A professor of Anatomy and consultant reproductive endocrinologist, Oladapo Ashiru has urged women who experience pain and heavy flow while menstruating to avoid sugar, pastries, coffee, and processed foods, noting that the consumption of such foods can cause heavy menstrual flow and worsen menstrual pain.
According to Prof Ashiru, sugar increases inflammation in the body; hence there is a link between high inflammation, menstrual pain, and heavy menstrual flow.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, Ashiru, who is also the Chief Medical Director, Medical Art Center, and Joint Pioneer of IVF-Embryo Transfer in Nigeria and West Africa, urged women who experience pain and heavy flow to be careful about what they eat and drink.
“It is true that sugar can cause heavy menstrual flow and worsen menstrual pain. If you consume more sweet things during your period, it will cause inflammation.
“Excess sugar can cause inflammation because it can increase cramping and heavy flow.
“This is because the inflammation will be contracting all the muscles and increasing the blood flow thus leading to heavy bleeding.
“It’s not just sugar that can cause it, coffee can also cause it. Coffee is something you must avoid.
“Apart from sugar, all those pastries or any processed foods, dairy, milk, chocolate, chips, and fatty foods can increase blood flow, make the period worse, and cause inflammation.
“The best thing is to increase water intake when craving sugary things,” Ashiru said.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommended that people who experience Premenstrual Syndrome should avoid caffeine consumption.
The gynaecologists in their guidelines said simple changes in the diet may help relieve the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome.
“Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates. A complex carbohydrate-rich diet may reduce mood symptoms and food cravings.
“Complex carbohydrates are found in foods made with whole grains, like whole-wheat bread, pasta, and cereals. Other examples are barley, brown rice, beans, and lentils.
“Add calcium-rich foods, like yogurt and leafy green vegetables, to your diet. Reduce your intake of fat, salt, and sugar. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
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