10 Foods to Help With Menstrual Cramps

You’ve experienced it: cramps running through your abdomen and it seeming like nothing will help. You’ve taken painkillers, you’ve applied heating pads, you’ve spent a whole day in bed watching Netflix.

However, have you ever stopped to think that what you eat during your period – and even the week before – could help your body deal with cramps and reduce other symptoms as well. Eating these ten foods in addition to other healthy choices can make a big difference.

help with cramps

1. Water

You hear it everywhere, but drinking enough water can solve so many problems on its own. Hydrating can prevent acne, keep away cramps, and can especially help with bloating. If you’re getting enough water, your body won’t retain liquids, keeping you comfortable.

2. Calcium

Getting some calcium in your diet can be a huge help in terms of cramping. However, you don’t want to get your calcium from dairy products, because they can actually trigger cramps. Other sources of calcium include almonds, sesame seeds, and leafy green vegetables. There are also supplements available, but make sure to consult your doctor before taking anything he or she has not recommended.

3. Dark chocolate

It’s not unusual to get cravings for chocolate while you’re on your period, but you want to make sure to choose a more healthy option. Dark chocolate will satisfy your craving, help relax your muscles, and keep you happier without consuming the fat and dairy in other types of chocolate.

4. Celery

This crispy, light vegetable is full of water and has zero calories. It will help with bloating and is just good for you overall. If you don’t like the taste, spread it with peanut butter or dip it into the next food on this list!

5. Hummus

Hummus can be a great complement to many of the vegetables you should be eating to quell the cramps. It’s made of chickpeas, which are not only good for you, but can help you sleep better and put you in a better mood. Eat it with celery, carrots, or some healthy wheat crackers.

6. Pineapple

This summery fruit helps your muscles relax, which will in turn reduce your cramps. It will also help with bloating and can even boost your mood, making you feel happier! You can eat it plain, drink it as a juice or in a smoothie, or grill it for a delicious treat.

7. Bananas

Have you ever heard that you should eat a banana after exercising to stop muscle cramps from settling in the next day? The same thing is true for menstrual cramps. Eat a banana before or during your cycle to avoid cramps and reduce bloating.

8. Tea

You should be avoiding caffeine during your period, since it can make you anxious and retain water, so kick that coffee addiction and replace it with tea. Different types of tea can help with different symptoms. For example, green tea can help with cramps, while peppermint tea can soothe an upset stomach.

9. Spinach and kale

Leafy green vegetables are a superfood and one of the things you should always have in your diet. During your period they can help with cramps and be a great source of the calcium you need, as mentioned above. If you hate the taste, try blending it into a smoothie with some fruit and almond milk.

10. Salmon

This delicious, flavorful fish is stock full of omega-3 and vitamin D, both of which help with PMS symptoms, so make sure you eat this the week before your period. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, keeping your cramps in check and reducing bloating. Add some teriyaki sauce and bon appetit!

When that time of the month comes along next, try some of these foods and see if they help. If you think there might be more problems during that time than just your average cramps, check out our blog post When Your Period Signals a Problem.

PLEASE NOTE: The above information should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician.