Getting your period is a blessing and a curse.
On one hand, you don't have to worry about accidental blood stains anymore. But on the other hand, you have to go through 5 - 7 days of hell before you can live carefree once more.
And while there are those lucky ones among us who do not feel much pain or discomfort during their period, the rest of us have to count our painkillers and hot water baths to help us make it through the days.
So if you fall into the latter category, then read on. Because the following are foods that can help you ease your period pain and menstrual cramps.
Quick Tip: The list of period-friendly food on this page is pretty long. So we recommend you bookmark this page and keep it handy for quick reference whenever you are PMSing or are on your period.
#1 Leafy Green Vegetables
Women lose a lot of blood during their periods. And along with it, a lot of nutrients that are stored in the blood, like iron, magnesium, and potassium.
That's why if you usually suffer from a lot of fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision during your period, you need to add a lot of leafy green vegetables to your daily menu to replenish your blood volume and the lost nutrients (especially iron).
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.
Quick Recipe Tip for Vegetable Haters: Add a bowl of spinach to your fruit and yoghurt smoothie and have a big glass of it in the morning.
You won't be able to taste the "green" that way!
Also Read - Kale Salad Recipe for Weight Loss
We all know that fishes have a lot of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in their meat, which are exceptionally good for your health (and your hair).
But it is even more healthy during your period because Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent muscle relaxants and nerve stabilizers, which helps ease your period pain and cramps.
Quick Recipe Tip: A side of leafy greens with grilled fish for dinner is a great way to combine #1 and #2 on this list.
#3 Whole Grains
Whole grains are grains that still have their natural casings on. Like brown rice, oats, and cracked wheat (dalia).
And while they are generally good for your health, they are even better when you eat them during your period.
This is because whole grains contain a lot of nutrients.
Nutrients like magnesium, which reduce muscle tension and period cramps, and vitamins B & E that decrease fatigue and mood swings.
Additionally, their high fiber content also reduces food cravings that usually cause us to break our diets and eat unhealthily.
Quick Recipe Tip: Mix in a bowl of sauteed green vegetables to one helping of brown rice and enjoy a meal that combines #1 and #3 on this list.
Also Read - Easy Dalia Khichidi Recipe
#4 Meat and Eggs
Meat products are chock-full of proteins, which helps replenish blood and nutrients to your body and prevent anemia from kicking in.
So if you are non-vegetarian, make sure you eat a good amount of red meat, fish, and eggs during your period to help reduce your period pain and menstrual cramps.
Quick Recipe Tip: Boil 4 eggs. Chop them up into little bits. Mix in some corn, leafy greens, and lemon juice, and you now have a large bowl of egg salad that you can munch on whenever you crave food during your period.
Having a bowl of dal (lentil soup) every day is great for health. But during your period, it is even more so because the high protein content of legumes immediately starts to replenish all the blood that you have lost from your system.
And in case you were wondering, peanuts are also legumes.
Quick Recipe Tip: Craving pizza during your period? Munch on a handful of peanuts and your cravings will go away fast!
Also Read - Panchkuti Dal Recipe (Good for periods and your heart's health!)
We are not talking about the rich milk chocolate you find in Dairy Milk Silk.
We are talking about the 80% dark, rich in cocoa, dark chocolate that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you eat it (but somehow has a sweet aftertaste).
And while we wouldn't recommend forcing yourself to eat 100% dark chocolate (otherwise called unsweetened cocoa), we would definitely recommend you to eat the darkest kind you are comfortable with.
This is because dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and other compounds that boost your body's serotonin levels (also called the happiness hormone), and thus, improves your mood and general energy.
Quick Tip: Eat a few squares of dark chocolate for dessert!
Having yoghurt twice every day for 6 weeks is a guaranteed way to improve your gut health. But during your period, this wonderful probiotic also serves as a great source of calcium (which is lost through menstrual bleeding).
So go on, stock up your pantry with yoghurt right now!
Quick Recipe Tip: If you are not fond of yoghurt, try adding it to your regular berry juice to make a fruit smoothie that has a more appetizing taste.
Also Read - 2 Tasty Yoghurt Smoothie Recipes
While bananas might be your mother's favorite go-to fruit whenever you fall sick or become tired, this wonderful fruit is also a great fruit to eat during your period.
This is because bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins that quickly boost your mood and help regulate your bowel movements (to improve period-induced diarrhea).
Quick Recipe Tip: This period-friendly food list has a lot of fruits on them. So find them all and make a large bowl of fruit salad with them to eat whenever you feel low.
Walnuts are your brain's best friend.
And also your period's.
This is because walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and relieve your period pain.
Furthermore, they are also rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium, which help reduce menstrual cramps.
Quick Tip: Keep a jar of walnuts close at hand and keep munching on them whenever you crave anything unhealthy.
