mood. Replace unhealthy junk food with colourful fruits like berries, apples, and bananas to soothe the cramping. If you need something to munch on during the day, keep a good packet of hazelnuts, macadamia or almonds by your side.
3. Sugary Foods
Okay, this one is quite obvious – but there are healthy sugars we can eat, and of course like all things, in moderation. Sugary foods, such as baked goods, candy, soda, and sports drinks, tend to be filled with added and refined sugars, making them high in simple carbs, which lack fiber. Eating simple carbs leads to extreme blood sugar fluctuations, which then leads to inflammation and can further influence mood swings. We don’t need to exacerbate the mood swings, please and thank you.
4. Salty Foods
Last but not least, it is best to avoid salty or high-sodium foods, as these can cause the body to retain even more water (go away, bloating!). We have already suggested salty alternative foods above – anything that screams ‘’nuts’’ is acceptable during menstruation.