Foods To Avoid On Your Period
The golden rule when youre dealing with cramps? Avoid foods that can contribute to inflammation or cause GI upset like sugar, alcohol, soda and fried foods, says Malone. If youre sensitive to dairy, add that to the list as well.
Dr. McClellan also advises avoiding or at least minimize their alcohol and caffeine intake. That might mean replacing your morning latte with a small cup of green tea, which can effectively reduce some bloating . As for happy hour? You may want to skip it altogether.
At the end of the day, whether its cramps or any other ailment, it all comes down to balance. It’s important to remember the overall pattern of the diet is more important than any single food that may provide relief, says Malone.
Foods That Can Help Reduce Period Pain
Many women on their periods use a hot water bottle or a heating pad to relieve menstrual cramps, which arent just painful, but also cause exhaustion and make it difficult to move around and carry on with regular work.
Chawla says, If you want to eat the best food for period cramps, go for light, healthy fruits and vegetables that wont make your stomach feel heavy. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can all help reduce inflammation and relieve menstrual cramps.
/6foods To Ease Menstrual Pain
Girls, let’s accept the fact that periods are the worst! It is the most painful yet confusing thing that can happen to females. While we would be in extreme pain and craving some spicy chicken wings, the very next moment, the mere mention of food can make us puke. On top of this, imagine that unbearable pain when you cannot sit or stand or even sometimes lie on the bed. There is a sense of uneasiness till the end of the second or third day. How many times has it happened with you that the cramps would be killing us from inside, but you would still like to go on without popping a pain killer! Because nothing seems to work at all. But, what if we tell you that there are some foods that can ease a little discomfort and make you feel a little good while helping with period cramps? Here is a list of 5 such comfort foods that can help you survive those treacherous days!
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What Is Period Cramps
Period cramps are one of the most common menstrual symptoms, and can happen to anyone. Period cramps can be defined as painful muscle contractions that happen when a woman is on her menstrual cycle, which happens each month.
Some women experience these cramps all the time, and will only cramp during their period. Others will cramp right at the beginning of their period, then again right at the end.
It is important to note that if you experience cramps during your period, it is not a sign that you have an infection or anemia.
This is why many women avoid using oral contraceptives during this time, because they can aggravate the cramps.
What Causes The Pain
Before a period begins, the cells that form the lining of the uterus, also called endometrial cells, begin to break down during menstruation and release large amounts of inflammatory prostaglandins. These chemicals constrict the blood vessels in the uterus and make the muscle layer contract, causing painful cramps. Some of the prostaglandins enter the bloodstream, causing headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.2
Researchers have measured the number of prostaglandins produced by cells of the uterus and found that it is higher in women with menstrual pain than for women who have little or no pain. This helps explain why nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work for menstrual pain. Ibuprofen , naproxen , and other NSAIDs reduce the production of prostaglandins. NSAIDs have been found to decrease menstrual flow, which may reduce menstrual pain.
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Fuelling The Body In The Right Way Before During And After Menses Can Help Not Just Nourish The Body At This Time But Also Manage Period Issues Said Nutritionist Minacshi Pettukola
Cramps, bloating, headache, and fatigue are some common issues that women experience during their periods. As such, while the body needs rest, it is also important for one to ensure that it gets proper nourishment not just during menses, but before and after too.
Diet and nourishment can play a pertinent role in controlling period related issues to a large extent, said nutritionist Minacshi Pettukola.
All that cramping, bloating, headaches, and fatigue plus hunger are all associated with that time of the month. A womans body is just incredible, and what it can do and goes through month on month is just mind blowing. Monthly changes are natural, but fuelling the body in the right way before, during and after can help not just nourish the body at this time but also manage any related issues, she said.
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We face lowered Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone with oestrogen and progesterone levels. PMS is most likely to occur during this period, and that can trigger things like bloating, cravings, irritability, fatigue, and mood swings, she explained.
What to have: Include dark chocolate, plant proteins, essential fatty acids and fibre-rich foods such as kale, spinach, quinoa, nuts, tofu, lentils and beans. Keep yourself hydrated.
Fats The Healthy Kind
Fatty acids are the precursors of hormones, aka their building blocks.This means that good fats make good hormones, and bad fat makes bad hormones. If your hormone balance is off the charts, take a look at the kind of fats youre eating on a daily basis. Good fats can be derived from olive oil, avocados, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and salmon . Salmon also contains vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, which also contributes to alleviating menstrual pain.
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Saturated Fats Are Not Your Friend
Itâs been proven time and time again that saturated fats are mostly bad for your health. Theyâre especially bad during your period, causing inflammation in your body and making your period cramps worse, according to WRAL. Foods high in saturated fats include dairy, fatty meats, and coconut oil to name a few.
