Stress, hormonal imbalance, medication, and even rigorous exercising – any of these reasons can make you profusely bleed during your periods. Heavy bleeding during periods is termed as menorrhagia. But the problem arises when there is prolonged bleeding that often leads to iron deficiency.
According to gynecologists, menorrhagia is so severe in certain cases that it can lead to anemia in some females. Iron is a critical nutrient. as it is responsible for the creation of red blood cells (RBCs) in your body. Low levels of RBCs lead to fatigue, fast heart rate, and shortness of breath.
“Iron is much-needed during menstruation, as there is a blood loss. Periods can cause iron-deficiency anaemia if the iron you lose during the cycle is not replaced by the iron in the diet. Heavy menstrual cycle does not mean that you will be anaemic , unless your diet is deficient in iron-rich foods. Hence, adding iron supplements or even iron-rich food to the diet can be a good idea,” says Priya Palan, a dietitian working with Zen Multispecialty Hospital, Mumbai.
1. Dark green leafy vegetables like amaranth leaves, parsley, radish leaves, and drumstick leaves are good sources of iron. You can either use them in a salad or make soup out of them. Within 10 to 15 days, you will see a major spike in the iron levels.
2. Dates, raisins (black) and dried apricot are loaded with iron, magnesium, and calcium that help you build a strong immune system.
3. Seeds such as sesame, garden cress, and sunflower are power-packed foods containing nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and folate that can help enhance the hemoglobin levels.
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4. Add whole cereals and millets such as amaranth seeds, and quinoa. Also, you will be surprised to know that sprouting enhances the nutritional value of a food. So, add sprouted pulses such as channa, lentils, and soybean in your diet, as they are a great source of iron.
5. Add foods rich in vitamin C such as lime, capsicum, orange juice, and amla to enhance the iron absorption in your body.
“A nutritious diet is key to good health. A balance of macro and micro nutrients helps to overcome period symptoms such as cramps, pain, fatigue, etc. during the menstrual cycle. So, keep a tab on your diet and include all the above foods to have a pain-free and happy period,” concludes Priya.