Period Pain Sucks But These Food Hacks May Help Ease Things

Our menstrual cycle affects so much of our life. From hormonal acne and serious mood swings to generally feeling quite crappy, I’m sure if some of us had the option to skip our periods we would. And f, like me, you’re someone who has always had bad period pain, it can leave you feel a bit helpless.

There are lifestyle adjustments we can adopt that can help towards making our periods easier to deal with, though – and one of them is the food we eat at different stages of our cycle.

Lifesum, a nutrition app that aims to help users improve their baseline health through what they’re eating, has found that small changes to your diet can improve your symptoms during each phase of your menstrual cycle.

“What you eat plays a huge role in overall health creation, including how you feel throughout your cycle,” says Dr Alona Pulde, star of the Forks Over Knives documentary and member of the Lifesum health advisory board.

“Most people think of periods as just a week-long occurrence, but in reality, it’s a month-long cycle and nutrient-dense foods can help replenish your body and balance your hormones throughout.”

Roxane Bakker who is a registered dietician and head of nutrition at Vitl agrees that it’s important to look after yourself when you’re menstruating, particularly when it comes to your diet. Choosing foods that can help restore balance to your hormones are always a good option,” she says. “Vitamin B6 specifically is a key player in balancing your hormones. What you eat can sometimes help to relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms you experience on your period”

There are four different stages to the menstrual cycle: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, the ovulation phase, and the luteal phase. Each phase of our cycle requires different care and dietary needs, Dr Pulde suggests.

While dietary tweaks can help you ease your period pains, they aren’t solutions to medical conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, or dysmenorrhoea. If your periods are so painful they’re affecting day-to-day life, speak to your doctor.

“Remember, everyone’s body works differently, and our needs vary,” adds Dr Pulde. “Focusing on a balanced, varied nutrient-dense diet that provides enough energy is key – not only for performance, but for our overall wellbeing.”

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