Menstrual Pain Causes, Nutritional Foods tips to Relieve Periods Pain
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Oct 15, 2019
Feeling a bit of discomfort or pain during periods is normal and eventually all women learn to recognize their symptoms and deal with the pain. But, for a teenage girl who has just entered puberty, coping with menstrual pain gets a little too much at times. The good news is that it can be dealt with not only medicines but with certain foods too. Read on to find out which foods can help reduce periods pain.
What Causes Menstrual Pain During Periods?
Prostaglandins are chemicals that are made from fat stored in cell membranes. They play an active role in inflammation, clotting of blood, constriction of blood vessels, and pain.Before the onset of menstrual cycle, the uterus lining, which is shed during periods, makes prostaglandins. So during periods along with cell breakdown, these, too, are released, causing you to feel painful cramps, and sometimes even headache, diarrhea, and nausea.
Nutritional Tips To Relieve Periods Pain?
Certain foods help in relieving pain by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins are.
Fiber:A high fiber diet can help reduce menstrual pain as fiber helps to absorb and eliminate prostaglandins.
- Fiber, like a sponge, soaks these and carries them out of the system along with other waste
- To add fiber to your daughter’s diet, include whole grains like whole wheat atta, brown rice, whole grain bread, oatmeal, coarse millets like bajra, and ragi
- You can simply add these different grains flour to your regular chapatti atta
- Different fruits and vegetables like spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, guava, cheeku, and grapes are also helpful in getting rid of these prostaglandins
- Legumes such whole beans, peas, lentils are good for relieving pain during periods. You can sprout these and make a healthy salad for your teen’s mid-morning or evening snack
Calcium: Sufficient calcium is essential as it helps in relieving muscle tension and maintaining normal muscle tone.
- A calcium deficiency can make muscles tense and trigger menstrual cramps
- Include skimmed or toned milk, low fat cheese or paneer, curd, dark green leafy vegetables, and broccoli in the diet
- Include some milk or milk product in your daughter’s breakfast
Omega-3 fatty acids: These have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the pain. It also reduces the production of prostaglandins.
- Studies have shown that daily consumption of fish oil supplementation (one of the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids) has significantly reduced the menstrual pain in teenagers (15years to 18 years) (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1996)
- Choose fatty fish like salmon (raavas), mackerel (bangda), sardines, and tuna which are good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Vegetarian sources of omega-3 are flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, soybeans
- These seeds can be roasted, ground and stored in a glass air tight container
- A spoon of this can be added to salad for crunchiness or simply into a milkshake
Vitamin E: This vitamin plays a role in reducing the menstrual pain, inflammation and cramping by reducing the production of prostaglandin.
- Studies have also shown that vitamin E helps in reduction of blood loss during periods
- It is found in wheat germ oil, cotton seed oil, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables
- Once in a while replace your normal cooking oil with these vitamin E rich oils
- Nuts, also rich in Vitamin E, are good snack option for your teenager
- Magnesium: This helps in reducing the duration and severity of menstrual cramps. Its deficiency can worsen menstrual cramps. Good sources of magnesium include almonds, soy, and spinach
- Vitamin B6:Good sources include lentils, chickpeas, soy products, oatmeal, meat, chicken, banana, pistachio nuts, rice bran etc.
- Zinc: This helps in preventing cramps, pain, bloating and premenstrual tension. Good sources include meat products, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds etc. Make sure you do add one of these foods in her daily diet as they contribute other vital nutrients too, which help reduce pain and discomfort
Quick Diet Tips To Reduce Periods Pain In Your Teen
Here are a few things to keep in mind for good overall health, not just during your periods.
- Eat a high fiber and a well-balanced diet. If the body has ample stock of these nutrients, it will help your daughter deal with the menstrual pain better
- Drink enough water (minimum 8 glasses) to keep bowel movement regular and it also helps in relieving bloating and water retention during periods
- Reduce salt intake, as high salt further increases water retention
- Replenish the iron stores lost in periods by taking foods high in iron like dark green leafy veggies, organ meats, bajra, whole beans, dried prunes, and dates
A balanced diet at all times is the key to good health. Teen years are a period of immense changes in your daughter’s body, and good food and exercise are absolutely essential. Pamper her, shower her with your love and help her deal with this transition easily. Happy parenting!
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