Sometimes, as your period approaches, you just want to treat yourself to some comfort food. A hot, fresh slice of pizza can be just the thing to make you feel better about your impending period symptoms. However, did you know that if you construct your pizza correctly, you can actually help fight off many common PMS symptoms? If you are looking for period relief, consider ordering a pizza with the following five items.
Pile on the Pineapple
Pineapple can affect your period in several ways. It can increase general blood flow, which may be negative for most women. However, the bromelain in pineapples can help induce an early period. If you have particularly bad PMS and feel bloated or irritable until your period begins, you may be able to encourage it to begin sooner by eating extra pineapple. Bromelain also has the potential to relax muscles, reducing period cramps.
While pineapples may not suit every menstruating woman's needs, it shouldn't hurt to give a Hawaiian pizza with extra pineapple a try to see if it helps you.
Slip in Some Spinach
Spinach is packed with several nutrients and vitamins. Particularly important for your period, it is considered an excellent source of both B6 and iron. The average woman loses 15-25 ml of iron during her period, which needs to be replenished by eating healthy, iron-rich foods. While you have several choices, one of the most common pizza toppings that will give you your iron boost is spinach. A good second choice is artichoke hearts.
B6, along with B12, are two of the most important vitamins for menstrual health. Proper amounts of B6 can help reduce fluid retention, irritability, cravings, fatigue, and breast pain. Adding spinach or other leafy greens to your pizza can help you increase your intake of B6 naturally, without supplements.
Opt for Whole Grain Crust
When selecting your crust, consider a whole grain option if your favorite pizza place offers it. Small amounts of carbohydrates eaten regularly throughout your period, which will be found in any type of pizza crust, has been known to reduce PMS symptoms. However, whole grain options have the added benefit of extra magnesium, which can reduce neuromuscular tension, making your cramps less painful. A whole grain crust will also give you more B vitamins which, as stated earlier, is an important tool to ease many period symptoms.
Choose the Right Cheese
Dairy can sometimes exacerbate period problems in women. While extra cheese may seem like a warm, gooey comfort food during your period, if you have issues with dairy you may want to ask for little or no cheese on your pizza. Alternatively, cheese from animals other than cows, such as goat or sheep cheese are less likely to incite problems during your period. If you cannot imagine your pizza without cheese, opt for a specialty cheese such as feta rather than traditional mozzarella.
Slather on More Sauce
Tomatoes are an excellent food to help regulate your period. The high levels of potassium in tomatoes can help reduce symptoms of bloating. Tomatoes also contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may help reduce other period symptoms, as well. Feel free to ask for extra sauce for your pizza or to order a side of sauce to dip your crust in.
Whether you order in or go out to your favorite pizza restaurant, it is important to remember to pair your perfect period pizza with sides that also support menstrual health. For example, opt for water as opposed to beer or a caffeinated beverage and consider a salad as a side to boost your nutrient intake.