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Aunt Flo is on her way and your lower abdomen feels like somebody is squeezing it from the inside! You want to cry but your taste buds are telling you that a big slice(read: five slices) gooey chocolate cake will fix all your problems! Hate to break it to you, but it won’t. Here are the foods that will.
It is easy to be overcome with period cramps and reach for sugary, processed foods. A treat during that time of the month feels well-deserved and God forbid anyone try and stop you from eating that bar of chocolate! (spoiler alert: We’re not going to stop you!)
With raging hormones, uterine contractions and underwear that resembles a crime scene, a girl deserves a treat. In fact, studies show that period cramps can be as bad as a heart attack! Are you listening, world?
However, as much as we’d like to justify those indulgent treats during period days, turns out there are some foods that will help us feel a lot better than others. Take slow, deep breaths first. If that doesn’t help, these are the foods you need to reach out to.
PMS symptoms are relieved when you increase your intake of calcium and Vitamin D. Yogurt is a major source of calcium and will help keep those monstrous cramps away. The friendly bacteria in yogurt also help soothe the gut and promote good digestion to soothe any tummy troubles you may have during that time of the month.
2. Whole Grains
Feeling sluggish? Try swapping your white bread and rice for their whole grain counterparts. Rich in magnesium, whole grains can help get rid of period pain. The fibre content also keeps you full for longer and promotes a healthy bowel movement.
Can’t stand that horrid bloat during your period? Go to your local vendor and stock up on bananas! Banana’s are high in potassium and Vitamin B6, which help your muscles (uterus muscles included!) relax. They also help get rid of that uncomfortable period bloat. Wait, we’re not done. Banana’s are a period wonderfood because they also provide you with enough potassium to regular blood pressure and send oxygen to your brain. What does this mean? GOODBYE mood swings, hello happiness!
Instead of reaching out for that bag of candy, reach out for some delicious mixed nuts. Nuts are rich in omega 3 fats and can really help put those cramps to rest by easing muscle tension. If you have access to fish like salmon and tuna, those are rich in omega 3 fats too!
Yeah, we know cake is more tempting than chowing down broccoli but chocolate cake does not give you fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin E and magnesium quite like broccoli does. Other iron-rich greens like spinach can also help fight PMS symptoms and keep your digestion in check.
6. Dark Chocolate
Tall, dark and satisfying…that’s how we like our chocolate! There’s nothing better than a piece or two of dark chocolate to ease mood swings and cramps. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and magnesium and also stimulates the production of endorphins. When browsing down that grocery aisle for period goodies(these are a real thing!), look for dark chocolate, as dark asand you can find!
7. Red Meat
Carnivores rejoice! Red meat can restock your body’s dropped iron levels during your period. Decrease in iron levels is what makes you feels light-headed or sluggish. Bring on that steak! Herbivores, this doesn’t mean you need to embrace your light-headedness, just reach for some non-meat alternatives like spinach, lentils or beans for that iron-boost!
8. Herbal Tea
Certain teas help relieve painful period cramps. It is best to ask your doctor which one is oOkay for you to consume. Tea with peppermint oil can help keep cramps at bay if consumed a week before your period arrives.
Other Things That Can Help Relieve Period Cramps
1. Fish Oil or Vitamin B1 Capsules
Fish oil or Vitamin B1 capsules can help relieve cramps. 100 mg per day is advised.
2. Massage With Essential Oils
Sweet smelling essential oils like lavender oil, can help relieve menstrual cramps. Make sure you mix a few drops with a gentle lotion or carrier oil like olive oil to avoid any irritation.
3. Reach for That Heating Pad
Topically applied heat is shown to help relieve period cramps as much as a painkiller like ibuprofen.
4. Exercise or Have Sex
Happy Hormones, or endorphins can boost your mood and get rid of cramps as well. Both exercise and orgasms can release these. Which one you pick, is up to you!
5. Pop That Pill!
If all else fails, pop that painkiller!
Menstruation is different for every woman, depending on body type, age, health and other factors.You may find that the intensity of your cramps and your flow changes as you get older. To find out if your period is trying to tell you something important , check for these signs.
As you grow older, you begin to understand your period better, know what suits your body best and can make better decision for when Aunty Flo comes around. So, if you feel like that chocolate laden cookie will do you good, by all means reach for it.
If not, you are now equipped for some fool-proof period cramp remedies to get you through shark week! Of course, pj’s, some chick flicks and tons of cuddles are always a welcome backup!