7 foods to eat when you have menstrual cramps

Kanak Devnani, Aug 12, 2021

As women, we all know how hard and painful periods can be. While it’s always tempting to reach for a ton of snacks and junk food, they actually do more harm than good. It’s not exactly newsflash that giving your body a little TLC during this time of the month can make your symptoms feel more manageable. While taking a Panadol can help, the right food most of the time is truly the best medicine! So those nachos or sugary treats may give you a momentary treat, but they can increase your cramps over time. More period pain, nausea, and bloating? No, thanks! But don’t worry, we’re here to discuss the best and worst types of foods to eat during your periods. While it can be difficult to break the habit of junk food or resist a craving, we promise you that these foods work not only to counteract menstrual discomfort, but are also good for your overall health.

Keep scrolling to discover the best foods and drinks for menstrual cramps:

Food / drink to eat

1. Water

Nothing better than a refreshing glass of pure water to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water during your periods and staying hydrated helps ease PMS symptoms. You should drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day to reduce bloating and improve digestion.

2. Bananas

From apples and bananas to berries and melons, fruits are a great way to satiate your sweet tooth and treat many symptoms. But the banana really is your hero during this time. Rich in potassium, magnesium, and a high dose of vitamin B6, they can reduce water retention, bloating, regulate digestion, and instantly improve your mood.

3. Salmon

Fish and other shellfish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, are really good for you. Also, it is a great option during periods as you want to avoid overconsumption of meat. Other omega-3-rich foods like walnuts, avocados, pumpkin, and flax seeds are also great for relaxing muscles and relieving pain.

4. Broccoli

Leafy greens are always good for the body, rain or shine. Broccoli contains all the nutrients that help relieve PMS symptoms: magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, B6, and E. So now is not the time to leave it behind! With tons of delicious recipes available online, add broccoli and a few more greens to your plate. This will help fight fatigue and depression.

5. Bitter chocolate

While foods high in sugar are best avoided, we can’t say no to chocolate! Instead, opt for dark chocolate options to satisfy your cravings. A great source of iron and magnesium, dark chocolate also helps regulate serotonin, the happiness hormone.

6 turmeric

The main component of turmeric is curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Add this to your food or drink to relieve tension and bloating.

7. Chamomile tea

Swap your coffee for a relaxing tea. Chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea are some great options. Choose what you want! A good, hot cup of one of the teas removes all stress by relaxing muscle ailments and reducing hormone-related anxiety.

Foods / drinks to avoid

1. Carbonated drinks

High-sugar sodas are a one-way ticket to bloating and water retention. Avoid sparkling water too and stick to plain water to stay hydrated.

2. Caffeine

You may feel sluggish or out of energy during your periods, causing you to reach for that cup of coffee. But in fact, caffeine causes our blood vessels to constrict, which exacerbates menstruation because it has a tightening effect on the uterus.

3. Fried and processed foods

Deep fried foods are full of trans fats and are highly inflammatory, while processed carbohydrate varieties are high in sodium. Which end up being the main culprits for bloating as well. Avoid them if you want to reduce your pain.

4. Legumes and refined cereals

Beans of all kinds can easily cause bloating, so keep them off your plate to reduce your discomfort. Refined grains, on the other hand, interfere with blood sugar and regular appetite control. Alternatively, go for whole foods.

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