NUTRITION FOR MENSTRUATION
by Dr. Shalini Kukreti
Menstruation, also commonly known as Periods is a major transition phase in the life of every woman. It is often recognized as a sign that a “Girl is turning into a Woman”. It is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. It is a natural phenomenon where every month our body prepares itself for pregnancy and if no pregnancy occurs, the uterus or womb sheds its lining. Menstruation generally starts from the age of 11 to 14 years (some may get it earlier or later) and continues until menopause. It usually lasts for 3 to 7 days.
Apart from the blood loss, the body shows many other symptoms like:
- Abdominal or pelvic cramping pain
- Lower back pain
- Soreness in breasts
- Food cravings
- Fluid retention
- Mood swings and irritability
Eating smartly and cautiously during these days can help in making this phase smooth and comfortable. Since bloating is one of the most prominent symptoms, which is being experienced, try to avoid foods that may enhance bloating like carbonated drinks, fried foods, processed foods, refined grains, high-fat and high-sodium foods. The foods to choose are fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, dark chocolates, nuts, whole grains, fish, fiber-rich foods and above all keep a check on the daily water intake.
Some instant tips that may help in relieving menstrual cramps are:
- keep yourself hydrated
- have ginger in hot milk, it has an amazing effect on menstrual cramps
- exercise can help, go for a walk
- opt for different herbal teas
- avoid foods high in caffeine
Menstruation is a delicate interaction of hormones and physiological responses. Keeping the body in a healthy state is very important as it is a natural way of body detoxification and taking charge of the nutrition is a smart move.
Dt. Shalini Kukreti, Clinical Nutritionist & Dietician, is a Gold medalist Nutritionist experienced in product development and diet management. She is a Post graduate in Nutrition and Dietetics with the student scholarship from Manav Rachna International University, India.