These Foods Reduce Your Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual pain, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea: menstrual cramps like these make life difficult for many women during their periods. You can find out here which diet and which foods relieve the symptoms.

Dietary fiber for menstrual pain

If you suffer from menstrual cramps, you should integrate as much fiber as possible into your diet. They help in several ways to alleviate menstrual pain. Fiber is good for digestion and can prevent stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

They also ensure a longer-lasting feeling of satiety after eating and do not allow the blood sugar level to rise and slide back into the basement so quickly. This prevents cravings and ensures a more even distribution of energy throughout the day.

You no longer need to fear mood and performance lows. Whole grain products are particularly rich in fiber and are also rich in B vitamins – which can relieve abdominal cramps. You should therefore eat these foods during your period: Wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice, apricots, apples (best with the skin on), pears, flaxseed, and artichokes.

Small portions distributed throughout the day

Does your digestion go haywire during your period? Then try to eat several small and light portions throughout the day rather than a few large and hearty meals. In this way you are optimally supplied with nutrients and energy without burdening your stomach and intestines with heavy food.

Menstrual cramps? Eat easily digestible foods

Speaking of digestion: In order to prevent bloating and the like during your period, easily digestible foods are recommended. Especially carrots, apples, fennel, kohlrabi, zucchini, green peas, lettuce and tomatoes are good for your stomach. However, not everyone tolerates raw food very well – if you are one of them, be sparing with the lettuce and enjoy steamed vegetables instead. It tastes really delicious with boiled potatoes.

Too much salt, too much sugar, and too much fat is actually never recommended when it comes to healthy eating. But if you are struggling with period pain, you should certainly avoid the appropriate foods. So avoid ready meals, sweets, fried foods, lemonade, and chips as much as possible. Exception: dark chocolate – it contains magnesium.

Why magnesium helps against period pain

Does everything just hurt during your menstrual period, do you feel tired and listless? Then magnesium helps. The mineral is responsible for smooth muscle and nerve function and can prevent fatigue and cramps.

In addition to dark chocolate and (unsweetened) cocoa powder, pumpkin seeds, almonds, nuts, and legumes are also great sources of magnesium. However, legumes can cause flatulence – if you tend to do so, you should only eat beans, lentils, and the like sparingly during your period.

Pay attention to iron intake during the menstrual period

When we have our periods, we also lose a lot of blood. As a result, we have an increased need for iron. If we don’t get enough iron, we feel weak and are more susceptible to diseases. To avoid this, include iron-rich foods in your diet. Lean beef or lamb, for example, works well.

Good side dishes and vegetarian sources of iron include wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, sesame, amaranth, lentils, and flaxseed. You can improve your body’s absorption of iron by taking vitamin C at the same time. For example, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, parsley, and/or cress are great companions. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with your meal is also a good idea.

There are also foods that inhibit iron absorption – you should eat them sparingly. This applies, for example, to oxalic acid, which is contained in chard, spinach, or rhubarb, among other things. Caution is also advised with tea and coffee – the reason for this are the polyphenols in them.

Drink a lot, especially water and herbal tea

Water retention is increased by dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking enough during your period. This does not mean alcohol – it ultimately deprives the body of fluid. But you can never go wrong with water. If you tend to flatulence, however, it is better to avoid carbonic acid.

Also delicious and beneficial against menstrual pain: herbal tea. For example, fennel, anise and caraway calm digestion, chamomile tea has a mild anti-inflammatory effect and ginger acts as a natural pain reliever.

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Written by Allison Turner

I am a Registered Dietitian with 7+ years of experience in supporting many facets of nutrition, including but not limited to nutrition communications, nutrition marketing, content creation, corporate wellness, clinical nutrition, food service, community nutrition, and food and beverage development. I provide relevant, on-trend, and science-based expertise on a wide range of nutrition topics such as nutrition content development, recipe development and analysis, new product launch execution, food and nutrition media relations, and serve as a nutrition expert on behalf of a brand.

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