Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) are a monthly torture for most women. These cramps vary in intensity and length from woman to woman. We are always in search of short-term relief from menstrual cramps, but since it’s a monthly occurrence – we should start thinking about the long haul! It is extremely important to take charge of our body to have a happier period. To do so, we could start by – Eating Right!
1) Constantly Hydrate Yourself
Whether or not you’re on your period, it is very important to drink lots of water! Why?
- Drinking water decreases water retention in our body, which reduces the painful bloating during menstruation.
- Warm/hot water increases blood flow to the cramped muscles and relaxes it.
- The increase in blood flow to the skin and cramped muscles helps with soothing our pain receptors.
[Remember to avoid cold water, as it may induce or increase menstrual cramps for some women]
You can also try consuming high water-based food to increase your water intake – celery, watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers and berries.
2) Increase Fruit Intake
Fruits like Pineapple, Papaya and Banana are really great for reducing menstrual cramps.
- Pineapple has a high level of potassium! It helps with relaxing your cramped muscles and additionally boost your mood and reduce your bloating problems.
[Warning: Pineapples might increase your blood flow and cause a heavier period for the month]
- Papaya contains high levels of vitamin A & C, iron and carotene! It helps with soothing your uterine walls and reduce contractions in your muscles.
[Warning: Papayas might induce your period, and your periods might come well before your actual date]
- Banana contains high levels of vitamin B6 and potassium! It can help reduce water retention in our body, hence reducing the “bloated” feeling. The potassium helps reduce muscle cramping as well.
[Warning: Bananas also, might increase your blood flow and cause a heavier period for the month]
3) Eat Green Leafy Vegetables
These vegetables, Spinach and Kale, should be constant in your diet as they are a great source of calcium.
- Spinach has high levels of magnesium, Vitamin E & B6! These nutrients help women with painful menses by helping to relieve cramps.
- Kale has high level of calcium! Calcium has proven (time and again) to help alleviate menstrual cramps, as it is used for muscle contraction and relaxation of blood vessels.
4) Oats For Breakfast
Oats are a great source for magnesium and zinc! Both these minerals help with alleviating menstrual cramps. Oats are fibrous and help with digestion and regulating your bowel movement – which would help with reducing cramps in your abdomen area as well.
5) Seeds For Snacks
Sesame and Sunflower seeds are great additions to your dietary routine.
- Sesame seeds have high amounts of Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains healthy fatty acids which relax muscles – reducing menstrual cramps.
- Sunflower seeds have high amounts of Vitamin E & B6, zinc and magnesium. The combination of these minerals have a pain-killing effect and hence help reduce menstrual cramps.
These are some important modifications you should make in your diet to relieve your menstrual cramps!
Here’s a chart to understand these minerals better!
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Why don’t you try adding these minerals and vitamins to your diet and always have a balanced meal?