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Best And Worst Foods For Menstrual Cramps That Most Of Us Don’t Know

Best And Worst Foods For Menstrual Cramps That Most Of Us Don’t Know

Only women know how painful having a menstrual period can be. When men are told by women that they are feeling like “hell” while they have their periods, the men sometimes do not believe the women. Several factors contribute to this “hellish” feeling, including moodiness, irritability, bloating, and menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea. Luckily, there are ways to feel less menstrual cramp pain depending on what you eat. Let’s take a look at what we can do about it.

What food should you avoid?

Since the pain is caused by inflammation (and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are often used), you should keep away from inflammatory foods. Examples of inflammatory foods are refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries, french fries and other fried foods, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat like in burgers or steaks, and processed meat such as hot dogs and sausages, margarine, shortening, and lard.

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    Also, the following ingredients should be avoided in the food that you eat because they can cause inflammation.

    These ingredients include

    • sugar
    • saturated fats
    • trans fats
    • omega 6 fatty acids
    • refined carbohydrates
    • MSG (in tomatoes, cheese)
    • gluten
    • casein (in milk)
    • artificial sweeteners
    • alcohol

    What food should you eat?

    Both vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids help decrease the levels of prostaglandins in the system. Both can be found in

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    • flaxseed oil
    • fish oil
    • chia seeds
    • walnuts
    • fish roe (eggs)
    • fatty fish (such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
    • seafood
    • soybeans
    • spinach and leafy vegetables
    • food fortifed with vitamin D (such as dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals)
    • beef liver
    • cheese
    • egg yolks

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      Also, you should eat foods that fight inflammation such as olive oil, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and collards), nuts (such as almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines), and fruits (such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges).

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        Another tip is to have more vitamins and minerals such as those on the list below:

        Calcium

        Calcium may also help reduce menstrual pain because it helps maintain muscle tone. However, the evidence isn’t clear.

        Vitamin D

        Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation (as stated above). Vitamin D may interact with a number of medications, so ask your doctor before taking more than the recommended daily allowance.

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        Vitamin E

        Vitamin E (can be found in almonds, spinach, etc.) may help reduce menstrual pain. In one study, women who took vitamin E had less menstrual cramps than those who took placebo. Vitamin E may increase the risk of bleeding, especially those who take blood thinners. People with heart disease, diabetes, retinitis pigmentosa, or cancer of the head, neck, or prostate, should avoid high doses of vitamin E without first asking their doctor.

        Magnesium

        Magnesium has been found out from studies to help reduce menstrual pain. However, too much magnesium can cause diarrhea and lower blood pressure. If you have digestive problems or a heart disease, or if you are taking other medications, ask your doctor before taking magnesium because this interacts with other medications.

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        Sarah Bonander

        Writer, Human Resources Professional

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        Last Updated on November 11, 2019

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

        To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

        Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

        1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

        Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

        Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

        To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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        2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

        Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

        If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

        Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

        3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

        Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

        Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

        4. Feed Your Brain

        Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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        This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

        Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

        Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

        5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

        According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

        Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

        Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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        6. Write it Down

        If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

        It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

        You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

        7. Listen to Music

        Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

        8. Visual Concepts

        In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

        Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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        Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

        9. Teach Someone Else

        Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

        Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

        10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

        Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

        So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

        Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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