What Food Helps With Period Cramps: 10 Best Foods to Eat

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Want to know what food helps with period cramps?

Menstruation or periods is a natural biological process in which blood and tissue from your uterus come out of your vagina.

This happens once a month, one of the most common signs of puberty in girls. The onset of periods in girls is nature’s way of preparing girls for pregnancy.

The ovaries release the egg once a month during the ovulation period and are ready for fertilization.

If it becomes fertilized by a sperm, then it leads to pregnancy. However, if the egg remains unfertilized, the lining breaks down, and the blood comes out of the body through periods.

What are Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps are cramping pains in the lower abdomen just before and during your periods.

During your periods, the muscles of your womb contract and relax to help shed the built uterine lining. When you experience pain, it means your muscles are at work.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome refers to mood, behavior, emotions, and physical health changes. It has a wide variety of signs and symptoms. It is estimated that every 3 women out of 4 women experience PMS.

However, some women do not even know when they are experiencing the symptoms of PMS.

Premenstrual symptoms include acne, depression, headache, mood swings, anxiety, sore breasts, muscle cramps, constipation, bloating water retention, diarrhea, pain in the back, lower abdomen, and joints, excessive hunger, lack of concentration, weight gain, and many more.

For every woman, the symptoms vary from each other. They might be unnoticeable, sometimes. However, you don’t have to worry about it, and do not let it control your life. The simple changes in your lifestyle will help you to deal with your PMS.

The exact cause of PMS is not clear yet. However, there are some reasons which are believed to be the cause for it. Some of the causes of Premenstrual Syndrome are discussed below:

what food helps with period cramps
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  1. The decline in hormone levels: We do know that levels of estrogen and progesterone drop during the time of your month. According to many doctors, this decline in hormone levels may trigger the symptoms of PMS.
  2. Chemical Changes in the Brain: The neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine have several impacts on your brain and your body. They also have important functions, such as regulating mood, emotions, and behavior. Any change in these transmitters might also trigger PMS.
  3. Life Style Factors: Certain lifestyle habits may also lead to PMS. These lifestyle habits include excessive drinking, lack of sleep, smoking, lack of physical activity, not eating a balanced diet, and many more. Changes in these habits might help you to improve symptoms of PMS.
  4. Depression and other existing mental health conditions: Living with a mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder can also lead to PMS.

PMS symptoms might start anytime after your ovulation period and last up to 5 days or until your menstruation.

If you cannot control your pmsing, it’s time to see a doctor. There are many diseases associated with it. Please see a doctor as soon as possible and at the right time, so you don’t have to regret anything.

What Food Helps With Period Cramps?

There is nothing much you can do if you experience little pain in your lower body during your menstrual cycle. It is a common and normal part of your menstrual cycle. However, for some people, the pain is just unbearable.

Some women might experience other symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, muscle and body pain, headache, and nausea.

In cases like these, it becomes necessary for women to take a healthy diet to make their menstrual cramps a little bearable. Below is the foods that help reduce menstrual pain during your cycle.

Water

Water! Water! Water! How often has your mom told you to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily? Did you listen to her? If yes, it is great for you.

If you didn’t, it is time for you to listen to her and start drinking 10-12 glasses of water every day. It becomes even more important to drink water during your menstrual cycle.

It has many benefits. The most important thing is that you will stay hydrated for the whole day and reduce dehydration headaches. Drinking lots of water will reduce bloating too.

Leafy Green Vegetable

Nothing is healthier than leafy green vegetables to eat during your menstrual cycle. It is seen that many women experience a reduction in their iron levels which also causes body fatigue and body pain.

Eating iron-rich foods can help increase your body levels which might reduce body and muscle pain. The iron reduction can increase if you have high menstrual flow. It also helps in muscle tension.

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, broccoli, collards, and many more.

Dark Chocolate

Many women crave chocolate during their periods. However, chocolate contains lots of sugar. In cases like these, we have dark chocolate for rescue. Eating dark chocolates during your periods might help you with your mood swings.

It is also rich in iron and magnesium. A study found that women with magnesium deficiencies are more likely to have PMS symptoms.

Peppermint Tea

Replace your caffeine intake with a much healthier option, Peppermint tea. It was discovered in research that peppermint tea could reduce PMS symptoms and can reduce menstrual pain and nausea.

Ginger Tea

It has been proved that a cup of ginger tea helps improve severe PMS symptoms. It contains inflammatory effects, which are useful in soothing period cramps. Moreover, it can also help you with bloating issues and nausea.

There are many benefits of this but have side effects too. It can increase your metabolism and will help you with weight loss. However, consuming too much ginger can lead to heartburn and stomaches.

