Top Tips For Painful Periods

Painful menstruation is known as Dysmenorrhea which literally means “difficult menstruation”.  Considering that Dysmenorrhea is an inflammatory state in the body, it is important to avoid foods that increase inflammation response. High glycemic foods are known to increase levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body.

Avoid refined carbohydrates. Stick to whole grains like oats, millet, brown rice, quinoa.

Eat enough of the right kinds of fats. Eating fats like quality organic meats, butter, coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, etc can help boost proper hormone production.

Eliminate sugary foods and processed sugar. Remember sugar is hidden in everything. Up to 2 tsp in some sliced bread so watch out. Try swapping out standard sugar for Stevia or Xylitol as a sweetener.

Exercise. If you have hormone imbalance, intense extended exercise can actually make the problem worse in the short term. Sleep is actually more important, at least during the balancing phase, so focus on relaxing exercises like walking, yoga or swimming and avoid the extended running or intense cardio.

Consider eliminating dairy. Dairy products are congesting to the body. If you choose dairy, try to purchase organic or organic raw dairy only to avoid added hormones.

Reduce red meat consumption. This is because red meat is high in arachidonic acid (AA). This has been found to increase cellular inflammation in some people. Choose organic free range meats and eggs when possible to avoid added hormones.

Vitamin A. Be sure to get enough Vitamin A through natural sources like cod liver oil or carrots. This will help to keep estrogen levels regulated.

Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed to help produce ‘good’ prostaglandins which help to relax and widen blood vessels as opposed to ‘bad’ prostaglandins which increase the womb contractions and increase the pain. So it is worth taking a good B-complex supplement. This vitamin has been shown to significantly reduce the intensity and duration of period pains.

Magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax smooth muscle tissue. It has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping greatly. Magnesium deficiency is a leading cause of menstrual cramps.

Basil. Basil is another very effective herb for reducing menstrual pain and cramps. The caffeic acid present in basil has analgesic, or pain-killing properties.

Ginger. Ginger is a wonder herb that can effectively ease menstrual cramps. This herb plays a key role in lowering the levels of the pain-causing prostaglandins. It also helps fight fatigue associated with premenstrual syndrome. If you experience nausea or vomiting or due to painful cramping and hormonal changes, ginger is one of the best herbs to soothe the stomach. It is also anti-inflammatory.

Chamomile. Chamomile tea is both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It is also helpful for women with digestive constipation contributing to pain. Because this herb is also a mild sedative it may help to reduce stress, relax the nervous system and induce a restful state in the body. This can be very useful when experiencing menstrual cramping accompanied by anxiety and irritability.

The Dangers of Tap Water

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Unfortunately, water quality issues are not a recent development. Industrial dumping, pesticide runoff, leaky storage tanks, and government mandates have created big problems. Don't panic though, there is no need for bottled just purchase a water filer jug. Although tap water in the UK is considered ‘safe’ to drink it does still contain a lot of chemicals. Key scientists are now providing evidence that long-term ingestion of small amounts of chemicals like these could be the cause of some major health problems.

Here is a list of just a few of the chemicals routinely added to our water supply:

  • Liquified chlorine
  • Fluorosilicic acid
  • Aluminium sulphate
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Sodium silicofluoride

Even if the water leaves the source in a relatively clean state, don't forget that your water travels through pipes, which may have been underground since Victorian times. It is almost impossible for the water not to become contaminated by something undesirable. Tap water is treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In addition, it may contain other undesirable contaminants like toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes (e.g. lead, bacteria, protozoa).

Typical Tap Water Content:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluorine compounds
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • Salts of:
    • arsenic
    • radium
    • aluminium
    • copper
    • lead
    • mercury
    • cadmium
    • barium
  • Hormones
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides

 

Breast Tenderness

Breast pain (mastalgia) is a common symptom that affects up to two-thirds of women in the UK, mostly between the ages of 30 and 50.

Breast pain may be felt as a heaviness or soreness, and has also been described as a stabbing or burning pain. It's usually felt in the upper, outer area of your breasts and may extend from your breasts to your armpits, and sometimes down your arms.

Many women worry that breast pain may be a sign of a serious condition. However, breast pain by itself is not a symptom of breast cancer and breast pain does not increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

In most cases, breast pain is relatively mild, although some women experience moderate or severe pain. Severe or chronic breast pain can interfere with daily activities and lead to stress, anxiety or depression.

Any pain or lumps that are ongoing and do not come and go with your monthly cycle should be investigated by your GP but for cyclical pain try these changes;

·         When you’re in the shower, soap your breasts and gently massage them from the centre of your chest out to your armpits. This improves blood circulation.

