Healthwatch by Shyft

Five Foods to Help You With Your Period Pain (and Four to Avoid)

Five Foods to Help You With Your Period Pain (and Four to Avoid)
Content
Content

Period pain, also known as menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea, are cramps and pelvic pain that you may experience during menstruation. This happens because every month, the lining that has built up within the uterus is shed – unless you’re pregnant – and the muscles of the womb contract and relax in an irregular rhythm to do so. Prostaglandins, chemicals that induce uterine muscle contractions, are the primary cause of period pain. Estrogen, one of the primary reproductive hormones in women, also significantly impacts menstrual pain since it influences prostaglandin production. Fluctuating estrogen levels during the menstrual cycle also thicken the uterus lining, potentially increasing pain.

If you’d like some advice or just some support from other women like you – join our Women’s Health Community.  

While over-the-counter medication has long been the go-to for women suffering from period pain, recent studies suggest that nutrition can play a crucial role in managing period pain. Here’s what to eat to help reduce your period pain:

Fruits, vegetables & whole grains

Studies have found that increasing fiber intake during your cycle can significantly impact your period pain since it helps in reducing estrogen levels. Eating more fruits and vegetables during this time can help with your pain as well as your gut (since many women face digestive issues during their periods).

Check out more high-fiber recipes here.

Dark Chocolate

Several studies have found that foods rich in magnesium can help improve both menstrual pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – in fact, low magnesium levels put women at higher risk of severe PMS. Dark chocolate contains around 65 mg of magnesium per serving (~ 30 gms) – making it a deliciously nutritious snack during your period! Other good sources of magnesium include avocados, almonds, cashews, and leafy greens like spinach and kale, which are also rich in fiber. 

Fatty fish

Like magnesium, Vitamin D levels have also been shown to affect the level of severity of both menstrual cramps and PMS. Fatty fish are a great source of both Vitamin D and Omega-3 – another healthy fat that’s been shown to reduce menstrual cramps. Salmon, Indian mackerel rohu, hilsa, sardines and even canned tuna are all great options.

Seeds

If you’re not a fish eater, don’t fret – there are plenty of good vegetarian/vegan options for Omega 3. Seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds are great sources of Omega-3, plus a lot of fiber and protein – which make them great additions to your breakfast during your periods (breakfast smoothie, anyone?) Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, so adding them to the mix is a bonus.

Ginger & turmeric

This is one home-remedy that is actually backed by science. Studies have shown that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and turmeric can help reduce cramps. Other anti-inflammatory foods include onion & garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli or cauliflower), tomatoes and citrus foods. 

Foods to Avoid

Now that you know what to eat, here are a few things to avoid, especially if you have severe period pain: 

Sugar

Studies have consistently shown that people with a diet rich in sugar are at higher risk of period pains, so avoid those sugary drinks and desserts during your period, even though you might be tempted!

Red meat

Red meat is high in prostaglandins – which are likely to increase your period. Studies have found eating a diet lower in animal protein can help improve your period pain.

Caffeine

Caffeine can cause water retention and additional bloating – plus, you’re likely to consume more sugar with it – so try and limit your tea/coffee to once a day.

Dairy

Some studies have found that a low-dairy diet might be beneficial for period pain, especially if you also have digestive issues during menstruation. 

Get support & advice from other women like you – join our Women’s Health Community.


Author:
Shyft Health

Shyft

linkedin
Shyft is your trusted source for health and wellness insights. We collaborate with a network of writers and health experts to curate evidence-based content. This content is further vetted and reviewed by our team of internal experts. Our platform is dedicated to providing you with reliable, accessible health information so you can make informed choices for a healthier life. read more

Over 20,000 customers have reduced their symptoms and improved their health by consulting Shyft's Clinical Nutritionists. When are you starting?

READ MORE ON :

Article By:

Read more

Continue to read on a range of topics related to Exercise, Nutrition, Mental Health and Sleep Health.

