Menstrual Hygiene Day. Viral campaigns like It’s Only a Tampon and LiveTweetYourPeriod. 2015 has been a great year thus far for raising awareness about issues that surround a woman’s menstrual cycle, says Manchester-based journalist Julia Banim in her recently published article on [WO?] Magazine. ‘Gone are the days of frantically hiding your pads at the very bottom of your handbag.’ To celebrate, she has compiled a list of five top health and nutrition tips for when you’ve got the painters in. ‘After all ladies, we may be getting better at discussing such topics but let’s face it that isn’t going to help when you feel like punching the person who ate the last of your period supply of Toblerone. Food matters at this time of the month so take good care of yourself!
1. Beef burger
Yup, you heard me correctly. Lean, good quality beef is great for your iron intake and will keep you super strong and bursting with energy. I’m not saying that you will feel like running along a beach like in a Tampax advert, but you will be able to drag yourself out to the cinema to watch something soppy. Women who have a good regular iron intake should avoid fatty meats or processed fast food; this might irritate your stomach further and will leave you feeling all the grumpier. Get your burger from your local butcher and put under the grill. Serve in a mineral filled whole grain bun.
Bananas, being full of sunny potassium, are a foolproof mood booster; perfect for tackling those low moods and irritability. One brilliant idea is to blend bananas with a bright and beautiful mix of summer berries (cherries, blueberries, raspberries; whatever takes your fancy), and a generous helping of calcium rich yogurt to make an incredibly tasty smoothie. Berries promote and restore a sense of well-being like nobody’s business. The calcium in the yogurt is vital for tackling symptoms such as breast tenderness and cramping.
Packed full of fiber, soothing watermelon is perfect for steadying a sensitive digestive system. Plus, it’s got plenty of natural sugars in it that will help satisfy those pesky sugar cravings without reaching for the chocolate biscuit tin.
4. Ginger Tea
I like to think that there is no ailment that a good cuppa can’t cure. However, there are certain teas that are quite simply magical. Take ginger tea for example which is every menstruating woman’s best friend. A big mug of this stuff will quash nausea and will relieve uncomfortable bloating. It will also calm you when it feels like everybody and everything has been built with the sole intention of irritating you. Combine with a hot water bottle and a fluffy romantic novel for maximum effect.
For many women, one of the most dreaded parts of period week is the muscles in your uterus and in your bowel contracting like crazy, causing sharp and painful spasms that can be debilitating. Not only can this hurt, it can also lead to digestive problems such as diarrhoea. One of the best ways to counteract this is to eat foods which are rich in Omega 3, such as salmon. Such foods are a great source of special fatty acids that help to soothe and relax your aching muscles. Salmon is also super duper when you are feeling anxious, perfect for combating PMT. Grill yourself a delicious salmon steak served with leafy green spinach which is perfect for replacing your depleted iron sources which can be lost along with blood flow.
Read more from Julia Banim on her blog Jules in the Rainy City
(Photo: Niklas Rhöse / Flickr)