Period cramps can be a real pain, but did you know that certain foods can help alleviate the discomfort? While there isn't a lot of research to back up individual foods as cramp-relieving remedies, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins may help manage period pain In this blog, we'll explore some of the best foods to eat during your period to help relieve cramps.
Period pain, also known as dysmenorrhea, is the medical term for painful menstrual periods. It happens because your uterus contracts to shed its lining. Women who have painful periods may have higher levels of natural chemicals than normal, which cause contractions of the uterus, bowel, and blood vessels. The pain can be felt in the lower abdomen, back, and thighs, and may consist of cramping, a constant ache, or sharp, intermittent spasms of pain. Other symptoms may include nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea, headaches, feeling sick, digestive problems, sore breasts, and a swollen abdomen
Foods that Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to protect itself from harm, but chronic inflammation can lead to various diseases. Eating a healthy diet with anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation in the body. Here are some of the best foods to fight inflammation:
Foods that fight inflammation:
- Fruits and vegetables: Go for variety and lots of colour. Research shows that vitamin K-rich leafy greens like spinach and kale reduce inflammation, as do broccoli and cabbage. Berries, cherries, raspberries, and blackberries contain anti-oxidants that help reduce inflammation.
- Whole grains: Oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and other unrefined grains tend to be high in fibre, which can help with inflammation.
- Beans: They're high in fibre, loaded with anti-oxidants, and other anti-inflammatory substances
How Foods Change Hormones?
Food affects hormones by providing the nutrients needed to maintain healthy body systems, including the production, metabolism, and detoxification of hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that control a number of systems, such as metabolism, immune system, menstrual cycle, and reproduction. Consuming certain foods can provide the nutrients that we need to facilitate the production of hormones
Top 6 Foods to Relieve Period Pain
Here are the top 6 foods to relieve period pain :
- Bananas: Rich in fibre and vitamin B6, bananas can help reduce bloating and ease menstrual cramps.
- Dark chocolate: Contains magnesium, which can help relax muscles and reduce cramping.
- Leafy greens: Packed with calcium, leafy greens like kale and broccoli can help relieve muscle tension during cramping.
- Ginger: Has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with period cramps.
- Pineapple: Contains vitamins that help relax muscles, making it a great solution for combatting menstrual cramps.
- Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce period pain
Drinks for Period Pain Relief
Here are some drinks that can help relieve period pain:
- Orange juice: Oranges are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium that can help eliminate period cramps and pain.
- Tamarind turmeric drink: Tamarind turmeric is believed to be one of the most effective drinks for relieving pain during menstruation. It contains natural spices that can help reduce stomach cramps.
- Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea may help reduce bloating and pain associated with menstrual cramps. The menthol in peppermint may help reduce uterine contractions, thereby reducing cramping.
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with period cramps.
- Ginger and lemon tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with period cramps. Lemon can help reduce bloating and improve digestion.
- Warm water: Drinking warm water can help relax the muscles and reduce cramping
Period pain can be managed by eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research has shown that both a vegetarian and plant-based eating pattern work to decrease inflammation in the body. Drinking plenty of water and incorporating anti-inflammatory drinks like orange juice, tamarind turmeric drink, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, ginger and lemon tea, warm water, parsley tea, and cinnamon tea can also help alleviate cramps. It's also important to avoid inflammatory foods like processed and high-sugar foods, fatty, greasy foods, and caffeine, which can increase inflammation and worsen period pain.
Q: What makes period cramps worse?
A: Certain factors can worsen period cramps, such as high tension levels, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive caffeine intake, and hormonal imbalances.
Q: What helps period pains naturally?
A: Natural remedies for period pains include applying heat to the abdomen, taking over-the-counter pain relievers (like ibuprofen), practising relaxation techniques, engaging in light exercise, using herbal remedies (such as ginger or chamomile), and maintaining a healthy diet.
Q: What should we not do during periods?
A: During periods, it's generally advised to avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, smoking, eating unhealthy foods high in salt and sugar, skipping meals, wearing tight clothing, and neglecting personal hygiene.
What Helps Menstrual Cramps: 6 Home Remedies and OTC Options to Manage Pain, By The Healthline Editorial Team, on February 7, 2023
Stay Informed, Stay Healthy!
Get the best of health & wellness with our brands - Mars & Saturn. We believe in providing evidence-based, quality products & services that positively impact your personal well-being. That's why we've put together a team of experts to create informative & educational content related to various health topics. From skincare tips & advice on sleep habits to the latest news on sexual performance & personal hygiene, we strive to keep you informed & equipped with the knowledge you need to live your best life.