period cramp

Drinks and Foods That Help With Period Cramps, According To A Nutritionist

Do you experience intense period cramping? Cramps are not only painful but also usually associated with fatigue and interfere with your ability to move around and go through your daily routines. If regular medication isn’t enough to help ease your symptoms, you may want to try modifying your diet.

Foods that might help with cramps

If you’re looking for the best food for period cramps, choose light, healthy fruits and vegetables that won’t be heavy in your stomach. Fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can help decrease inflammation in the body and can help menstrual cramps.

The great news is the best foods for period cramps can often be found in your fridge! Top health foods on this list are common and great choices when you’re looking for what to eat when you have cramps. There are plenty of foods that might help with menstrual cramps.

If you’re looking to adjust your diet and stock up on foods that might help with cramps, here are some to try:

Bananas

Bananas are great for menstrual cramps.

Bananas are generally easy to find and known to be helpful for period cramps. They are rich in fiber and will help you have easy bowel movements. As a result, you may feel less bloated and experience less pain overall. Bananas also contain a lot of magnesium, which is known to reduce the severity of period cramps.

Bananas are also rich in natural sugars, so it’s best to eat them in moderation.

Lemons

Lemons are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from your food into your bloodstream and tissues. Because you may be losing more red blood cells than your body can keep up with during your period, it may be helpful to have some extra vitamin C to boost iron absorption. Lemons also contain a lot of fiber, which makes them a good food for preventing muscle spasms.

Oranges

Oranges are known as a top food for period cramps. Oranges contain more vitamin C than lemons, and they also contain magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D. In fact, oranges have almost as much of these nutrients as milk. A couple of oranges every day may help relieve period cramps and menstrual pain.

Watermelon

Watermelon is light and sweet. You can easily pop it into a blender and create a delicious smoothie. In addition to that, it is mainly water. Watermelon will quickly hydrate your body and add small amounts of natural sugars into your bloodstream, which might help with cramping.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the top foods that help with menstrual cramps. The fiber and iron in broccoli help fight period cramps. These nutrients might help with all menstrual pain, particularly in your lower abdomen.

Kale

Among the other healthy foods that relieve cramps, kale is also a great option. Kale is a good food for period cramps for the same reason as broccoli and other greens: it is rich in calcium and magnesium. Having a calcium deficiency can increase muscle spasms and contractions.

You can saute kale or add it to a smoothie. Either way, this vegetable might help boost your immune system and ease cramping pains.

What makes food so powerful in helping relieve period cramps? Nutrients in certain foods directly affect your hormones, nerves, and muscles. They can have a relaxing effect, which can result in both a better mood and less pain.

Drinks that help with cramps

You can use food to ease muscle spasms, but beverages can be effective as well. Here are a couple of drinks that help with cramps:

Water

Water seems to be the solution for everything from weight loss to skin health. With providing relief for menstrual cramps, drinking water might seem a little odd. Don’t take water just when you are exercising but stay properly hydrated throughout your period. Water may help reduce the pain intensity during your menses.

Drinking water also helps prevent bloating, which is very uncomfortable and can be accompanied by pain. During your period, it is advised that you drink warm water. Warm water increases blood flow and helps relax your muscles. This can help lessen period cramping caused by uterine contractions.

Some women also vomit and have diarrhea alongside experiencing cramps. In such cases, it is also important to replace lost fluids by drinking a lot of water. You can add lemon or mint to the water if that helps you drink more of it.

Peppermint Tea

Herbal teas are also great for menstrual cramps. Peppermint tea is made using the leaves of the peppermint plant. Peppermint contains menthol, a compound with a strong scent and has several possible health benefits in addition to its cooling effect.

Many individuals also use peppermint to provide relief for GI symptoms such as gas and bloating. The menthol in peppermint also helps with smooth muscle spasms, thus reducing stomach cramps.

One study investigated the effects of peppermint in young ladies with dysmenorrhea. The peppermint oil capsules were as effective as mefenamic acid at reducing period pain. Drinking peppermint tea may therefore help with menstrual cramps.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is considered a miracle herb given its many potential health benefits, including treating indigestion, improving brain function, and helping fight infections. It is a great tea for menstrual cramps. Ginger tea is brewed using the tasty, spicy ginger root.

This herb has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce period pain and bloating. Several studies observed that ginger is as effective as drugs such as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid at relieving menstrual cramps (6). In one study, ginger was more effective at reducing the intensity and duration of menstrual cramps than placebo.

Ginger also helps with nausea and morning sickness. It is important to note that ginger may have mild side effects such as heartburn. You can add some lemon and honey to your ginger tea to make it more enjoyable.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm tea is made using the leaves of lemon balm. This herb belongs to the mint family and has a lemon flavor and scent. It is also a great tea for menstrual pain relief.

Lemon balm can help ease PMS symptoms. It is a great source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also possesses antispasmodic properties that help relax smooth muscles.

In one study, a group of young women was selected to receive either lemon balm or placebo. Researchers observed that lemon balm reduced the severity of symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea, including cramps. You can try some lemon balm tea and see if it works for you.

Chamomile Tea

Another ingredient that can do wonders during your period is chamomile. It is commonly used to ease period cramps and other PMS symptoms. Chamomile tea is made from dried flower heads of the chamomile plant.

Chamomile has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve period pain. A compound known as apigenin present in chamomile tea helps reduce the effects of excitatory neurotransmitters and hormones, helping soothe the sympathetic nervous system.

This herb is considered generally safe for consumption. Much as this is rare, it can trigger adverse reactions in individuals who are allergic to plants in the daisy family. As long as you are not allergic, taking two cups of chamomile tea a day should be enough to help with menstrual cramps.

