MENSTRUAL CYCLE AND DIETARY MANAGEMENT
The pre-menstrual and menstrual period are connected to hormonal imbalance and cause uneasiness in a woman’s life. During the period, mostly nausea and vomiting are two most irritating symptoms, noticed in women. Abdominal pain and hot flashes are two severe symptoms in this phase. Persistent dizziness and vomiting tendency seizes working capacity of the women for 4-7 days. Another concern at this stage is the heavy period or menorrhagia with severe blood loss and resultant anaemia in the woman. Some other symptoms are – breast pain, lack of appetite and abdominal cramps. Mood swing and irritability are two important psychological concerns, manageable by diet. Like all other physiological condition, during menstruation also, balanced diet with optimised energy, adequate protein and normal fat is recommended to continue productive work in regular life.
WHAT FOOD FOR YOUR PLATE?
Choice of food is the key to manage the menstrual flow, hot flash and abdominal pain.
- No to ‘hot’ food: All foods those can generate heat in the body have to be avoided like – red meat, refined sugar, processed foods and spicy foods. Foods containing artificial colours and additives are also avoided to keep the abdomen cool. Women are tending to eat fast foods during their menstruation due to the fluctuation in hormonal level.
- Choose food to stay cool: Foods which can keep the system cool have to be included in daily diet during menstruation; those includes – cold milk, curd, yoghurt, juices, buttermilk, blueberries, watermelon and other fruits.
- Dietary fibre: Inclusion of complex carbohydrate and unrefined sugar is better to add energy and balance the hormonal level. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, whole fruits, brown rice and oats are some suitable option as the source of dietary fibre.
- Energy drink: To manage abdominal pain, keeping the GI tract least irritating is one of the best options. In taking less tea, coffee and other brewed drinks are recommended.
- Eating easier digestible: During the period days, it is important to eat foods those can be digested easily. Banana, Chiku, mango and boiled egg are the best option. Fruit shakes with cream and soft cakes can also be included to manage mood swing and abdominal cramps.
TIPS TO MAINTAIN GOOD NUTRITION DURING MENSTRUATION:
In menstruation days, there is a prompt apathy for food intake that can deprive the body to getting adequate nutrition. Following points to be remembered for better nutritional status and managing menstrual cycle –
- Choose milk and milk products wisely to include more calcium and vitamin D in the daily diet.
- Choose fruits and fruit juices to keep the abdomen calm and relaxed. Additional abdominal discomfort can be lowered down by intaking fruits and fruit juices.
- Eat baked, grilled or less spicy fish to intake omega-3 in the daily diet. This fat helps in managing neural mechanism and mood swing.
- Eat vegetable soups by including several green vegetables and leafy vegetables in it to add micronutrients in the diet.
- Plenty of green salad including cucumber, tomato, onion and lettuce is to be taken daily.
- Adequate intake of water.