It may amaze you to realize that there are nutritional ways to relieving menstrual cramps. Your diet during your period and throughout your entire cycle can make a distinction in how painful your period is. Here are a few nutritional tips for relieving period pain.
Reduce Animal Fats
Not only is this likely to help menstrual cramps; decreasing the consumption of saturated animal fat may offer additional health benefits, too, for instance a lower risk of heart disease. Animal fats contain a substance known as arachidonic acid, which reduces the production of progesterone through inhibiting a key prostaglandin. Insufficient progesterone may worsen menstrual cramping and pain.
Keep in mind, red meat isn’t the only source of saturated animal fat. Dairy products such as butter and cheese also contain animal fat.
Eat Little Sugar
The majority of us fully understand this, however few of us really want to hear it! The fact is, though, that refined, white sugar and corn syrup can cause water retention which can contribute to period pain. One more thing about sugar is that it consumes precious B-vitamins during its processing in the body. These B-vitamins, particularly B-6, are claimed to increase progesterone levels in the body and help in reducing water retention.
Some foods rich in B-6 include salmon, peanuts, sunflower seeds, bell peppers, and most whole grains.
Increase Good Fats
Plant-based oils have quite a reputation for improving women’s health, and for good reason. Nutritionally, these good fats help keep progesterone and estrogen levels balanced. You can take supplements of evening primrose or flax oils, or use these oils cold in your daily diet. If you use flax seeds themselves to get the healthy oils, nutritionists explain that flax seeds must first be ground up for the body to use them (you can buy ground flax seed for this purpose).
Fish oils are also essential in maintaining healthy cycles with less pain. Taking supplements or eating salmon, mackerel, sardines, as well as other cold-water fish is a wholesome nutritional move.
This important mineral gets its own section, because it is so useful in relieving menstrual cramps. One study proved magnesium to reduce period pain that was so severe even codeine had failed! Magnesium supplements are truly worth keeping on hand during menstruation, and you can include magnesium-rich foods in your diet during your cycle. Black beans, almonds, broccoli, spinach, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds are several such foods.
One more benefit regarding magnesium – it is claimed to reduce water retention.
Consume a Variety of Healthy Foods
Nutrition experts have observed that there are no such thing as a complete and ideal food. A good general guideline is, the more varied your intake of healthy food, the greater your overall health will be.
Some herbs can be quite useful in preventing and easing menstrual pain. Here are a few herbs for menstrual cramps relief;
- Oat straw, which is rich in magnesium, is a relaxing herbal tea to try.
- Cramp bark capsules can help relieve muscle pain and cramping. Search for Viburnum prunifolium – other herbs also known as cramp bark do not have the same uterine-specific action as Viburnum prunifolium.
- Red raspberry leaf has a reputation for toning and relaxing the uterus, and it makes a nice tea.