Menstruation has been considered as a taboo in the society for years now, each mensuration cycle comes with its own challenges.
In some parts of India, certain dietary restrictions are followed during menstruation assuming that it will help them to deal with the condition better.
Myth-1# Sour foods are restricted
Many females are not allowed to have sour food like curd, buttermilk, curries containing tamarind, and even pickles are usually avoided. Why? It is believed that these might disturb or lower the menstrual flow. Females who face cramps or pain, only during that time one should avoid taking curd because it will not provide any comfort in easing the pain. Instead, warm foods are preferred but otherwise, curd can be and should be consumed without a doubt. Since the stomach usually gets upset during this phase, therefore probiotics would support gut health.
Myth -2 # Do not exercise during periods
Many adolescent girls or women believe that exercising/physical activity during periods will cause dysmenorrhea. But in fact, low-intensity exercises can help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, reduce pain and relieve bloating. Exercise also causes a release of serotonin, which is your happy hormone and helps tackle your mood swings better. Not to forget, regular exercise helps regularise the flow.
Myth -3#: Food cravings are all about the hormones
Fact: Stop blaming your hormones for everything! Women get an excuse to eat more because of the change in hormones. Understanding cravings before menses is due to deficiency of certain nutrients like zinc, magnesium, vitamin D and calcium. So, follow a well-balanced diet rich in macro and micronutrients to avoid food cravings.
Myth -4# Jaggery helps increase the blood flow
Fact: jaggery is indeed considered a fair source of iron, it helps aid digestion and can be taken in the diet during periods to ease digestion, but it will anyway not help increase your flow. It can be consumed in small quantities if you want to, make sure not to have it in a large amount as it is calorie-dense.
Myth -5# Females gain weight during periods
Fact: Many females might indeed gain a half to one kg of kg during their PMS phase or the mensuration. It is only due to water retention and it is not due to an actual increase in weight. Also, not every woman's body is the same, so not everyone faces the water retention problem during this phase.
To conclude, there are various taboos when it comes to periods and creates unnecessary stress for women. Thus, it is important to know the facts behind each of them.
Garg and Anand: Menstruation related myths.Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408698/