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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 September 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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