14-year old Mary woke up one morning to a pain slowly building up in her lower abdomen which she can only ignore for so long before it becomes unbearable. Even though this is a monthly occurrence, she still has not learned how to deal with the pain. For some girls, the pain further leads to nausea or diarrhea. To relieve some of the pain, our mothers may suggest pressing a hot water bottle on our lower stomach or back.
While there are many painkillers available in the pharmacy, consuming them for an extended period can have side-effects. Long before these medicines came into existence, women used some alternatives to relieve them of period cramps; one was by changing their dietary needs. Through this blog, I would like to provide you a list of foods that you can include in your diet to say goodbye to your period pain.
1. Dark Chocolate
I know that we crave sweets and candies when we’re menstruating, but excessive sugar is not a solution to cramps. In fact, it might just make the pain worse. Instead of binging on chocolates, try to eat dark chocolate (60% or more cocoa). It is said to relieve you of period cramps.
Apart from being a healthy start to your day, they are loaded with zinc and magnesium which are known for their pain-relieving properties. So having a bowl of oats for breakfast is an excellent way not just to keep your weight in check but also your cramps.
It helps relieve period pain by lowering the level of prostaglandins that cause pain. Ginger can be consumed whole or grated. For those who find it challenging to take ginger in its natural form, you can brew it in a pot of tea with or without honey.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark, leafy greens make for a fiber-filled and vitamin-rich diet. They contain essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron that are otherwise lost during menstruation. It also helps reduce bloating.
Bananas are rich in potassium and Vitamin B6 which reduce water retention in the body during your period. You can eat a whole banana or include it in your breakfast cereal.
Munching on a handful of almonds after your breakfast can help you reduce cramps because they contain Vitamin E that can help regulate periods. You can also soak almonds overnight and eat them the next morning on an empty stomach.
They contain bromelain which is an enzyme that reduces swelling by relaxing the uterus muscles. It also reduces bloating. You can eat pineapples whole or drink pineapple juice twice in a day.
Salmon is rich in essential fatty acids like Omega 3s and Vitamin D which considerably reduce symptoms of PMS and act as an antidepressant too.
Various studies suggest that consuming caffeine during your menstruation can further worsen the cramps as it constricts the blood vessels. Instead, try drinking herbal beverages like green tea or chamomile tea as they help flush out the toxins from the body and ease cramps.
They are rich in Vitamin D, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E that has been proven to help women relieve cramps. Since eggs are an excellent source of Vitamin D, women need to load up on calcium to avoid bloating during menstruation.
Go ahead and try implementing one or more of these into your diet not only for a pain free-period but also a healthier life.