In this globalized and capitalist world, most of us cannot escape the fast food epidemic. While the consumption of fast food has adverse effects on our health, menstruation isn’t immune to it either. Statistics supporting this claim tell us that 75% of girls around the world experience menstruation-related problems such as dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular cycles, heavy bleeding and much more. According to studies conducted, the majority of the abnormalities, especially in young girls, can be attributed to their unhealthy and inadequate eating habits and lack of physical exercise.
How do our eating habits hamper our menstrual cycles?
Most of us experience menstrual cramps in different intensities. A research conducted showed us that women regularly eating fast food experienced PMS and dysmenorrhea in considerably higher intensities. The science behind this explains that junk food is rich in saturated fats, which affects the menstrual cycles by tampering with the metabolism of the progesterone. Junk foods also lack essential proteins, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, D and E, the deficiency of which can act as a trigger for the various menstrual abnormalities.
The underlying consequence of having an unhealthy lifestyle is that it tampers with our hormones responsible for our menstruation. Satisfying your cravings with your comfort food, and skipping meals further makes you vulnerable to premenstrual symptoms. Engaging in improper dieting behaviors to lose or to gain weight, leaves you more prone to experiencing heavy bleeding, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual symptoms, and irregular menstruation.
All this information might have overwhelmed you. But do not worry, we got you covered with some do’s and don’ts!
Aerated drinks, pizzas, French fries, burgers, candies, chocolates, salty snacks, cheese, microwaved and fried snacks are some of the fast foods most of us are familiar with. Your foremost concern should be getting your fast food consumption down to the bare minimum.
A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, followed consistently can help scale down the intensities of your menstrual cramps. Peanuts, flax seeds and other oil-rich nuts are also recommended. Cool foods are to be given preference over hot foods, as hot foods bother your menstrual cycles by releasing heat into your bodies. Cool foods include fruits, curds, and chickpeas, and hot foods include chicken, eggs and papaya among others.
Some important additional tips…
If you are an avid consumer of alcohol, reducing it will be beneficial as regular alcohol consumption interferes with your hormonal levels affecting the menstrual cycle. Studies also indicate a reduced risk of menstrual abnormalities like dysmenorrhea, if one introduces regular exercise into their routines. You could also go the extra mile by having regular periods inducing food like jaggery, millets, nuts, dates, and ginger among others.
As you may have inferred, you simply need to follow a consistent and healthy lifestyle. Understandably, inculcating these changes isn’t easy with the temptations around us.
But you can always set a goal and move towards it at your own comfortable pace!
| By Priyanka Gulati |