NUTRITION THERAPY FOR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Menstrual cramp is an excruciating, aching, and painful contraction you get in the lower belly during your period. It happens once a month and many women get them routinely.
Menstrual cramps vary, it could be mild or severe. It reduces with age and usually gets less painful after the first delivery. Ladies experiencing menstrual cramps feel irritated by things around their environment and also react to the slightest provocation making people around feel uncomfortable. During this period, a lady will appreciate being shown love and understanding. There is also a contraction of the uterus resulting in heavy blood flow.
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Causes of Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps can be traced to different causes, and the majority could be caused by an individual lifestyle and it can also be caused by the release of excessive prostaglandins compounds from the uterine lining.
Poor lifestyle could be one of the major causes of menstrual cramps;
- Excessive consumption of sugar
- Alcoholic consumption
- Smoking cigarettes
- Consumption of coffee and caffeinated beverages
- Eating salty and fatty foods
- Skimping on sleep
If you don’t find enough sleep, your body has the tendency of releasing the stress hormone, which affects the function of your pituitary gland work.
This has general effects, but also have its limits and it only affects cells that are close by. Prostaglandin receptors are seen in the uterus whether pregnant or not. Most medical experts are of the school of thought that prostaglandins may be responsible for uterine cramping that results in painful periods.
Fibroids can also be another cause of menstrual cramps since they grow in the uterine lining, they are also known to cause heavy periods and excruciating or painful menstrual cramps.
HOW TO STOP PAINFUL CONTRACTIONS DURING PERIOD
- Drink enough water
Discomfort can be caused by bloating and it makes menstrual cramps worse. Drinking enough water can reduce bloating during the menstrual period and mitigates some of the pain it causes. Also taking hot water has it possible for an increase in blood flow throughout the body and relaxes the muscles.
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, apples, pineapples, turmeric, ginger or garlic, vegetable greens, walnuts, can help promote blood flow and relax your uterus.
- Reduce stress
Stress makes cramps worse, your body needs reasonable rest to relieve cramps.
- Apply heat
A little application of heat can help relax your muscles, improve blood flow, and relieve tension. Try taking a hot shower or relaxing in a hot bath, and sitting with a heating pad.
- Take herbal tea
Herbal tea contains anti-inflammatory properties and antispasmodic compounds that mitigate the muscle spasms in the uterus that causes muscles contraction. Going on ginger tea is an easy, natural way to relieve menstrual cramps. Herbal tea also contains other benefits like relieving stress and also helping with insomnia.
FOOD AND THEIR NUTRITIONAL CONTENT THAT HELPS IN RELIEVING MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Nutrition can play an important role in the management of menstrual cramps, it prevalence and severity is dependent on the kind of food being consumed. For you to live and stay healthy and sound during this period, you need to be extra conscious of your nutritional intake.
In as much as there are foods that aggravate menstrual cramps, there are still foods that are best taken in managing menstrual cramps.
Taking lots of water is as important, especially during your period, always stay hydrated, this helps in reducing the chances of getting dehydration headaches which is common symptoms of menstrual cramps. Taking enough water is also helpful in stopping you from retaining water and bloating.
Fruits and Vegetables to be taken for Menstrual Cramps
Spinach is a good source of vitamin D which helps your body to absorb calcium and it also helps in reducing inflammation. Spinach also offsets monthly iron (Fe) loss.
Bananas are great source of magnesium which plays an important role in activating vitamin D in the body. It also contains vitamin B6 and a sound dose of potassium, which help to relieve your bloating and cramping symptoms.
Cucumbers contain anti-inflammatory substances called flavonoids which helps in managing menstrual cramps, they also contain 95% water which keeps you hydrated.
Apple is rich in iron which is an essential mineral that is part of haemoglobin; it helps in maintain your strength and energy during the menstrual period. Your body also needs iron to produce new blood cells, replacing the ones lost during menstruation.
Ginger is a good stomach soother when you feel nauseous, and it is also a good source for managing gas and bloating.
- Pumpkin leaf
Pumpkin leaves are also a good source of iron (Fe) which helps in producing new blood cells, replacing the ones lost during menstruation. It also contains zinc (Zn) which helps to prevent and treat pains during cramps.
Eggs are helpful in fighting menstrual cramps because they are a good source of vitamin D, B6, and E. Eggs are not to be taken in excess during this period.
Pineapple contains enzymes that help in managing menstrual cramps
Garlic is antifungal and antibacterial and this can be helpful in managing cramps during menstruation.
Lemons are very rich in vitamin C which helps your body to absorb iron from the food you consume into your bloodstream and tissues. During the menstrual period, there is the tendency of losing more blood so it would be good if you consume more vitamin c that will help your body absorb more iron from the food you consume to help maintain the blood level in your body.
Watermelon can be blended into a smoothie and due to its light and sweet nature, it is very helpful during menstrual cramps. In addition, it contains a large amount of water which will hydrate your body and add a small amount of sugar to your bloodstream.
Menstrual cramps can be so frustrating and disturbing to individual mental health but proper dieting can help in managing the situation. Eat and rest well then you are good to go.