·         Wrap a towel around a bag of ice cubes and apply it to each breast for about 10 minutes. The cold-pack treatment reduces swelling and dulls the pain.

·         Consider wearing support bras instead of underwire bras when your breasts are tender. You may want to wear your bra to bed to reduce nighttime jostling.

·         Consume plenty of fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes (like lentils and black beans) and whole grains. A higher-fibre diet helps you excrete more estrogen, which helps with breast tenderness.

·         Aim to get less than 30 percent of your calories from fat.

·         Reduce your consumption of methylxanthine, a component of many common foods, including coffee, tea, wine, beer, bananas, chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, and mushrooms. Most women who endure painful lumps on a cyclical basis will improve if they cut back on foods that are high in this compound.

·         Sodium increases water retention, which causes your breasts to swell. Be especially careful to keep a cap on your salt consumption starting about two weeks before your period.

·         Dandelion is a natural diuretic. Take the herb in capsule form, or make a tea. Drink three cups a day.

·         Try evening primrose oil, a traditional herbal remedy for premenstrual symptoms. It contains an essential fatty acid GLA that may help balance a woman’s hormones and seems to ease cyclical breast tenderness.

·         Vitamins E and B6 may also work together to help prevent breast tenderness. While you may have to use supplements, you can boost the vitamins in your diet by eating nuts, barley and wheat germ for more vitamin E, and avocados, lean meats and spinach for plenty of B6.

Reducing Cholesterol

Do you or someone in your family suffer with high cholesterol? To dramatically lower your LDL cholesterol levels without resorting to high doses of statins I recommend these dietary tips:

·         1. Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.

Foods with a lot of saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat dairy products and oils. If you see partially hydrogenated fat in the Ingredient list of a food label, that food has trans fats.

·         2. Eat a lot more fiber-rich foods.

Foods naturally rich in soluble fiber have proven particularly good at lowering cholesterol. Excellent sources include oats, oat bran, barley, peas, and sweet potatoes, as well as legumes or beans, such as pinto beans, black beans and peas. Vegetables & fruits rich in soluble fiber include carrots, brussel sprouts, berries, passion fruit, oranges, pears, apricots, nectarines, and apples.

·         3. Choose protein-rich plant foods (such as legumes or beans, nuts, and seeds) over meat.

They’re full of nutritional riches and are a very healthy, protein-packed alternative to meat. Legumes help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.

Nuts and seeds have been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. To avoid blood pressure raising salt, choose raw unsalted varieties. To avoid gaining weight, don’t eat more than a handful per since nuts and seeds are dense with calories (averaging about 175 calories per ounce).

·         4. Lose excess weight.

Losing excess weight is beneficial for all sorts of reasons including improving your cholesterol levels.

Do keep in mind that it’s important to limit fat intake, even so-called “good” fats like olive oil, because any fat is dense with calories, which means heavy consumption can easily lead to a heavy body.

·         5. Take supplements.

I recommend Sterols which are naturally occurring substances found in plants. A daily intake of 1 to 2 grams of plant sterols has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Psyllium husks are also great. These seed grains are sold as a soluble fiber supplement and natural laxative.

Could You Be Suffering With Adrenal Fatigue?

If you answer yes to these 6 questions then read on…

·                  Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning even after a long sleep?

·                  Do you experience high levels of fatigue each day?

·                  Do you feel you have an inability to handle stress?

·                  Do you crave sweet or salty foods?

·                  Do you have higher energy levels in the evenings?

·                  Is your immune system low meaning you catch colds and virus’ easily?

The adrenals are two small glands that sit just on top of the kidneys. They keep cortisol and adrenaline in check (two major stress hormones but essential components to our metabolism) as well as regulate inflammation in the body. An episode of acute stress or prolonged, chronic stress can cause adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective leaving you feeling exhausted.

