Top nutritional tricks to keep that belly flat
Urgh, bloating. How we do hate you. But there are a few nutritional tricks you can follow during your period to keep it at bay. Here are five of the most important to follow…
1.Load up on protein
Protein acts like a natural diuretic to help you get rid of any extra water you’re retaining.
As well as getting it into your main meals, include it in snacks, like an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a slice of cheese, to stave off mid-afternoon cravings.
2. Eat smaller portions throughout the day
This is important to stop yourself feeling too full. Large meals tend to be very carbohydrate and fat-heavy, which will only exacerbate the sense of feeling bloated.
Instead of your normal three square meals, eating a low-volume meal every 4-5 five hours will help stop hunger and keep bloat at bay. Opt for small bites such as natural yoghurt with berries, a two-egg spinach and mushroom omelette, a salad with some grilled chicken, tuna on two slices on crisp breads or vegetable sticks and houmous.
3. Increase your intake of iron
If you’re losing blood, you’re also losing iron, so it’s important to make sure you’re compensating for this in your diet.
Iron rich foods include lentils, spinach, white rice, beef, kidney beans, tomatoes and chickpeas so try and introduce these into your diet to help keep your body happy.
4. Keep a coffee to hand
Not only does coffee give you the caffeine hit you need to ward off PMS-induced lethargy, but it can also help ease cramps. This is why you’ll find caffeine in many period relief tablets such as Feminax.
What’s more, coffee is also a natural diuretic that will help dispel any annoying excess water retention.
5. Keep snacks simple
When it comes to bloating, salt is the enemy as it causes your body to retain water. Stick to natural, unprocessed foods to keep tummies flat when you’re on your period as they tend to contain lower levels of sodium. Whole foods, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, are what you should be aiming to eat.
Remember: snacking applies to what you drink as well as what you eat. Avoid sugary and carbonated drinks which only worsen bloating. Instead stick to still water, which will help you stay hydrated without ingesting extra gas.