Foods That Hurt: Dairy Products
Too much dairy can trigger stomach cramps for some people. Thatâs because it has a type of sugar called lactose, and many people donât make enough of the enzyme that digests it. That can cause stomach pain, bloating, and nausea within a couple of hours after eating. You may need to cut back on milk, cheese, or other dairy foods, or you can eat lactose-free versions or take an enzyme supplement.
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Milk And Milk Products
Most milk and milk products, such as yogurt and cheese, are great sources of calcium.
Some evidence suggests that calcium supplements may be able to help with menstrual symptoms like period cramps, as well as mood changes and fatigue.
However, most studies didnt investigate the effect of calcium from foods, so its unclear whether milk products can help relieve pain in the same manner.
Most milks, including many plant-based ones, also contain vitamins D, E, and magnesium. And there is some evidence to suggest these nutrients may provide pain relief during menstruation when taken as supplements.
Whether that means that drinking milk will have the same effect isnt clear. But dairy and plant-based milks can also help you stay hydrated.
Top 6 Foods To Relieve Period Pain
Some of the best food for period pain are light foods, healthy fruits, and vegetables that aren’t heavy for your stomach. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can help decrease inflammation in the body which can help in menstrual cramps.
The good news is the best foods to relieve period pain can often be found in your fridge! Top health foods on this list are very common and can be of great choice when youre looking for what to eat when you have menstrual cramps.
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What Foods Help With Period Cramps
Wondering what foods help with period cramps? Heres what to eat and what to avoid to feel better
You may be craving sugary treats and comfort food, but when it comes to what foods help with period cramps, this couldnt be a worse idea. The thing is, anything processed, salty or containing food additives is worth avoiding when youre menstruating, because these are inflammatory ingredients that can make cramps more painful.
Instead, you want to nourish your body with anti-inflammatory foods like berries, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes, as well as omega-3 foods including salmon, tuna and mackerel.
Eating enough lean protein is essential for overall health, and during your period, it could also help to keep you full and to avoid craving unhealthy foods. If you want to up your intake, then our guide to the best protein powder for women has some great options.
In this article we speak to the experts about the cause of period cramps, foods to eat and avoid, and handy lifestyle tips for easing pain.
Chow On Some Dark Leafy Greens
Losing blood every month also means you’re losing iron, which can make you feel sluggish and lethargic.
A big, juicy burger or steak may be an appealing way to consume iron if you eat meat. But for those who prefer plants, dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are also vitamin powerhouses that are great sources of iron. If you’re getting tired of the leafy stuff, add some steamed broccoli for a crunchier contrast that also packs a nutritional punch.
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Why Do We Even Get Cravings
Its something weve probably all asked ourselves at one point, simply because we know life would be a whole lot easier without them!
Its common to have cravings while youre on your period because, just before your cycle starts, your body produces high levels of a hormone called progesterone. It makes you feel hungrier and want to eat more. This, combined with the fact that youll probably feel a little down and emotional while youre on your days, is probably the reason we all keep eyeing up the takeaway menus every time they come around!
If you can take care of your cravings with some foods that help with period cramps, youll be able to throw the takeaway menu back in the drawer and get set for an easier, more relaxed menstrual cycle.
How Foods Change Hormones
A low-fat, high-fiber diet can significantly reduce estrogen levels.5,6 Cancer researchers have taken great interest in this phenomenon because lowering the level of estrogen in the blood helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Less estrogen means less stimulation for cancer cell growth.
If a woman eating a Western diet cuts her fat intake in half, her estrogen level will be about 17% lower. If the amount of fat is cut even more, the estrogen level will drop further. A lower hormone level will have less effect on the uterine cells.
In addition to lowering estrogen, a low-fat diet may also be beneficial because high-fiber vegetables, beans, fruits, and whole grains help the body to eliminate estrogens. Estrogen is normally pulled from the bloodstream by the liver, which sends it through a small tube, called the bile duct, into the intestinal tract. There, fiber soaks it up like a sponge and carries it out with other waste. The more fiber in the diet, the better the natural estrogen disposal system works.
Animal products and many processed foods do not contain fiber. When an individuals diet consists predominantly of packaged foods, refined grains, meat, or dairy, daily fiber needs may not be met. The extra estrogens, which should bind to fiber in the digestive tract and leave the body, get absorbed back into the bloodstream. This hormone recycling increases the amount of estrogen in the blood.
