We have all had that moment where we had a whole outfit picked out – that new black body-con maybe? – only to have Aunt Flo swoop in with the most annoying of PMS symptoms bloating. As if dealing with cramps and acne wasn’t enough.
An estimated 70% of women experience bloating during their period. Higher oestrogen levels cause our bodies to retain water, whereas elevated progesterone levels in the latter half of our period cycle cause the digestive tract to slow down – leading to symptoms of fullness and bloating. In fact, it is normal to gain 1.5-2 kgs during your period. This weight gain is largely attributable to water retention and will go away a few days after your period starts.
However, in the meanwhile, here are a few ways to manage the bloat so you can look and feel your best even through your period!
- Pick potassium and protein-rich foods like bananas, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and asparagus to help balance the fluids.
- Eat healthy fats like chia, nuts, and salmon to help lower prostaglandins.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol – we know, easier said than done!
- Also avoid gas-inducing foods like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks – that chocolate chip cookie may be calling your name but the artificial sweeteners will increase water retention, causing greater bloating!
- Get more ZZZs – so as to allow your body to regulate the excess fluid.
- Try not to avoid your workout.
Discuss a diuretic with your doctor. Some women may suffer from significant breast tenderness because of the water retention. A mild diuretic may be helpful in addressing this.
You know your body best. So while dealing with period symptoms can often be challenging, it helps to be equipped on how best to tackle the particular challenges your body faces. By making informed choices around diet and exercise, we can confront issues like bloating head-on, and hopefully have a more comfortable period!
By Meher Kairon