Eating right for Cysters! How nutrition helps with PCOS

Eating right is crucial for general well-being for everyone but becomes even more important when you’re dealing with a chronic ailment like PCOS. The good news is that most of the symptoms of PCOS can be reversed with the right nutrition! Eating right and on time can balance out your hormones, regularize your period cycle, reduce insulin resistance and improve your metabolic rate. When it comes to dietary advice for women with PCOS — the internet is abundant with information… Read more

Featured

Eating right for Cysters! How nutrition helps with PCOS

Eating right for Cysters! How nutrition helps with PCOS

Eating right is crucial for general well-being for everyone but becomes even more important when you’re dealing with a chronic ailment like PCOS. The good news is that most of the symptoms of PCOS can be reversed with the right nutrition! Eating right and on time can balance out your hormones, regularize your period cycle, reduce insulin resistance and improve your metabolic rate. When it comes to dietary advice for women with PCOS — the internet is abundant with information…

book

3 minutes

|

calendar

15 Jul 2023

Featured

The Dash Diet

3 minutes

19 Aug 2023

The Dash Diet

Tired of the fad diets floating around in the market? Fed up with hearing different methods of weight loss being advertised without any health significance? Looking for a sustainable diet to lose weight and also become a healthy and satisfied person? You’ve come to the right place! We are here with one of the most popular and nutritious diets. But don’t let us convince you! Read about its benefits and decide for yourself. What is the Dash Diet? Dietary Approaches… Read more

Featured

The Dash Diet

The Dash Diet

Tired of the fad diets floating around in the market? Fed up with hearing different methods of weight loss being advertised without any health significance? Looking for a sustainable diet to lose weight and also become a healthy and satisfied person? You’ve come to the right place! We are here with one of the most popular and nutritious diets. But don’t let us convince you! Read about its benefits and decide for yourself. What is the Dash Diet? Dietary Approaches…

book

3 minutes

|

calendar

19 Aug 2023

Featured

The Power of Fiber: Why You Need It in Your Diet

Fibre is an essential part of a balanced diet. It's often overlooked, but it plays a vital role in our digestive system and overall health. A diet rich in fibre can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. In this blog, we'll discuss the importance of fibre in a balanced diet, its benefits, and how to incorporate it into your daily meals. What is fibre? Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based… Read more

The Power of Fiber: Why You Need It in Your Diet

The Power of Fiber: Why You Need It in Your Diet

Fibre is an essential part of a balanced diet. It's often overlooked, but it plays a vital role in our digestive system and overall health. A diet rich in fibre can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. In this blog, we'll discuss the importance of fibre in a balanced diet, its benefits, and how to incorporate it into your daily meals. What is fibre? Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based…

book

4 minutes

|

calendar

05 Apr 2023

Living With a Peanut Allergy

4 minutes

06 Apr 2023

Living With a Peanut Allergy

Being allergic to peanuts is one of the most frequent causes of life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who are allergic to peanuts may have a severe reaction to even the smallest untraceable amounts of peanuts(anaphylaxis). Child peanut allergies have been on the rise. If you or your child is suffering from peanut allergies and you are trying to incorporate changes to make your life easier then this guide is for you! If you are allergic to peanuts then you have an… Read more

Living With a Peanut Allergy

Living With a Peanut Allergy

Being allergic to peanuts is one of the most frequent causes of life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who are allergic to peanuts may have a severe reaction to even the smallest untraceable amounts of peanuts(anaphylaxis). Child peanut allergies have been on the rise. If you or your child is suffering from peanut allergies and you are trying to incorporate changes to make your life easier then this guide is for you! If you are allergic to peanuts then you have an…

book

4 minutes

|

calendar

06 Apr 2023

Checkout some healthy recipes that taste good, approved by our nutritionists

View all
Understanding Metabolism

Baked Feta Chickpeas

A simple, delicious & healthy meal - a fantastic appetizer or meal on its own.

11 INGREDIENTS

|

60 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Cheese Soup

A creamy blend of cheese & vegetables perfect for a cold winter day!

9 INGREDIENTS

|

30 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Whole Wheat Waffles

Crisp, light and super easy-to-make waffles - no one will ever suspect they're made with 100% whole wheat flour!

11 INGREDIENTS

|

15 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Vegetable Frankie

Spiced vegetables wrapped in chappati - a satiating snack that can be relished even on the go!

6 INGREDIENTS

|

30 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Beetroot Chilla

A nutrient dense recipe with added benefits of beetroot & gram flour.

7 INGREDIENTS

|

30 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Spinach Khichdi

A wholesome dish made with lentils, rice and spinach

13 INGREDIENTS

|

45 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Omlette Curry

An appetizing curry made with cut pieces of egg omelette

9 INGREDIENTS

|

30 MINS.

Understanding Metabolism

Apple Ginger Chutney

Zesty peppery and sweet, with a pungent and spicy aroma

7 INGREDIENTS

|

30 MINS.

View all