3 Foods That Help with Menstrual Cramps (And 3 To Stay Away From)
When it’s “that time of the month,” do you experience intense cramping? If so, you might be like a lot of other women who turn to over-the-counter medications for pain relief. But OTC pain relievers often come with nasty side effects such as indigestion and even ulcers. A far more natural way to deal with period cramping is through diet.
Here are some foods that may help you get out of the fetal position and back into life:
Bananas should be one of your go-to foods during your period. They are full of fiber, so they help you “go,” which can reduce bloating. They also contain a healthy amount of magnesium, which has been shown to help reduce period cramps.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce pain, including menstrual cramps. As an added (and welcomed!) bonus, chamomile has a soothing effect on the nervous system, and so it may help with your mood when Aunt Flo is in town.
3. Coldwater Fish
Coldwater fish such as salmon and tuna are full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which help to relieve inflammation, and therefore pain in the body. These fatty acids also reduce prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds that can cause menstrual cramps. If you don’t like the taste of fish, find a quality fish oil supplement.
3 Foods to Stay Away from During Your Period
You might be one of those people that reach for comfort foods during your period. Well, many of those foods are only making your cramps worse! Stay away from the following:
1. Fried Foods
Fried foods, though they may taste delicious, can actually upset your stomach and interfere with healthy digestion. This can make your cramping feel worse. Though those French fries may be calling, avoid the temptation and stick to baked or boiled potatoes instead.
2. Dairy Products
While dairy products can be a healthy option any other time of the month, dairy products can trigger inflammation, which can then make your cramping more severe.
Caffeine has a tendency to excite the nervous system, worsening pelvic pain and causing you to feel more stressed and irritable. Do yourself (and those around you) a favor and put that Java down.
The bottom line is, the foods we eat have everything to do with how our bodies feel. During your period, be sure to eat the top 3 foods and stay away from the bottom 3 foods to feel better.