Eating well during menstruation helps a woman a great deal; one of the ways to relieve menstrual pains is by eating well.
In this article, we will be looking at how food can help ease pain and help the body to go through menstruation without stress.
- Some foods have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasm properties that reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
- There provide the body with iron and other minerals to replenish lost blood.
- Some foods have calming and soothing effects which helps in subsiding or eliminating the symptoms of menstrual pain like bloating and nausea.
Top Fruits to Eat During Your Period
Bananas: This is one of the best sources of potassium; they also contain good amount of vitamin B6 which helps in lifting bad moods. Potassium in Bananas also helps in regulating bowel movement which a lot of women struggle with when menstruating, it also reduces bloating and water retention experienced during menstruation.
This fruit is also a natural sleep aid due to its melatonin content that helps in regulating the body’s natural rhythm; eating it before going to bed provides a good night sleep. Most women can’t sleep well during their periods and lack of sleep can increase the symptoms of menstrual pains.
Watermelons: this rich sugary fruits reduces sugar cravings by giving your body natural sugar, it also eliminates bloating and diarrhea; it also supplies the body with lots of fiber.
Pineapples: Bromelain, an enzyme present in pineapples helps in relaxing the muscles and fights cramps. To get more of this Bromelain you can try eating the stem though it is not sweet as the flesh but it is edible.
Avocados: This fruit is very rich in Magnesium which helps a woman overcomes her cramps and stabilizes her moods.
Top Vegetables to Eat During Your Period
Spinach: This plant contains lots of Iron, vitamin B6, E and Magnesium which helps in fighting menstrual cramps, promoting production of blood to replace the quantity lost during menstruation and supplying the body with lots of fiber.
Parsley: The active compound Apiol stimulates menstruation and relieves menstrual cramps.
Kale: This plant is usually the best source of Calcium; it also has the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity which makes it very ‘effective in removing free radicals from the body that causes all kinds of health problems.
Broccoli: This plant that is 91% water helps to supply the body with pure water; its high fiber content helps to fight bloating, puffiness, gas and fatigue. It is also a rich source of Vitamins A, C, B6, Magnesium and potassium that helps in alleviating period pains.
Dark green leafy vegetables in general contain iron which helps in to replace lost blood. They also supply fiber to the body to aid healthy digestion of food and ease bowel movement during menstruation.
Top Foods to Eat During Your Period
Eggs: Eggs are good sources of vitamin D apart from sunlight; research has proved that low levels of vitamin D in the body leads to period cramps. During your period, expose yourself to rays of the sun especially during sunrise and sunset.
Salmon: Salmons are rich in omega-3-fatty acids which help in relaxing the muscles, make your nerve calm and treat cramps.
Dark chocolate: This has anti-oxidants and Magnesium which helps in regulating Serotonin, a chemical in the brain that controls mood thereby helping to reduce mood swings. It also helps in reducing sugar cravings during menstruation.
Whole grains: Are excellent source Magnesium; they relax muscle tension. They are also rich in vitamin B and E that are good in combating depression and fatigue. Whole grains are also rich in fiber, as they leave you feeling full for long preventing hunger and crankiness.
Yogurt: This is a good source of Calcium which aids in relaxing muscles and relieving the symptoms of PMS and period cramps. It also contains good bacteria that ensure proper digestion of food.
Oysters: Are rich source of Iron that helps in replenishing blood lost during menstruation.
Water: Drink lot of water when on your period; this will help to eliminate bloating and reduce water retention that leads to tender breast. During menstruation; your body is scared of not getting enough water so it holds on to every drop of water tightly, but if you give it water regularly it will release the water that it is holding on to. Water also helps to replace fluids lost during periods; it also ensures regular and smooth bowel movement and aids digestion.
Wheat germ: This nutrient rich power house contains high amounts of Vitamin B6, E, zinc, Magnesium and other nutrients. All these help in relieving the symptoms of menstrual pain.
