We’re all aware of the awful co-guest ‘period cramps’ that come with the monthly visit of Aunt Flo. Along with it come headaches, bloating, mood swings, and cravings. Although a greasy pizza sounds divine at that moment, will it really soothe us? Here are foods that actually help provide relief from excruciating period cramps.
Cravings are real, ladies! In a 2011 study, the researchers stated that progesterone, a hormone responsible for regulating our menstrual cycle is equally responsible for a bigger appetite during and after periods. Now we know why we feel like eating a whole buffet of ‘comfort foods’ when Aunt Flo visits!
Here are some comfort foods that shall actually fulfill their purpose when it comes to period cramps:
1. Drink loads of liquids, ladies
While we all know how important it is to stay hydrated, it becomes even more important during periods. One of the most common symptoms of menstruation is bloating. It might sound counter-intuitive to reduce water retention with water but it works like a charm!
Warm beverages are divine for soothing period cramps. So, you can choose to drink up your water in the form of hot chamomile tea as well.
2. Chomp on some dark and leafy greens
Along with losing blood every month comes the possible loss of iron. If you’ve been feeling sluggish and lethargic, your dropping iron levels could be the ones to be blamed. While a juicy burger might sound like a power-punch at that point, the truth is that leafy greens like kale and spinach are the real vitamin powerhouses which are great sources of iron.
If you get bored of leafy greens, you can also try some broccoli stew or steamed broccoli to pack a nutritional punch to your period cramps.
3. It’s time cook up spicy salmon
Coldwater fishes like salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a 2012 study, it was found that omega-3s can help reduce the intensity of period pain.
The result of the study noted that those who took omega-3 supplements experienced a reduction in their menstrual pain to such a great extent that they could reduce the amount of ibuprofen they took.
Another good news is that salmon provides vitamins D and B6. These vitamins help in the absorption of calcium which helps reduce breast tenderness and irritability- two of the most common aspects of periods along with cramps. Therefore, a well-cooked salmon is a perfect meal when Aunt Flo visits.
4. Crush some ginger
Cramps bring along the annoying nauseous feeling. Fret not because ginger, with its stomach-soothing abilities, will help you be at ease. Its anti-inflammatory effects help soothe muscle pain.
Hence, it makes ginger an excellent home remedy to treat painful cramps as well as nausea they bring along. Beware though! Don’t consume too much ginger since consuming more than 4 grams in one day could cause heartburn and stomach ache.
5. Calm the cramp villain with chamomile tea
This fragrant chamomile concoction shall help soothe the excruciating muscle spasms you might experience during your period. Studies have shown that it can help increase glycine in your body, a chemical that relieves muscle spasms and acts as a nerve relaxant.
So, ginger chamomile tea is what your period cramps actually needs rather than an icy cola that may cause more bloating.
6. Enjoy the divine dark chocolate
In the thick of experiencing period cramps, eating chocolate sounds divine. To fulfill your cocoa craving while soothing your period cramps, dark chocolate is your best bet.
It is a rich source of iron and magnesium. According to a study published on US National Library of Medicine, a 100-gram bar of 70 to 85% dark chocolate contains 67% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for iron and 58% of the RDI for magnesium. This healthy intake of magnesium helps in reducing PMS symptoms, the study stated. Enjoy some dark chocolate with no guilt, ladies!
Whenever period cramps bring along those hunger pangs, these foods give you the real comfort you crave for.