Period cramps are caused by a chemical called prostaglandins. This chemical causes the muscles and blood vessels found in the uterus to contract. Usually, these cramps last for the first couple of days of your menstrual cycle, but even though they last a few days, they can be debilitating and cause extreme discomfort. But there are a number of natural remedies linked to what you consume that can help ease cramps.
Discover our latest podcast
If you have period cramps, try hot chocolate
Not only will this drink satisfy your chocolate cravings but it can also relieve your cramps. Hot chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that according to Amy Roskin, MD, ob-gyn and chief medical officer at Favor:
May help reduce water retention and relax muscles, which can help with period cramps,
If you have period cramps, try water
This one may seem unnecessary to mention, but people often forget the importance water has on our bodies. The uterus is a muscle meaning like a calf muscle, when it is dehydrated it can cramp up. So if you drink plenty of water, it can limit the number of cramps you have. If you don’t like drinking plain water, you can add a bit of flavouring to it.
If you have period cramps, try an anti-inflammatory smoothie
There are plenty of foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, according to Melissa Azzaro, RDN, LD, host of the podcast ‘Hormonally Yours,’
Compounds called prostaglandins can make period pain worse and are driven by inflammation,
So if you drink a smoothie with anti-inflammatory properties you can reduce inflammation thus limiting your cramps. Try making smoothies with walnut butter, blueberries, flax seeds, and leafy greens, which may help lower prostaglandins and ease period cramps. Dr Roskin also recommends smoothies high in calcium and potassium, with ingredients like Greek yoghurt or bananas.
If you have period cramps, try ginger or turmeric
Tea in itself can help, but if you try ginger or turmeric tea, you may have better results for easing pain. According to Azzaro:
Ginger contains gingerol and turmeric contains curcumin, both of which may helpwithperiod pain and inflammation,
If you have period cramps, try prune juice
Fibre is an excellent source to help with digestion and general gut health. So if you are experiencing really bad period cramps, you may need to add some fibre to your diet. Try drinking prune juice, which is high in fibre. Prune juice can lower the level of oestrogen in your body, helping ease period cramps.