Avoid Sugary Foods! Expert Cautions Women With Menstrual Cramps

Dr Arikawe Adeolu, a Medical Practitioner at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, said women who avoided sugary foods before their menstruation would experience less cramps.

Adeolu said this in an interview in Abuja.

He said that research revealed that sugar increased the level of inflammation in the body thereby increasing the production of prostaglandin which was responsible for menstrual cramps.

He said to reduce the intensity of cramps during the menstrual cycle one need to control the excess production of prostaglandin in the body.

“There are Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) that can block the production of prostaglandin like Diclofenac and Ibuprofen.

“If you are expecting your menstrual cycle in two to three days time you can begin taking anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent the body from producing excess amounts of prostaglandin.

“If you wait to take the medication when the period has already commenced, the drugs will not have the effect they would have had if you had taken them two days to the commencement of menstruation.

“Once menstruation kicks in, it means the prostaglandin has been produced which will cause contraction of the muscles of the uterus leading to cramping,” Adeolu said.

He said that although the drugs could reduce cramps during menstruation significantly one could develop health complications from ingesting them if not properly taken as prescribed by a physician.

He therefore, advised that the drugs be taken with food and not for more than two to three days before the menstrual cycle commenced.

He also advised those not interested in taking medication to adjust their diet especially around the cycle in order to help reduce the pain when the period starts.

According to him, refined foods made with flour and sugar should be avoided before the period commences and also one can consume foods rich in vitamins E, D and calcium.

Adeolu said that the intensity of menstrual cramps experienced by women differed from person to person, adding that the cramps reduced in intensity as the menstruation progressed.

“What causes these cramps in the first place is the cyclical hormonal change in women which is responsible for the menstrual cycle.

“Once your menstruation begins, oestrogen starts building up. At your mid cycle you ovulate and when this occurs progesterone is produced.

“The progesterone tries to maintain the uterus in a favourable condition to receive a fertilised egg but if after about nine days the egg is not fertilised the ‘corpus luteum cyst’ which produces the progesterone shrinks and dies.

“If for any reason the egg is fertilised, the egg produces some signal to maintain the corpus luteum cyst telling the uterus to be in a state of readiness for pregnancy,” Adeolu said.

He said that when the progesterone production ceased, prostaglandin starts being produced thereby causing the muscles of the uterus to contract leading to cramping and shedding of the endometrium.

However, the expert said some individuals produced more prostaglandin than others, adding that such persons often experienced severe menstrual cramps.

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How to Make Healthy Home-Made Peanut Butter

Peanut is a delicious and nutritious nut that everyone can snack on. It can be eaten alone or use as a compliment to other foods.

In Nigeria, many people do different food combinations with groundnut. Some of which are garri (cassava flakes) and groundnut, garden egg and groundnut, boli ( smoked plantain) and groundnut, peanut butter for the bread. It is even used for cooking soup too.

Today, you will be learning how to make home-made peanut butter that is natural with no sugar, salt or preservatives.


  • Raw or already roasted Groundnuts (of your desired quantity)
  • Garri
  • Salt

Method ( Roasting)

You should follow this procedure if you starting to make your peanut from the scratch

  • Pick stones from the raw groundnuts and soak in hot water until the water changes colour
  • Drain the water out, sprinkle a little salt and spread it on a tray out in the sun or oven. Dry until the wetness disappears. Roast in a pot or a pan
  • To make roast the groundnuts, preheat the pan by placing it on fire for a few minute before sprinkling the garri instead of sand in it.
  • Add your groundnut and stir on 5-minute interval so that it would roast evenly
  • Let it roast until you are satisfied till you get the level of brownness you want.
  • Remove it from pan and place in a colander or sieve for it to cool
  • After some minutes, you can taste it to enjoy your crunchy peanut


  • After the destoning, selection, soaking and salting of the peanuts which has been explained in details above.
  • You need to preheat your oven to about 350 degrees
  • Pour the already salted groundnut into your oven pan
  • Stir on a five minutes interval and let it roast for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Allow it cool for some minutes and store in an airtight container to help it remain crunchy.

Peanut Butter

After your roasted peanut is ready before it gets to room temperature, pour it into a clean cloth and dehusk by rubbing the clothes together. The crispier it is the easier it would be when grinding

  • Blow out the husk and place the groundnut into your food processor or mixer.
  • You can add other things like salt, sugar and pepper powder (this is optional).
  •  Do not fill the mixer jar to the brim with your peanuts.
  •  First, pulse it, then increase the speed of your food processor or mixer to make it into a smooth paste
  • When it cools, store in a plastic or glass airtight containers
  • Peanut butter can be stored for 2-4 weeks in a refrigerator and up to 6 months in a freezer.
  • Ensure that you stir the peanut butter thoroughly before every use.
  • Peanut is good for everyone (as long as you do not have allergies). It can be used as a weaning food for babies and a perfect accompaniment for finger foods, spread and cereals.

Note: If you are using a store-bought roasted peanut, you can toast and stir in a pan for about 5 minutes. Then pour it into the food processor for a good wipe into peanut butter.

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