Also read - Eggless Walnut Muffins: A Sweet Treat
Pineapples are quirky fruits. But they are also rich in a compound called bromelain that is excellent at relieving period cramps.
So grab your knife and start butchering a devious pineapple!
Quick Tip: Pineapple stem contains more bromelain than the fruit's flesh. So if your cramps are really bad, then you can even chop up the stem and eat it (although it won't taste as good).
#11 Green Tea
Green tea is known for aiding in weight loss. But did you know that green tea also has the ability to reduce your estrogen level and balance out your hormones?
Now you do.
So grab a packet and start making some today if your period is causing you too much trouble.
Quick Tip: Replace your morning coffee with green tea during your period to start your day fresh and pain-free.
Also read -Is It Okay to Add Milk to Green Tea?
#12 Chamomile Tea
Since we are talking about tea anyway, let's discuss another one that is great for period pain and menstrual cramps.
Namely, chamomile tea.
And though this tea is definitely more expensive than your regular tea leaves, your body will definitely thank you for the little extra investment since this tea is an expert at reduces muscle tension and inflammation.
Quick Tip: If your period dates match your friends, don't drink this this tea alone. Ask them to chip in for a big packet of chamomile tea, and then enjoy a good bonding session over a few cups of tea.
We cannot discuss tea and not discuss its quintessential companion - the ginger root. Especially if you are on your period.
This is because ginger is really great with bloating and nausea, which are two of the commonest symptoms of menstruation.
In fact, Chinese women have always known the incredible benefits of adding more ginger to their food when they are on their period.
Quick Tip: Grate in some ginger while preparing your cup of chamomile or green tea to join the benefits of #11, #12, and #13 on this list.
Also read - Cinnamon Ginger Tea for Weight Loss
#14 Fenugreek Seeds
Also called methi seeds in Hindi, fenugreek seeds are commonly added to Indian curries.
Therefore, if you are an Indian girl and on your period, then taking advantage of this tip should be easy for you. And you should too because these seeds are great painkillers, which can help you immensely with your period pain.
Quick Recipe Tip: Fry some fenugreek seeds and add them to your bowl of dal to enjoy the combined benefit of #5 and #14 on this list.
#15 Basil Leaves
Also called tulsi leaves, basil is not a commonly used herb in Indian cuisine. But if you have a tulsi plant in your backyard, you might as well take advantage of this religious quirk by chewing on some basil leaves during your period because the caffeic acid in these leaves will immediately reduce your period pain.
Quick Tip: If you are not allowed to go near the tulsi plant for religious reasons, you can easily buy a bottle of dried basil in the supermarket and sprinkle it on your food.
Also Read - Why to Keep a Basil Plant at Home?
# 16 Cinnamon
Cinnamon sticks can enhance the flavor of the blandest rice dish. But during your period they take on the role of cramp-reliever too.
So go ahead, have some today.
Quick tip: Sucking on a small piece of cinnamon is a great way of keeping your mouth busy and relieving your menstrual cramps all at the same time.
#17 Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds, or til, is commonly used to prepare desserts in India.
So if you have a sweet tooth, then grab some til ke laddoo during your period because sesame seeds are rich in zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and healthy fatty acids, which can help reduce your period pain drastically!
Quick Tip - Chinese cuisine often uses sesame seeds. So if you are a Chinese food fan, then you should definitely order in some sesame chicken during your period.
Also read - Til Laddoo Recipe
#18 Sunflower seeds
This is another expensive item on this period-friendly food list. But if your menstrual cramps are too bad, then investing in a packet of sunflower seeds is a good idea because not only do these seeds contain a large number of nutrients (including zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 & E), they also induce dopamine secretion in your body, which naturally relieves your period pain.
Quick Recipe Tip:Add some sunflower seeds to your regular bowl of salad and add a spoonful of honey to make it a delicious meal!
When we are talking about relieving your period pain and cramps, the kind of berry does not matter because they all help in the same way.
By reducing your mood swings, improving your blood flow, and reducing your food cravings.
Quick Recipe Tip: Have a large glass of berry yoghurt smoothie every morning during your period to help reap the benefits throughout the day.
Also read - 12 Healthy Fruits for Diabetics
Chewing on peppermint leaves during your period is a great idea because peppermint contains compounds that are great for relieving muscle tension and reducing food cravings.
Quick Tip: Chewing on peppermint gums throughout the day (other than during meals) is a great way of keeping food cravings at bay.
#21 Raisins and Dates
Not only are these great at replenishing your lost blood volume, they are also excellent stores of iron, which is lost heavily during menstruation.
So if you are having a tough time during your period, make sure you have a packet of raisins and dates on hand to make you happy.
Quick Recipe Tip: Raisins and dates can be easily added to salads and smoothies for an added crunch and sweetness.
Also Read - Dates and Coffee Milkshake for Parties
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