6 Life-Saving Food Hacks To Make Your Period Cramps Suck Less
A good diet, with a side of chocolate and Netflix is all you need to sail happily through your periods.
A good diet, with a side of chocolate and Netflix is all you need to sail happily through your periods.(Photo: iStockphoto)

6 Life-Saving Food Hacks To Make Your Period Cramps Suck Less

Cramps are real and they suck. But before you pop a painkiller, or indulge your cravings like there’s no tomorrow, let me tell you that there are actual foods which will make you feel better when you’re riding the monthly crimson wave.

What are you waiting for? Snack smarter and say adios to cramps, bloating and fatigue.

1. Will the Whole Grains Please Stand Up?

Opt for a whole wheat sandwich rather than a white bread one and pair it with almond butter and veggies. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Opt for a whole wheat sandwich rather than a white bread one and pair it with almond butter and veggies. (Photo: iStockphoto)

It’s a no-brainer. Whole grains aren’t bleached, dried or processed and therefore retain their nutrients. They are complex carbohydrates which stimulate the brain in order to release serotonin, a hormone which makes you feel good.

Notice that your body feels like it took a beating from inside out a week before your periods? Well, studies have shown that whole grainscan reduce that tension and fight depression because they are loaded with magnesium and vitamin E.

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2. Leafy Greens

My advice, cook your favourite vegetable, <i>paneer </i>or a meat in <i>palak </i>or any other leafy gravy. Becomes a whole lot palatable! (Photo courtesy: iStockphoto)
My advice, cook your favourite vegetable, paneer or a meat in palak or any other leafy gravy. Becomes a whole lot palatable! (Photo courtesy: iStockphoto)

When progesterone peaks, the tummy slows down. Your iron levels dip because you’re losing blood, so it’s important for your lunch menu to look primarily green. This will replenish the body with nutrients and vitamin K which controls excessive bleeding and clotting.

Also Read: The Truth About Period Pain

3. Go Fish: Salmon and Tuna

Be BFFs with omega-3. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Be BFFs with omega-3. (Photo: iStockphoto)

These superfoods are not only good for the heart, but also essential during menstruation to counter the effects of ‘prostaglandins’- medical jargon for the period villain which causes muscle contraction and killer cramps. They are also packed with proteins which will keep you full for longer and reduce bloating.

Also Read : FitQuiz: How Much Do You Really Know About Your Period?

4. Embrace the Citrus



Besides giving you lots of vitamins, citrus fruits detoxify your liver which eases bloating. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/@Powwell)
Besides giving you lots of vitamins, citrus fruits detoxify your liver which eases bloating. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/@Powwell)

Your body craves sugar when you’re on your period. Instead of stocking up on cakes and doughnuts, opt for fruits which are full of dietary fiber, natural sugars, vitamins, potassium and manganese. They’ll make you feel nourished and give you essential nutrients.

Also Read: PCOS: When Missed Periods is a Metabolic Problem

5. Stock Up On Calcium

You can think beyond dairy for your calcium supply. Broccoli, kale, sardines, almonds, dried figs are great sources of calcium. (Photo: iStockphoto)
You can think beyond dairy for your calcium supply. Broccoli, kale, sardines, almonds, dried figs are great sources of calcium. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Yoghurt is a great source of calcium and probiotics, which aids better digestion and reduces cramps. But don’t overdo it as too much dairy can also trigger abdominal pain, so opt for the non-dairy options like broccoli and kale as well.

Also Read : ‘Don’t Enter the Kitchen’ And Other Period Myths Busted

6. Don’t Skip the Tea

Treasure that cuppa. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/@clemensreinecke)
Treasure that cuppa. (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/@clemensreinecke)

Chamomile, peppermint or ginger honey tea are great options to relieve muscle spasms, irritability and stress. Go brew yourself a cuppa, not only because you’ll feel a sense of calm and satiety but also because it’ll help the bloating and nausea vanish.

Also Read : 11 Things Besides a Pregnancy that Cause a Delayed Period

What Not To Eat During Menstruation

(Photo: FIT/Nikita Mishra)
(Photo: FIT/Nikita Mishra)

You are what you eat during your period. So as important it is to munch on the right foods, it is equally important to keep the unfriendly stuff at bay.

Get rid of the coffee or caffeinated beverages which increase anxiety levels and can lead to dehydration.
Anything which comes in a tetra packing is processed - not your friend on period days (or ever).
Fried foods increase your estrogen levels thereby leading to cramps and pain.
Consumption of sugar will make you grumpy, irritable and lethargic.

If you have the luxury of time, a hot Epsom salt bath and lots of naps will also provide relief.

(Huda Shaikh is a newbie in the world of clinical nutrition with 2 years of experience as a dietician. She herself is extremely passionate about eating right and believes that in order to stay healthy there needs to be a proper balance between a good diet and exercise. Say hi to her huda@nutribond.co.in)

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