Period pain. Lawd. Could there be something that is more annoying, especially since it happens every 28-30 days? Like, c'mon. If you've ever wondered about the science behind it all, basically, we need our uterus to contract, so that it can shed the lining that accumulated, just in case we conceived in between cycles. And so, what basically happens is, the prostaglandins levels in our system increase which trigger inflammation and also period pain, so that the blood is able to flow from our bodies.
When the cramping and total discomfort begin to set in, while your first inclination may be to pop as many ibuprofens as you can (because they are anti-inflammatories in medicine form), did you know that there are certain drinks that can help to ease what you are going through too? So, the next time you head out to stock up on pads, tampons, over the-counter-meds and whatever else can get you through, get at least two of these 10 drinks as well. I've tried several before and can vouch for the fact that they make periods easier to deal with. Thank the Lord.
1. Orange Juice
When it comes to this topic, orange juice is a good place to start. That's because it's loaded with Vitamin C while also being a good source of protein, folate and potassium. As far as general health benefits go, orange juice is good for you because it is high in antioxidants, improves your digestive health, assists with preventing kidney-related diseases, keeps your eyesight in great shape (thanks to the beta-carotene that is in it) and, the flavonoids (hesperidin and anthocyanins) that are in orange juice, they even help to regenerate damaged cells. The magnesium that's also in orange juice can make period cramping less intense. Plus, its potassium can help to decrease the amount of bleeding that you do as well as help with making period pain less intense.
2. Oat Milk
Although I'm a fan of almond milk (when it comes to how it tastes), once I discovered how bad it is for the environment (you can read more about what goes into making almond milk here), I switched over to oat milk. I have absolutely no regrets either. Oat milk is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin B12, calcium and phosphorus. If you happen to be vegan and happen to have a nut allergy, because it's only made of oats and water, it's totally fine for you to drink. Plus, it's great for your bone health, can help to lower your cholesterol levels, will increase your energy levels, support the health of your blood cells and, thanks to all of the fiber in it, oat milk can keep you regular too.
And what does oat milk do for period pain? Well, two other nutrients that are found in oat milk are magnesium and zinc. This combo can reduce the uterine contractions that lead to cramping while helping to settle your nerves so that you can rest easier at night.
3. Cinnamon Tea
If you like tea that is a bit on the spicy 'n sweet side, look no further than cinnamon tea. As far as health benefits go, it's packed with antioxidants, helps to lower your blood sugar levels, assists with eliminating bacteria and fungal overgrowth and can even improve your skin by fighting signs of aging and reducing breakouts. The reason why it's so dope to drink when you're on your period is because cinnamon tea contains properties that reduce bodily inflammation which can help to decrease menstrual-related discomfort and bleeding. Awesome.
4. Banana and Kiwi Smoothies
While my periods aren't rough on the pain tip, the second day of my flow is so ridiculous that sometimes I'm too tired to do a lot of cooking. That's where smoothies come in because they are quick and easy to make yet, depending what you put in them, they are still loaded with nutrients. Take a banana and kiwi smoothie, for example. Bananas are good for you because they are full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and some vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese. All of this helps to improve your digestive health, regulate your blood sugar, prevent muscle cramping and increase kidney health. Plus, the dopamine in bananas is helpful when it comes to keeping you in a positive mood. The Vitamin B6, along with the potassium in them can make cramping less severe.
As far as kiwi goes, talk about a little fruit that packs a powerful punch! Kiwi has fiber, copper, potassium, antioxidants, vitamins C, E, K and so much more in it. Also, kiwi has a reputation for easing asthma-related symptoms, regulating blood pressure, improving digestion, boosting immunity and helping to prevent chronic diseases from setting in. It's awesome when it comes to your period because the properties in kiwi can also help to prevent blood clotting. If your period pain is directly related to clotting, I'm sure you can see why this is certainly good news to know.
Kombucha is a fermented form of green or black tea which definitely makes it an acquired taste. Still, it's one of the healthiest drinks around because it's loaded with antioxidants, is powerful when it comes to getting rid of bad bacteria in your system, it's great at helping to manage type 2 diabetes, it can reduce your heart disease risk and, it can even help to slow down the growth of cancer cells. There are two main reasons why it's so beneficial when you're on your period. First, something else that kombucha contains a high amount of is B vitamins. This is good to know because they can help to stabilize your moods. Also, there are tons of probiotics in this kind of drink which makes it something that can bring balance to your hormones so that period-related discomfort is less, well, uncomfortable.
6. Dark Chocolate Milk
It's kinda crazy that something as good as dark chocolate comes with as many nutrients that it does. It's got a ton of fiber and also has an unbelievable amount of iron, magnesium, copper, antioxidants and manganese. It's also a good source of zinc, potassium and selenium. Because properties in dark chocolate can help to relax your arteries, it has a way of increasing easier blood circulation/flow, lowering your blood pressure, improving your brain function, protecting your skin from damaging sun rays and decreasing your stroke risk.
Period-wise, the potassium and zinc can soothe uterine contractions and the iron can replace some of it that's lost during your cycle. And, since calcium assists with reducing bloating and fatigue, whether you opt for milk or a milk alternative, dark chocolate milk is a delicious way to bring much period-related relief.
7. Watermelon Smoothies
Whenever I think of the health benefits of consuming watermelon, the first thing I think about is how it has a reputation for being "the all-natural Viagra", thanks to the amino acid called citrulline in it that helps to relax blood vessels. Anyway, some of its other pluses include the fact that it's got a good amount of vitamins A, C and also Vitamin E (which is great because it has anti-inflammatory properties in it). Watermelon also contains compounds that help to fight cancer, improve heart health, reduce stress, decrease muscle soreness and improve the quality of your skin. If smoothies are totally your thing, a watermelon smoothie while you're on your period absolutely won't hurt a bit since it is able to hydrate you and help to increase easy blood flow, so that your cramping won't be quite as painful.
8. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is another spicy kind of tea that is really good around "that time of the month". That's because it also has anti-inflammatory properties in it, along with pain-relieving ones that can make cramps more tolerable and bloating less noticeable. Some other benefits of this particular kind of tea include the fact that it can help to reduce your blood pressure, ease the pain that's associated with headaches and migraines, aid in weight loss, soothe feelings related to nausea and, because it also has a lot of antioxidants in it, it can help to boost your immunity too.
One thing that your period tends to do is dehydrate you. And so, if you're someone who, as soon as your cramps set in, the first thing you think is "Damn, I need a drink", try and go for a mocktail (an alcohol-free drink) instead of an actual cocktail. The reason why is because alcohol can sho 'nuf dehydrate you and, when that happens, it can lead to headaches, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, increased cramping and all sorts of other drama. While we're here, also avoid sugary drinks during this time of the month because they can have your moods being all over the place. That said, even when it comes to your mocktails, try and go with ones that don't have loads of sugar in them. Your period will certainly thank you.
We're made up of over 60 percent water so, of course, our system needs it. This is especially the case during our period since we tend to lose body fluids which can make period pain that much worse. If you add to this the fact that water also flushes out toxins, helps to keep you regular, boosts energy levels, protects organs and tissues, cushions joints, keeps your body temperature stabilized, aids in digestion, supports weight loss, clears skin and treats headaches — if you drink nothing else on this list, make sure to get no less than 6-8 glasses of water. It will definitely do a body good…especially when you're on your period.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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