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Avoid: Sugar And Artifical Sweeteners
We fully understand that when your uterine lining is plotting its exit strategy, few things are more satisfying than a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie from your local coffee shop. Just keep in mind that sugar is a slippery slope, especially when it comes to mitigating your period symptoms. By messing with your blood sugar and cortisol levels, sugar will likely only exacerbate bad mood swings, acne, and energy levels. That’s especially important to remember if overwhelming fatigue is one of your most consistent side effects.
Artificial sweeteners aren’t a wise replacement, since they’re shown to disrupt hormones as well. Our advice? If you’re craving something naughty, reach for some unsweetened dark chocolate instead.
Foods To Beat Cramps Bloating And More Pms Symptoms
Because all of the chocolate isnt the only option.
When PMS strikes , its totally normal to crave plenty of unhealthy indulgences. But rather give into all those double-pepperoni-plus-garlic-knots-please hankerings, try these nutrient-dense, RD-approved foods to stop cramps, fight bloating, boost your mood, and more.
These are both high in vitamin B6 and magnesium. Magnesium controls serotonin, the feel-good chemical that helps combat depression, says Lisa DeFazio, R.D., author of The Womens Health Big Book of Smoothies and Soups. Extra magnesium will improve your mood and minimize bloating.
Sauté a few handfuls of beet greens in olive oil and garlic and you have a powerful anti-bloat side dish, says Kayleen St. John, Executive Director of Nutrition and Strategic Development at Euphebe. Beet greens are one of the most potent sources of potassium, an electrolyte that helps restore fluid balance in the body and may impact belly bloat.
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Brewing up a cup of this potent tea can soothe the stomach and help to settle gas and pain from bloating, say Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., and Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., The Nutrition Twins. Although it sounds counterintuitive, the fluid will also flush excess bloat and help to release some of the fluid that the abdomen holds during that time of month.
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/6bananas Kiwis And Pineapples
This trio helps fight the period pain away and remember to stock them up before the cramps kick in. The Vitamin B6 content in these fruits helps prevent bloating and also helps in digestion. Periods can cause serious bloating at times, and having these fruits handy can save you the pain. These fibrous fruits make sure that the digestive system functions properly and takes care of our bowel movement.
Pain Pain Go Away: The Best Food To Eat On Your Period
If you have period pain, you know what a literal pain it is. You might feel a little bloated and crampy, or you might be doubled over once a month, missing school. But did you know that what you eat during and before your period can make or break your cramps?
Its trueand what you dont eat is just as important as what you do. As youll soon see, means having a teensy bit of self-control, easier said than done once those cravings hit. Are you always going to get it right? Definitely not, and thats okay. Learning what works for you is a process and youve got plenty of time. The first step is learning: what foods make my period a rollercoaster and which ones get rid of my cramps?
Take a look at this roundup of the best food to eat on your period and then get curioussee for yourself what works for you.
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Pack Some Oats Into Your Breakfast Or Snacks
Oats are delicious and nutritious whether you enjoy them as oatmeal, in cookie form, or in a healthy batch of homemade granola.
Not only are they full of fiber which helps you feel full for longer after eating but they’re also a good source of zinc and magnesium. Magnesium can reduce cramps by relaxing blood vessels and also helps regulate serotonin, a chemical in your brain related to mental health.
Food That Helps: Tofu
Research shows that calcium can ease menstrual pain. That may be because the mineral helps muscle cells work properly. Like milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, tofu packs lots of calcium. Half a cup of firm tofu has enough to meet a quarter of your daily needs. Other good sources include fortified orange juice and cereal.
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Foods That Hurt: Hot Peppers
For many people, spicy foods and an upset stomach donât mix. Chili peppers have stuff called capsaicin. Not only does it make your mouth burn, but it may also turn on nerves in your gut and make your cramps worse. Case in point: Research shows that people with IBS had more pain after eating a spicy meal made with chili peppers.
Fatty And Fried Foods
Your period pain and symptoms may be linked to acute inflammation in the body, which can be measured by checking levels of C-reactive protein in your liver. As one study found, middle-aged women who had higher CRP levels also had a 26 to 41 percent higher risk of PMS symptoms like abdominal cramps, back pain, breast pain, bloating, cravings, and weight gain.5 And while this study was limited to a certain age group and further research on a wider demographic is needed, inflammation otherwise too can have adverse implications for your health.
Consuming too much fatty foods, especially saturated fats and trans fats, can cause inflammation in the body.6 Steer clear of the following during your period however tempted you are!
- Canned foods
Settle only for healthy fresh foods instead. Use a twist of lime or gentle spices, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil dressings or sauces to amp up the flavor.
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