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“Eat Healthy, Bleed Healthy”- Make These Changes To Your Diet For A Healthy Period

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This post is a part of Periodपाठ, a campaign by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC to highlight the need for better menstrual hygiene management in India. Click here to find out more.

Let’s talk about something not so pleasant, but undoubtedly a healthy process every menstruator goes through. Yes, we are talking about periods.

It is that time of the month laden with pain, cramps, mood swings, and unexpected stinkers. There is no thumb rule on the pain structure during periods; some barely have it and for some, it gets excruciatingly painful.

In medical terms, menstruation is a process of hormonal change in the body. The pain induced in the body is basically due to cyst accumulation from the last cycle and therefore, the cyst must be broken and released naturally every month. Hence, anything and everything consumed in those five days will have a great impact on the body until the next cycle.

Well, there is nothing you can do to avoid these natural happenings but you can surely adopt some food habits to relieve the menstrual and emotional pain to some extent.

Dark Chocolate/Walnuts

chocolate

Be happy, periods give you a reason to grab your favourite dark chocolate! Dark chocolates usually contain less sugar, and it works in relieving menstrual pain.

For a menstruator suffering from PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder), it helps in increasing the blood flow. Adding walnuts to your diet is another alternative for good discharge.

Fruits – Banana, Pomegranate, and Pineapple

All fruits are healthy, indeed, but when it comes to those days of the month, pomegranate and pineapple work wonders! Pineapple helps in reducing the pain and pomegranate helps in combating the low mood. If you like the taste, grab a banana from your kitchen as it regulates the bowel movement making you feel less bloated.

Garlic

Garlic is a natural medicine for gastric related ailments, which usually occur during hormonal changes in the body. Raw garlic is more effective, hence try to gulp it directly with water or blend with your favourite chutney but ensure to consume it raw.

Carrom Seeds

Very few know that menstruation plays an important role in the weight loss process because of hormonal fluctuations in the body. The diet you plan during periods will help you achieve your weight goals. Include carrom seeds to your diet as it helps in the slimming process.

Home-Made Meals

Consume home-made healthy food that includes a good amount of nutritious food. Wheat chapati and chickpeas, flour pancakes are recommended food during periods.

However, there are certain foods you must avoid to ensure your period is painless and healthy.

Home made food
Choose home-made food over junk and processed food.

Foods To Avoid

  • Citrus Fruits: Avoid citrus fruits as it blocks the cysts, resulting in more pain.
  • Painkiller: Painkiller is a big NO for menstrual cramps. Taking pills during periods will hinder the natural process of cyst rupture, leading to irregular periods and in some cases kidney disorders.
  • Caffeine: Coffee must be avoided during menstruation, as it increases heart rate and anxiety, leading to mood swings.
  • Milk: Dairy products are meant to be healthy but not in this case. The arachidonic acid in the dairy products can add on to the cramps.
  • Processed & Oily Food: All these contain trans-fat that can increase estrogen level, deteriorating mood swings.
  • Spicy food: For some, spicy food makes them feel nauseous and sick. It also leads to more gas and bloating.
  • Alcohol: During menstruation, the body is already going through some internal changes which makes it a bit exhausted, and drinking alcohol can worsen the tiredness. It also leads to excessive blood flow.

Eat Healthy; Bleed Healthy

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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