Smoothies

Taking smoothies is a great way to get more fluids into your body. Smoothies are primarily made from fruits and vegetables – they can be just fruits or a combination of the two. Smoothies that help with period pain depend on the ingredients you use.

The first great fruit to use in smoothies is bananas. Bananas are a great source of fiber which may help smoothen your bowel movements and help with bloating. They are also a great source of magnesium that helps reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.

You can also prepare a kale or spinach smoothie. Both these vegetables are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is believed to reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps by reducing prostaglandins’ synthesis. An increased intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduction of menstrual pain.

Try experimenting with different smoothie recipes. You can also use pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and avocados. It is best to prepare your smoothies at home as most premise smoothies are filled with sugar which is not good for your health.

Green Tea

Green tea is yet another amazing beverage with several health benefits. It is made from dried unaged Camellia sinensis leaves. This drink was popular in ancient China and is still popular and a favorite of many.

Like other herbal teas, green tea has antioxidant compounds and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help with bloating and menstrual cramps. It also contains a compound called L-theanine that can help you feel more relaxed and calm by counteracting the effects of caffeine-induced arousal.One review observed that drinking green tea was linked to decreased period pain compared to other types of tea

Fresh Fruit Juices

Several fruits help with period pain. Fruits are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals such as magnesium. Fruit juices can be more palatable during this uncomfortable period.

High consumption of fruits has associations with less period pain. Watermelon juice is an excellent choice. It is delicious, light, and watery, which helps you stay hydrated. It is a great way to get small amounts of sugars into your body to help with the cramping.

Orange juice is also another great alternative. Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps absorb iron from foods into the bloodstream. Oranges also contain potassium and magnesium, which may help relieve period cramps. Some freshly squeezed orange juice is thus good for you.

Lemons are also a great source of vitamin C. They may, therefore, help with iron absorption. They might also help with bloating. And just like other fruits, lemons are an easy way to stay hydrated. You can also speak to your nutritionist about which other fruits are good for you during your period.

Bone Broth

Bone broth indirectly helps with period pain. It is made by boiling the bones of meat in water. Bone broth is a great source of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. It is also a great source of magnesium which helps reduce the severity of the cramps.

Bone broth may also help you get a goodnight’s sleep. The glycine in bone broth may be helpful for improving sleep. And given the fatigue and cramping that accompany painful periods, a good night’s rest might be just what you need.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Yet another amazing tea that helps with painful periods is raspberry leaf tea. As the name suggests, this tea is made from the leaves of raspberry plants. It, however, does not taste like raspberry but has a mild taste like black tea.

For centuries, raspberry leaf tea has been used as a remedy for period pain. The raspberry leaf is a good source of magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. It may therefore reduce the intensity of period cramps and leave you feeling better. There’s no harm in finding out if this tea provides some relief for you.

Other types of tea that may provide menstrual pain relief include oolong tea, thyme tea, fennel tea, and cinnamon tea.

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Drinks To Avoid During Your Period

Just like there are foods and drinks good for you during your period, there are those that you should stay away from. Now that we know how to get rid of cramps let us look at what you should stay clear of. These drinks cause bloating and water retention, so it is best to avoid them.

Coffee

Most people cannot go for a day without drinking coffee. Some may even experience headaches from caffeine withdrawal. If you are one of them, you can reduce the amount of coffee you take when you are on your period as it makes period pain worse.

The caffeine in coffee can cause bloating, water retention, and worsen headaches. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel anxious, a feeling that may make your mood swings worse. Coffee can also cause digestive issues such as diarrhea. You can take decaffeinated coffee instead.

Alcohol

You might be in the tendency to go out for a few bottles of beer every weekend or have a glass of wine or two before you go to bed. When it is that time of the month, it is best to stay clear of any alcoholic drink. Alcohol can have several negative effects on your body.

For instance, alcohol can dehydrate you, thus cause bloating and worsen headaches. It can also cause nausea and vomiting. You may also have a hangover after a night of too much drinking. This may worsen the period symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Sugary Drinks

It is okay to occasionally enjoy your favorite soda or any other sugary drink while on your periods, but you shouldn’t take too much. Too much sugar increases the risk of dysmenorrhea. Taking too much sugar can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels that result in a crash. This can worsen your mood.

Mood fluctuations are common during periods. But you do not want to do anything that will leave you feeling more anxious and depressed. So it is best to watch your sugar intake. If you crave a sugary snack, go for something healthy like fruits – grapes, berries, or papaya.

Milk

Taking dairy during your period may not be a smart choice. Milk contains saturated fats that can cause inflammation and potentially worsen period pain. Commercial milk preparations may contain prostaglandins which cause period pain in the first place.

Dairy can also cause bloating and diarrhea, especially in lactose intolerant individuals. So, you might want to reduce your intake of milk. Yogurts, cheese, milkshakes, and ice cream should also be taken in moderation as they can worsen period symptoms.

Bottom Line

Those few days during your period can seem to last forever because of the mood swings, period pain, headaches, and food cravings. The good thing is that there are a few natural remedies that can provide menstrual pain relief. Along with leafy vegetables and salmon, fruit juices and smoothies are great diet choices during your period.

Several herbal teas, including green, ginger, peppermint, chamomile, and lemon balm tea, can help with menstrual cramps. If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about herbal teas or remedies before you try them. It is also important to stay hydrated. Remember to stay away from alcohol, coffee, sugary drinks and eat well-balanced meals to keep your energy levels up.

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