- Meghana J Rajpurohit
SHE can travel.
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
"Have the courage to jump off the cliff. You will be surprised at how strong your wings are and at the gusts of wind sent your way by a benevolent universe, to help you soar higher and higher! Be brave" , i read these lines in a book called Lady, You're The Boss by Apurva Purohit and i instantly related to it. We as women have been under estimated for the longest time. We all know that women are capable of handling a family, we gracefully embrace the pain of giving birth to a new life, we can be really strong emotionally and can do so much more, and after all this i wonder, what makes people think that we can't handle ourselves on a trek or a solo trip for that matter.
A major concern for most of the women while traveling has been our monthly periods and many of us are even shy to talk about it. "You have the right to know and understand your body, and being clued up on all things menstrual, will make it a whole lot easier for you to identify when something isn't quite right. And understanding how everything works is a sure fire way to eradicate the shame that many of us have been made to feel about our - usually very healthy and normal- bodily function" says Maisie Hill in her book Period Power. Therefore, firstly we (and even the men around us) need to be clear in our heads about what exactly our periods are? It is just a monthly cycle if approximately 28 days which starts with, our ovaries preparing an egg for fertilization and the uterus preparing itself with a lining of endometrium layer (which will nourish the egg if it gets fertilized). This cycle will stop if a woman gets pregnant, if not then the egg gradually disintegrates and the endometrium layer of the uterus is shed off, this shedding of the endometrium layer is what we call our monthly periods; clearly nothing to be ashamed about. There are a few of hormones that are involved in this process, the fluctuations of these hormones is what causes the mood swings and cramps in different parts of the body. There is not much that we can do to get rid of the changes that our body goes through during our periods and we must not try to get rid of it either, because these are the signs that our body is functioning normally. Therefore one must always avoid any sort of pills to prep-one or postpone the periods or any other type of pills as they directly affect the hormones and can have side effects.
( To prep-one my periods, i personally rely on consuming dates and papayas and pickles a
week or two before i get my periods which produces heat within the body and helps the layer shed off faster.) What we can do is, help our body with this process by taking a suitable diet and that will automatically ease the pain. Calcium, magnesium and potassium help regulate the nerves and muscles, so the spasms are less. Therefore a diet rich in these 3 minerals must help prevent muscle cramps.
Foods rich in calcium - milk and it's products like curds and cheese,figs, amaranth leaves, almonds, beans & lentils, seeds like poppy seeds, sesame seeds(till) and chia seeds.
Foods rich in magnesium - dark chocolate, avocado, brown rice, kidney beans, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, bananas.
Foods rich in potassium - oranges, apricots, cooked spinach and broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant (brinjal), pumpkins, cucumbers, tomato, prunes (dried plums) Foods usually recommend during periods :
Til seeds / sesame seeds : It is rich in iron and calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, helps maintain flow of blood and increase hemoglobin levels in the body.
Walnuts : It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, helps reduce production of propagandist which reduces severity and duration of pain.
Pineapple : It is rich source of manganese, increases the levels lamebrain which is an enzyme that helps relax the muscles. It also is rich in vitamin C which is essential for the absorption of iron in the body.
Dark chocolate : It is rich in magnesium, potassium and iron which helps to uplift the mood.
Banana : Something that i rely on & one of my favorite foods to eat during periods. It is rich in potassium and magnesium. It helps to regulate the bowel movements which helps some women who deal with diarrhea while on periods.
Liquid : Flax seed water, greenback seeds (methi) water, ginger tea etc are beneficial during periods and also in general help detox.
Fox nuts (makhana) : One of my personal favorites! And also in my opinion very underrated. They are rich in antioxidants and help to decrease stress in the body. It is also rich in calcium and iron which helps improve the quality of blood.
Oats : They are rich in zinc, which helps during painful periods and is also said to increases the health of a woman's egg and reproductive system.
Broccoli : It is rich in fiber and iron.
Yogurt/ curd : It is rich in calcium and helps with PMS. Foods to be avoided :
Sugar, candies etc as they induce inflammation
Alcohol and caffeine
Pickles, fried food, canned food and salty foods as sodium causes water retention which in turn stimulates menstrual pain.
Factors that can have an effect on blood flow
1. Reaching puberty at an early age
3. Unhealthy practices like smoking, drinking lot of alcohol and use of illegal drugs.
After child birth some women suffer from less to no period cramps.
Note : Putting heat in the lower stomach in the form of a hot water bag or taking hot showers helps loosen the tightening muscles of the uterus. - Ms. Meghana J Rajpurohit, Team Parikrama - Nutrition practitioner.