Nuts

If you like eating nuts during your periods, you might try eating almond-based cookies or maybe add these nuts to your smoothies. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. They are also a great source of magnesium and vitamins.

Yogurt

Many women complain about the yeast infection they get during or before their periods. In this case, yogurt can prove to be helpful.

Foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt can nourish the good bacteria in your vagina and help you to fight infections. Moreover, it is also rich in magnesium and other important nutrients.

Tofu

Tofu is one of the best sources of proteins, and you should include it in your diet, especially during your periods. The best part of Tofu is that it is vegan, so even the people who are vegan can consume it.

Fruits

Water-rich fruits such as cucumbers and watermelons will ensure you stay hydrated all day. Sugary foods such as bananas, mangoes, cherries, oranges, and grapes might be helpful to curb your sugar craving without actually eating unhealthy and lots of unrefined sugars.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin c, which will help boost iron absorption. Moreover, it is also rich in fiber, which can be considered the best food for preventing muscle spasms.

Other foods that you can include in your diet are eggs, salmon, fish, chicken, turmeric, flax seeds, foods that are rich in iron levels, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Foods To Avoid During Periods

Certain foods can cause a lot more discomfort in your menstrual cycle. So, it is better to avoid these foods, especially in your cycle.

Too Much Sugar

It is okay to consume sugar healthily, but overeating sugar during your periods might worsen your mood. If you are experiencing mood swings, you must look at your sugar consumption once. Consuming less sugar will help you with your mood swings.

Red Meat

Red meat is highly rich in prostaglandins. During your periods, your body produces enough prostaglandins to help your uterus contract and thus result in menstrual flow.

However, a high level of prostaglandins might result in unbearable cramps. So, it is better to avoid ret meat during your periods.

Spicy Foods

Most women crave spicy foods during their periods; however, it is advisable to avoid them for your health. Most people can’t even tolerate spicy food, which might upset their stomachs.

You won’t be willing to take this risk on your periods, would you? So, to be on the better side, avoid spicy foods.

Excessive Salt

It is healthy to consume salt healthily. It is necessary for your Iodine intake. However, consuming lots of salts, especially during periods, can lead to water retention, which causes bloating.

Feeling bloated may also lead to unbearable period pain. For this, reduce the amount of salt in your food and avoid highly processed food that contains a lot of Sodium.

Milk and Other Dairy Products

Milk and other dairy products are very important for your body. However, including these in your diet while on your periods might not give you the desired result. The saturated fat in the dairy products might increase inflammation, which might intensify your period cramps.

It is necessary to consume dairy products and milk in a healthy dose so that there is no calcium deficiency in your body.

Processed Foods

Everyone loves to eat processed food. However, the best thing is to avoid them when you are on your periods.

Processed foods and other items are made with lots of chemicals and preservatives, which might increase water retention and make you feel bloated. Moreover, a high amount of sodium in your diet is always bad for your health, but it is worse when you are on your periods.

Other foods you should avoid are alcohol, caffeine, Soy products, refined grains, high-fat food, and many more.

Other Remedies to Ease Menstrual Cramps

The best way to ease cramps is to use heating pads. Keep anything warm on your belly, like a heating pad, warm cloth, or hot water bottle. Evidence suggests that heat therapy is the best way to ease symptoms of menstrual pain.

The next thing you can do is massage your muscles around your belly and abdomen area with essential oils. However, it is suggested that you should always dilute your essential oil with carrier oil.

Be active during your periods. Many women do not even like to get up on their periods. However, certain yoga poses will help you to reduce the pain intensity. There is no proper evidence for this, but Science believes that experiencing orgasms during your periods can help with your cramps.

This is because your vaginal orgasms involve all of your body, including your spinal cord. The spinal Cord signals the release of neurotransmitters, and your vaginal orgasm can trigger your brain to release neurotransmitters such as endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphins that are released during your orgasms can reduce pain.

If it is still unbearable, you can take a pain relief medicine after consulting a doctor.

If home remedies do not work out for you, it’s time for you to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Summing up, your body needs a healthy diet when you are on your period. The best way to survive period pain is to opt for a light but nutrient-rich foods. However, you can not ignore water. Water is life, and drink at least 8 glasses of water every day even when you are not on your periods.

Avoid skipping meals, as feeling hungry or fasting will only worsen your mood swings and menstrual pain. Take a warm bath and keep your body active. However, don’t forget to take a rest and peaceful sleep of 7 hours.

Be kind to your body and stay comfortable. You can bear your periods every month with these simple little tips.

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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