Beans and peas: Their high fiber contents helps in relieving cramps and congestion, constipation and diarrhea; they are also good sources of vitamin B that helps in preventing cramps and fatigue.
Oats: Their high content of Magnesium makes them great pain reliever; improves the functions of the nervous system, reduce stress, help you sleep better, increase energy, prevent aches and improves mood. Oats are also good source of zinc and fiber which helps in replenishing lost glycogen and supplies the body with enough fiber which reduces the level of estrogen in the body.
Top Spices/herbs to Eat During Your Period
Ginger: This powerful herb helps with nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and hormonal changes. This is one of the best herbs for painful periods and stomach aches in general. It also fights inflammation.
Dong quai: This herb is very potent in reducing menstrual cramps, corrects abnormal circulation of blood thereby preventing both scanty flows, relaxes the body and mind and balances hormones. This herb has been used since the 16th century for women’s reproductive health. It is not advised for women with heavy flow to use this herb.
Wild yam: This herb reduces muscle spasm of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, relieves painful period and chronic pelvic pain. It also supports proper uterine functions during menses; it has wonderful action on the ovaries and helps reduce ovarian cyst pain.
Sweet fennel: Helps in regulating menstrual cycles and reduce hormonal fluctuations; it even reduces muscle spasm.
Jamaican dogwood: This herb helps with severe cramping and pains. But care needs to be taken when using this herb; do not take it without being told to do so by either a doctor, qualified and licensed herbalist or a naturopathic doctor. This herb is extremely anti-spasmodic and analgesic; it is for debilitating and unrelenting pains. This herb should only be considered when all hope is lost, when all other remedies have failed and don’t forget, it should not be self-prescribed.
Top Nuts and Seeds to Eat During Your Period
Fenugreek seeds: These little seeds with a pungent sweet flavour are popular remedy for relieving period cramps.
Pumpkin seeds: They help to alleviate water retention, mood swings and regulate Serotonin due to their high Magnesium content.
Sunflower seeds: These seeds are loaded with Vitamin E, B6, zinc and Magnesium; zinc and Magnesium are key anti-cramping minerals, Vitamin B6 plays a role in the synthesis of dopamine a neurotransmitter thereby relieving pains, it also helps the body to absorb zinc and Magnesium effectively.
Sesame seeds: These seeds are full of nutrients that reduce cramps; they contain healthy fats that help to relax the muscles. There are also good sources of Vitamin B6, zinc, Magnesium and Calcium.
Chia seeds: This is a great anti-depressant; it makes it easy for Serotonin to pass through cells membranes to do its work effectively.
Walnuts: The high content of omega-e-fatty acids in these seeds makes them good for fighting inflammation and relieving pains. Walnuts are also loaded with Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.
Top Teas to Take During Your Period
Avoid caffeine because there make cramps worse; rather go for herbal teas, the warmth provided by these teas along with their nutrient benefits will go a long way in relieving your menstrual cramps.
Ginger tea: This tea is great at relieving cramps and pains; it fights nausea, fatigue, bloating and general weaknesses. It is an age old remedy for menstrual cramps.
Sage: Prevents blood clotting, cramps and regulates sweating; rubbing the oil on your abdomen can also help with cramps.
Green tea: This tea helps to lower the level of estrogen which is the main cause of period cramps; it also prevents dysfunction of the endocrine system.
Chamomile tea: Helps in relieving muscle spasms, cramps, anxiety, irritability; it also reduces the production of prostaglandins.
Thyme tea: Its high Caffeic acid content is a great analgesic/pain killer.
Peppermint tea: It is great in helping the muscles to relax and it suppresses appetite thereby controlling food cravings.
Basil tea: It also contains Caffeic acid which is great in relieving pains.
Cinnamon: Its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties ease menstrual cramps.
Eating these foods will help by giving you great relief from period cramps and pains.