If you’ve ever felt like the Dothraki & White Walkers are having a flash dance across your uterus, then you know that menstrual cramps are No Joke.
So what can you do? Are you doomed to an endless cycle of hot bags, Baralgin, Midol or both? Well, maybe not. I recently changed my diet and incorporated some natural goodies and not only did I see a change in my menstrual cramps but my general overall mood. Halt! Before we jump into these 4 little changes, let me be the first to tell you that it wont be easy. The cravings will be real and if you’re addicted to the fast action of prescription medicine then the natural way is going to seem a bit slow. My advice? Try it anyway. One way might not work or a combination might help. All of our bodies are different so feel free to try and see. So without further ado here are some ways that worked for me :
- Magnesium: I feel like I grew up hearing about magnesium and zinc on tv but not really knowing what it’s about. I started off using it to help me with sleep (that’s another post) but turns out Magnesium helps to relax the uterine muscles which is what causes cramps when they contract. So up your intake by eating more spinach, almonds, peanuts or peanut butter a couple days before your period.
- Ramp Up On Fiber: Fiber is great when it comes to fighting period pains. How? Well, fiber attaches itself to estrogen and carry it out of the body. This helps keep your hormones balanced and you one step closer to a cramp free period. Foods that help with this are coconut, broccoli, and beans
- Tea: I cannot explain how important TEA is for me. I drink tea every morning but there’s more to it. Yes, tea can create a relaxing feeling but it is also good for menstrual cramps. I’m Jamaican so I swear by ginger tea (for everything) but two other teas that directly help with menstrual cramps are Chamomile & Raspberry Leaf Tea. Chamomile tea can relieve muscle spasm, soothe anxiety and has aromatherapy benefits as the smell naturally relaxes you. Raspberry leaf tea has been used for decades as a “woman’s herb” it’s reported to be good for uterine and menstrual health. Two ingredients found in raspberry and subsequently raspberry leaf tea that are very effective are Frangarine and Tannis. Frangarine tightens the pelvic muscles which usually spasm when we have cramps. Tannis helps to treat nausea, diarrhea, cramping and some mood swings. I can personally swear by Raspberry leaf tea, I came by it from a lovely twitter friend who sent it to me as I laid on my monthly death bed. It isn’t a strong herb but continuous use can help you see a difference.
- Avoid the Carbs!: Raise your hand if you can eat all the baked cookies, pizza, donuts when it’s that time of the month. *raises hand slowly* I am not a dessert girl but once my period is about to start I turn into the cookie sugar all things baked monster. Based on conversations with my friends, I know I am not alone. However, I’m here to tell you to STOP IT! These foods actually contribute to bloating, inflammation. I know it’s easier said than done but try and focus on what your body truly needs. If you’re experiencing fatigue go for Iron, If you’re having migraines and cramps look to magnesium.
These are just some quick ways you can incorporate different, things to help with your menstrual cramps. As always I am not a doctor, nor do I have a medical license so please speak with your physician before starting anything new. I’m just sharing what has worked for me. If you have any other suggestions please feel free to share in the comments.