You are on your period and all you really want is to eat a whole bar of chocol­ate while sit­ting on the couch? And if the cramps get too much and the hot-water bottle simply doesn’t help any more, do you take a paink­iller? Nice and good. Everything that makes us happy is allowed dur­ing men­stru­ation! Unfor­tu­nately, it is unlikely that candy will help to relieve the pain, at least the phys­ical one. But did you know that some (health­ier) food options can have a pos­it­ive effect on your men­strual cramps?

Which food options can help relieve men­strual cramps?

Are you ready for a bet­ter (aka more pain­less) period? To relieve men­strual cramps, anti-inflam­mat­ory foods are par­tic­u­larly import­ant. In addi­tion, a bal­anced diet rich in mag­nesium, vit­amin B and iron helps relieve men­strual pain. Here are a few tasty altern­at­ives to chocol­ate and the like:

1. Cit­rus fruits

If you’re in the mood for candy dur­ing your period, sweeter fruits can also be a great way to coun­ter­act your crav­ing for sugar. And fruits will give you import­ant nutri­ents to help you feel less weak and tired. Cit­rus fruits in par­tic­u­lar can have a pos­it­ive effect on your mood thanks to their vit­amin D.

2. Bana­nas

Bana­nas are said to have a pos­it­ive effect on your mood thanks to their high dose of vit­amin B6. In addi­tion, bana­nas are rich in fibre and there­fore good for digest­ive prob­lems and flat­u­lence, which some people exper­i­ence dur­ing menstruation.

3. Green leafy vegetables

Iron levels can worsen, lead­ing to fatigue and dizzi­ness, espe­cially dur­ing heavy peri­ods. Green leafy veget­ables such as spin­ach, kale or chard are suit­able for restor­ing the body’s iron sup­ply and coun­ter­act­ing the symp­toms. The mag­nesium and potassium in the green leaves can also help reduce men­strual cramps. Dur­ing your next period, maybe drink a green smoothie or simply steam the green leaves in the pan?

4. Ginger

Ginger is known to be a mir­acle food and a nat­ural pain reliever! A warm cup of ginger tea is also a very good idea dur­ing your period to relieve your men­strual pain. Ginger also has anti-inflam­mat­ory effects.

5. Nuts

Most nuts are a good source of pro­tein. Nuts, such as almonds, pump­kin or sun­flower seeds, are believed to help reduce uter­ine muscle con­trac­tions and thus reduce men­strual cramps as well. Wal­nuts in par­tic­u­lar are said to have anti-inflam­mat­ory and anal­gesic prop­er­ties. Either you can simply eat a hand­ful of pure nuts, eat them in the form of nut but­ter or throw them into your gran­ola in the morning.

6. Chamo­mile tea

Cam­o­mile tea has been drunk by people for cen­tur­ies as a nat­ural medi­cine and is con­sidered to have calm­ing effects on the body. The pop­u­lar herbal tea is said to help relieve muscle cramps and also reduce men­strual cramps. In addi­tion, the warmth from the inside is always good to help relax the body.

7. Water

Drink­ing a lot is always import­ant. This is espe­cially true dur­ing men­stru­ation. Stay with still water though to avoid flat­u­lence. If you drink a lot, the like­li­hood of head­aches can be reduced. Water-rich fruits such as water­melon or cucum­ber are also ideal for stay­ing hydrated.

8. Dark chocolate

And if you really want to eat chocol­ate after all, then dark chocol­ate with over 60 per­cent cocoa is the best option. Dark chocol­ate has a lower sugar per­cent­age than nor­mal milk chocol­ate and can be another source of mag­nesium. And some­times you just need some­thing sweet. Dark chocol­ate can there­fore be a nice snack dur­ing your menstruation.

And what food options help you with your men­strual pain? 

Cer­tain food options can nat­ur­ally reduce your men­strual cramps. Warmth in the form of a hot water bottle or warm teas can also have a pos­it­ive effect on your well-being dur­ing your period. At the end of the day, how­ever, we are all dif­fer­ent and react indi­vidu­ally to dif­fer­ent foods. Which diet helps you to exper­i­ence a bet­ter period? Let us know in the comments!

Note: Some men­stru­at­ing people exper­i­ence their peri­ods without any prob­lems and pain. This is won­der­ful and should be the goal for every­one! Con­grat­u­la­tions, you have made it! Some, how­ever, struggle with severe men­strual cramps, nausea and pain. Regard­less of what is shown in the media: Men­strual prob­lems and pain are not nor­mal! If you are strug­gling with severe men­strual pain every month, a visit to your gyn­ae­co­lo­gist should be hap­pen­ing soon.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Founder Vul­vani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-founder of Vul­vani. She loves research­ing, writ­ing and design­ing new art­icles or innov­at­ive edu­ca­tional con­cepts about men­stru­ation all day long. When she is not trav­el­ling the world, she enjoys spend­ing time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.