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Managing PMS Cravings: The Right Foods To Have During Periods

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

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For many of us, periods aren't quite the happiest time of the month, given that we tackle a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Admittedly, things can get pretty rough and difficult when a woman's period shows up for its monthly visit! It’s hard to define exactly how you feel during your menses. You may be super grumpy and blow your top off; or tears may flow all day long. It could possibly be that your appetite is going crazy, given that your serotonin levels decline during the periods. Some women say they have a tough time buttoning their jeans – it’s bloating, relax, you haven’t gained weight! In the days preceding the period, the body tends to store up fluids and sodium causing bloating and distention. What’s more, when you lose blood, you lose iron which is why you feel rundown and exhausted. Some have to endure severe menstrual cramps causing them to double up in pain. It’s a slew of symptoms that we go through!

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However, instead of popping OTC drugs to deal with these monthly symptoms, it makes more sense to ensure that you know what foods to eat during periods and what foods to avoid during the period. Here’s what your diet should be like when on the cycle.

3 Foods to eat during periods

When on your period, you are losing blood as well as going through speedy hormonal shifts. To help you cope well with the flurry of symptoms, here are 3 nutrient-dense super foods to eat during your period, which you must integrate into your diet:

• Beans: Beans, pulses, lentils and legumes are packed with loads of magnesium and fibre. Magnesium can help increase serotonin levels appreciably, thereby battling those menstrual blues; while fibre fights bloating and diminishes water retention. Beans are of special importance in effectively dealing with cramps, constipation and diarrhea that are fairly common during the menstruation period. What’s more, magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and quickly allays excruciating menstrual cramps. So, make sure that you add dals, lentil soups, khichdi, rajma curry, chole and add beans to your salads, pasta and rice dishes during those five days.

• Cumin seeds: About 3 to 4 days prior to your period, your body stores up on sodium and fluids, making you feel bloated and gaseous. Amp up on jeera to de-bloat. The cumin seed is an impressive carminative, i.e. it effectively and instantaneously helps get rid of gas and abdominal distention. It is perfect when it comes to tackling belly aches and pains related to flatulence and bloating associated with PMS. Jeera is also packed with iron, magnesium, and calcium and provides some amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – all of which are beneficial for period-linked woes. So, kick-start your day with a glass of jeera paani! You can try Tata Sampann Jeera Powder which is made from whole spices with their natural oils. These natural oils impart rich flavour and provide health benefits. Jeera used in Tata Sampann Jeera Powder is sourced from the Nagaur region of Rajasthan, known for its Jeera.

3 Foods to avoid during period

There are certain foods that you need to avoid when on your period. While it might be very appealing to reach out for these to comfort your out-of-control hormones, you are in effect doing a ton of harm to yourself:

• Caffeine: Caffeine causes the blood vessels to constrict; when this happens, it intensifies the cramps. So, steer clear of coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, and chocolate.

• Sodium-rich packaged foods: In the days leading up to your period, your body begins storing sodium and fluids. When you're already bloated, consuming foods that are jam packed with excess sodium such as fried potato chips will aggravate the situation.

• Sugary foods: Foods having a sugar overload – cookies, cakes, candies and flavored yogurts – all affect estrogen, testosterone, and serotonin levels. Furthermore, large amounts of sugar cause the blood sugar levels to get erratic, thus triggering uncertain mood swings.

3 Foods that help with period cramps

Here are 3 really powerful menstrual cramp tamers:

• Ginger: Fight those distressing menstrual cramps with ginger! Gingerols in ginger are robust anti-inflammatory agents that successfully deal with inflammation. The root is a powerful spasmolytic agent as well, and banishes stomach cramps. In fact, experts proclaim that ginger might just be the marvel drug that works miracles!

• Bananas: The fruit is absolutely ideal to deal with PMS-related cramping as well as to help balance out mood swings. Have 2 a day.

• Chamomile: Chamomile is exceedingly soothing for the uterus as well as the nerves. It significantly decreases the intensity of cramps and quells depression and anxiety too.

So, load up on these nutrient-dense, delicious foods you can eat during period - to get you through the monthly pain and discomfort. Also, never skip meals and make sure that you drink ample water to stay well hydrated and handle your period symptoms better. Here’s to having a less troublesome period!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

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• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



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