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.