Every month, you’re stuck on the sofa with a heating pad when Aunt Flo calls? You’re not alone. Menstrual cramps can be excruciating, but you may be able to alleviate them simply by changing your diet.
Some foods, including one of the world’s favourite desserts, can aid with period discomfort by lowering inflammation and muscular spasms linked with cramps. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, can help relieve cramps. Here’s the skinny on how consuming the appropriate nutrients might help you overcome period discomfort and resume living your best life.
Period cramps (also known as dysmenorrhea) can occur for a variety of causes, the most common of which is inflammation. Increased inflammation in your body can aggravate cramps by raising prostaglandins, which are inflammatory substances that promote uterine contractions while decreasing blood supply to your uterus.
Nevertheless, increasing your consumption of some nutrients, such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in the control of inflammation. One study discovered that taking omega-3 supplements every day for three months lowered the severity of menstruation discomfort. They can even assist if your menstruation is making you unhappy.
- Magnesium. Magnesium, often known as the relaxation mineral, may aid with discomfort by reducing prostaglandins and slowing uterine contractions. Moreover, insufficient magnesium levels are linked to severe PMS symptoms.
- Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a well-known supplement for cramps and PMS treatment. It may assist by increasing the synthesis of neurotransmitters like as serotonin and dopamine, which aid in pain reduction and mood regulation. Taking vitamin B6 with magnesium may be even more beneficial since B6 facilitates magnesium absorption into the cells.
- Iron. Depending on your flow, you may lose a significant amount of blood during your period. Although not everyone needs extra iron, low iron levels can lead to more unpleasant cramps.
- Vitamin E. If you take this fat-soluble vitamin on a regular basis, it may help with cramping. Research on adolescent girls revealed that taking vitamin E for 2 to 3 days before their periods for 4 months reduced pain scores while also lowering the frequency with which they utilised pain medications and total blood loss.
7 greatest cramp-relieving meals
Numerous research on period discomfort looks at nutritional supplementation. Yet, you do not have to take them as supplements to reap their advantages. Consuming meals high in these nutrients naturally can also assist.
Chocolate fans, rejoice. Chocolate’s nutrients distinguish it as a top meal for cramp relief. Secondly, chocolate contains magnesium, which aids in muscular relaxation. This sweet is also high in polyphenols, which are chemical components that reduce inflammation in the body. Chocolate may also boost dopamine production, which can improve your mood.
Additionally, because period cravings are associated with dips in hormones and neurotransmitters, chocolate might help fill the hole while you’re looking through the cabinet for something sweet. Dark chocolate is extremely high in nutrients. For the finest cramp-relieving bar, go for 70% cacao or higher.
Searching for another delicious treat to satisfy your sweet tooth? Take, for example, blackstrap molasses. Although blackstrap molasses is manufactured from sugarcane, it is not as sweet (and it can be an acquired taste). It’s also a lesser-known source of magnesium, with just one tablespoon providing 10% of your daily intake.
In addition, if you have heavy periods, blackstrap molasses is a plant-based source of iron that can help replace your storage. Try it on oatmeal or, if you like the flavour, take it by the spoonful.
According to one study, ginger may be as effective as over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications in reducing inflammation and period discomfort. You can drink ginger tea all month if you like, but you don’t have to. According to an analysis of seven research on ginger and menstruation symptoms, even ingesting ginger powder for the first few days of your period can help.
It also aids digestion and reduces bloating.
Salmon is on almost every list of superfoods for good reason. Rich fish, such as salmon, are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help decrease inflammation and menstrual cramps.
You just need two meals each week, but results might take time, so persistence is essential. If baked salmon isn’t your thing or is too expensive, canned wild salmon is a terrific alternative to tossing over a salad or making salmon burgers. Other fatty fish, such as tuna or sardines, also work.
If you don’t consume (or simply dislike) fish, walnuts are another good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also high in fibre, which can help you stay regular.
This might help relieve period pain since constipation and bloating can aggravate cramping. Snack on a handful or two as a snack, or sprinkle on salad or porridge. Walnut butter is a delicious nut butter substitute.
Turmeric is a vivid yellow spice that may be found in a variety of Asian and Middle Eastern recipes. Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, may assist greatly with period cramps, mood, and other PMS symptoms.
One research discovered that consuming turmeric supplements helped reduce inflammation and supported neurotransmitter production to aid with pain relief. Adding turmeric to your cuisine is a good start, but you may need to supplement to receive enough to make a difference in your symptoms.
Leaves of greens
Including spinach on your menu may help you have a less unpleasant period. Iron is found in leafy greens, which helps to repair menstrual losses. Greens are also high in fibre and contain a variety of phytochemicals that help to reduce general inflammation. Include a variety of greens throughout the month, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard.