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7 Things to Avoid when You're on Your Period ...

There are obviously going to always be - let’s call them restrictions - on what you can do when you’re on your period. There are also our own personal inhibitions of not doing what just doesn’t feel right. But as well as restrictions and inhibitions, there are also things to avoid, simply to help you have a happier, healthier and even a less painful period.

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1. Exercise Unfit for the Occasion

Among the things to avoid during your period are strenuous exercises that will make your cramps even worse. Instead of suffering stomach cramps at the gym, try yoga or swimming. Doing the crawl or breaststroke will stretch your abdominal muscles gently, helping to improve the blood flow to the pelvic area and limit cramps. Breathing exercises at a yoga class will help you to relax and yoga poses gently challenging your tummy muscles will have a similar effect as swimming.

2. Saturated Fats

Adjust your saturated fat intake during the one week where being a steak-chomping gal is not a good idea. Red meat will make your estrogen levels rise. This in turn will prompt your PMS to rear its unpleasant head. Dairy products also tend to contain higher levels of saturated fat and arachidonic acids, which raise your body's production of prostaglandins, meaning that eating dairy will make you more prone to painful cramps. If avoiding your daily yogurt treat will make you even grumpier, read on, you are allowed some treats!

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3. Being a Martyr to Chocolate Cravings

Instead of giving up chocolate and dreaming about it all week, keep PMS mood swings at bay with a piece of chocolate a day. If it's a chocolate bar with a minimum cocoa content of 60 percent, your serotonin levels will receive a pleasant boost and that will uplift your mood. It will give you something to look forward to on days when period pains are getting you down or stopping you from doing the things you love doing.

4. Getting Dehydrated

That's right - avoid dehydration, because drinking water will actually lower your chances of water retention, which is responsible for horrible cramps and bloating. Guzzling a tisane with a friend keeps cramps away!

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5. Overlooking the Importance of Fiber in Your Diet

Skimping on fiber consumption during and before the onset of your period could result in abnormal digestion. Try beans, they are a good source of the extra fiber you need. If eating beans just adds to your "gas problem," try adding a few caraway seeds to the bean dish. Caraway aids digestion naturally and stops that gassy feeling from developing. You could also try taking vitamins that aid a healthy digestion.

6. High Salt Intake

Most processed foods these days contain high levels of sodium (salt), which means you should avoid adding to your bloating woes by snacking on foods such as salted peanuts, crisps or slices of pizza smothered in anchovies. Nibble carrots, cucumber or celery sticks with a refreshing avocado, lime and coriander dip instead. No dairy-based dips, though!

7. A Veggie-free Diet

You'll ignore vegetables at your peril every day of your life, but especially so during your period. Veggies are your friend, not things to avoid during your period! Remember that dairy and saturated fats are responsible for your curl-up-in-a-ball cramps? Many vegetables are a great source of calcium, making them the perfect alternative to dairy produce. Enhanced veggie intake will reduce your muscle spasms that produce those nasty cramps. And dark vegetables like spinach and kale are even greater friends to gals suffering from the monthly visit: munching spinach and kale will stop excess bleeding because they'll give your body a fabulous helping hand with vitamin K.

All of these are based on good health principles that you can adopt as a lifestyle - then you wouldn’t have to struggle with avoiding them! That’s turned out to be easier than you thought when you first started reading, hasn’t it?

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