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Prior to her menstrual cycle or during her period of menstruation, a woman feels a lot of symptoms including mood swings, headache, fatigue, bloating and dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea, also called menstrual cramps, causes pain in the hips, lower back, inner thighs and more intensely on the lower abdomen. For some women, the pain is severe enough to interfere with their everyday activities. There are many ways to prevent and treat dysmenorrhea. One of the most natural and effective ways to relieve dysmenorrhea is to eat foods rich in antioxidants, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D, magnesium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and zinc. The best way to get these mineral supplements is by choosing the right foods that prevent dysmenorrhea.
The combination of magnesium and potassium in banana helps prevent the release of prostaglandins that cause the cramps associated with menstruation. The same nutrients also prevent spasm from happening. Bananas also contain vitamin B6 which is another anti-cramping nutrient. Bananas are rich in potassium that can help lessen water retention which is one of the reasons why you feel bloated during menstruation. You can eat banana as it is or eat it with non-fat yogurt. Slices of bananas are also great addition to cereals. Make your fruit salad even more nutritious by tossing some bananas. Banana chips are not highly recommended because the added fat and sugar means additional calories.
Studies show that manganese is good for menstrual flow. You must increase your intake of manganese if you want to relieve menstrual discomfort during your period. Pineapple is a fruit rich in manganese. There is also an enzyme found in pineapple called bromelain which help relax the muscles that may be causing you menstrual cramps. Bromelain can be found in the stem of the pineapple which is hard and not as juicy as the flesh. Most of the time the stem is thrown away, so the next time you eat a pineapple, you better think again before throwing that part. The organic protein in pineapple helps lower blood viscosity thus preventing thrombosis or the formation or presence of one or more blood clots that may partially or completely block an artery or vein.
Among the foods that prevent dysmenorrhea, ginger is considered a superfood because of its many health promoting properties. Ginger is used to treat menstrual cramps in traditional Chinese medicine. Many circumstantial evidences from different parts of the world can attest to the anti-cramping power of ginger. For maximum efficacy, it is better to use fresh ginger but other forms of ginger can also be used. While green tea can help reduce menstrual discomfort, ginger tea also contains manganese to help relieve bloating and nausea.
To relieve menstrual cramps, include sunflower seeds to your diet. In addition to vitamin E, sunflower seeds contain zinc and magnesium both of which are anti-cramping minerals. Sunflower seeds also have vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). A cup of this nutty tasting seeds can provide 1/3 of the recommended daily requirements of vitamin B6 which is a pain relieving vitamin. Zinc and magnesium are better absorbed by the body with the help of pyridoxine. However, you must watch the high calorie and fat contents of these seeds so you better not overindulge.
The high level of isoflovones of tofu comes from the yellow beans where it is made from. During menstruation, production of good estrogen becomes low. Eating tofu can help increase the production of good estrogen alleviating menstrual cramps and inflammation in the process. The isoflovones also prevent the production of bad estrogen (xenoestrogen) that can cause breast cancer and tumors in women. Yellow bean, when raw, is toxic and bad for the health. It develops healthy properties when processed and turned into tofu.