With your period often comes cramping. Luckily, there are foods you can eat (like chocolate!) that can help quell mild menstruation pain. From bananas to salmon, there’s a tasty solution to ease those pesky period cramps at every meal.
The perfect muscle replenishment for your post-workout recovery can help with menstrual pain, too. Bananas are rich in minerals that control and relax muscle function, helping to soften cramps.
Is there anything this dark leafy green can’t do? The double-whammy of calcium and magnesium kale delivers can help you towards a less-painful period. Add kale to your morning smoothie or omelet, enjoy it as a salad for lunch or toss with pasta for dinner.
This fish is rich in omega-3s, a potent anti-inflammatory that can help subdue menstrual cramps naturally.
Yes, you read that correctly! Dark chocolate, a variety with at least 70 per cent cocoa, can help to relax muscles that cause cramping, thanks to its magnesium content. Chocolate cake, brownies and cookies may seem like an option here, but it’s best to go for the pure, unadulterated version for best results.
The tropical fruit contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that can help with an upset stomach or poor digestion. Pineapple also doubles as an anti-inflammatory, easing menstrual cramps. Enjoy this sweet treat in myriad ways, all day long.
They help to relax and soothe muscles — and they’re delicious to boot. With anti-inflammatory fats, magnesium and potassium, avocados are a cramp-kicking superfood.
Peanut butter is full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help to pacify painful menstrual cramps. Choose unsweetened, unsalted varieties and spread onto whole-grain toast along with sliced bananas for a powerful cramp-eliminating snack.
While not a food, drinking ample amounts of water during your period can help to reduce bloating and ease menstrual cramps. Tea, coffee and freshly squeezed juices count as well, but keep the focus on the pure stuff, jazzing it up with lemon, lime or cucumber, if you desire a hit of flavour.
Walnuts help with period pain relief thanks to their high omega-3 content. The anti-inflammatory fats tackle cramps naturally, so keep a bowl on hand for deskside snacking, adding on top of yogurt, tossing in a salad or stirring into quinoa for a quick dinner side dish.
Allison Day is a cookbook author, nutritionist (RHN) and the creator of the award-winning food blog Yummy Beet.