If you feel you could be suffering with adrenal fatigue here are some steps to take;

  • 1. Cut out sugars– Avoid sugary foods, cereals, etc. and be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try stevia or Xylitol as an alternative.
  • 2. Add healthy fats – Coconut oil, ghee, organic olive oil, and clarified butter all greatly support adrenal health.
  • 3. Get more Sleep – Rest wherever possible and try turning off all electronics 1 hour before bed and aim for 8 solid hours sleep per night.
  • 4. Sip on Green Tea. Organic green tea has high levels of nutritive phytochemicals which support the adrenal glands. Matcha green tea is the best.
  • 5. Eliminate stress – Try yoga, tai chi or meditation to relax overly-stressed adrenal glands.
  • 6. Improve your diet – Add plenty of leafy green vegetables to your diet throughout the day and at least 40 grams of protein in the morning. Try eggs or Greek yoghurt for breakfast.
  • 7. Consume Natural Salt - Natural salts like Himalayan salt contain many trace minerals, which help to support the adrenals. .
  • 8. Limit the use of stimulants - Coffee and alcohol should be moderated when you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
  • 9. Don’t over-train at the Gym – Excessive Cardio or endurance training is really hard on the adrenals. With adrenal fatigue try a gentler form of exercise.

It can take 6-24 months to reverse adrenal fatigue but at Body Fabulous we can write you a specific plan to support you with your diet and supplementation regime to regain your health and get that energy back again!

The Benefits of Teff

Teff is a versatile grain and can be eaten whole, steamed, boiled or baked. It is high in protein with a great combination of eight essential amino acids needed for the body’s growth and repair. It has high amounts of calcium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin, and vitamin C (which is not normally found in alternative grains like quinoa). The iron from teff is easily absorbed and is also recommended for people with low blood iron levels.

Gluten-Free
Teff is a gluten-free grain so it can be a great alternative for those having gluten intolerance or choosing a gluten-free lifestyle.

Blood Sugars
If you’re diabetic, you might want to consider adding teff to your diet to control blood sugar levels. Teff contains approximately 30% resistant starches and has a relatively low glycemic index (GI) that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels.

Bowels
Teff is also great for helping your bowels move. The fibre content in this tiny little grain (smallest in the world) can help you regulate your bowel movements and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Low Sodium
Teff is also great for those seeking to lower their blood pressure and maintain a heart healthy diet. Unprocessed teff is a better alternative compared with pre-processed, cooked teff which often comes with preservatives or additives that are high in sodium.

Low In Fat
Naturally, this grain is very low in saturated fat.

Tastes Great
Looking very much like poppy seeds, teff has a nutty, grainy taste and texture that can add dimension to your recipes and cooking.

Try it yourself and let me know how you get on!

Juicing Facts

Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, juices are renowned as health-boosting beverages. Along with providing a concentrated source of nutrition, juicing is a convenient way to infuse your diet with healthy plant foods.

Be mindful however that raw fruit juice has a high glycemic index, which means the body processes the carbohydrates quickly. Because of the absence of fiber, the body absorbs the sugar faster than when you eat vegetables or fruits whole. This can lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar, which could result in complications particularly for patients suffering from diabetes and other blood glucose disorders.

You Still Need Fat and Protein. This is not a knock on juicing, unless you’re using it to replace meals. Vegetables are high in some nutrients, but you still need to eat sufficient fat and protein, as well as the vitamins and minerals that are usually found with fat and protein.

Recovering From Cancer

When recovering after cancer treatment be prepared for a change in your palate. Bear in mind that your emotional recovery is just as important as your physical so choose foods kind and gentle to your mood, listen to what your body is asking for. Think about including the following;

Avocados - a rich source of antioxidants which attack free radicals and toxins in your body.

Pulses - provide your body with oestrogen like chemicals that may help block tumour regrowth.

Beetroot - for blood related cancers.

Berries - packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Carrots, kale, eggs, garlic, onions, oily fish, peppers, nuts, seeds, spinach, tomatoes and whole grains

FODMAPS

So this post is for my clients with IBS issues, coeliac disease, Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.

FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligosacchardies Disacardies Mono and Polyols) are a group of naturally occurring sugars that are not easily absorbed in the small intestine. As they are not absorbed they travel down the rest of the digestive tract and arrive at the large intestine where bacteria are present. These bacteria use the unabsorbed sugars (FODMAPS) as a food source. This results in the release of gas which leads to excessive flatulence, gassiness, bloating and abdominal distension and pain.

If you suffer with any of these symptoms you need to avoid the following high FODMAPS;

Sweeteners such as; Honey, sorbitol, xylitol

Cereals & grains such as; bran, wheat, rye, barley, bread, granola, muesli, crackers, pasta, couscous, gnocchi

Fruits such as; apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, figs, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, prunes, watermelon

Legumes such as; beans (all kinds) chickpeas, lentils

Milk & milk products such as; custard, ice cream, soft cheeses, yoghurt

Nuts such as; cashews, pistachios

Vegetables such as; artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, leeks, mangetouts, mushrooms, onions, sugar snaps peas

For further details please do not hesitate to contact me amie@mybodyfabulous.co.uk