Foods you should eat (and avoid) to prevent period pain

There are many women who have pain during menstruation and in the premenstrual phase. Normally, medicinal anti-inflammatories are used to alleviate these pains, however, in this sense, food has a lot to say since it can help us (and a lot).

In this article we spoke with Marta León, a chemical engineer specializing in women’s nutrition and hormonal health, and author of the book ‘Feminine Food and Health’, to learn about the foods you should eat to prevent period pain, and some habits you should try to avoid. Shall we start? Look!

Menstrual pain: what should you avoid to relieve this discomfort?

As Marta tells us, when we are not talking about a more serious pathology, the inflammatory hypothesis is established, and this is resolved by ” helping the body to reduce inflammation “. “Throughout the menstrual cycle we go through more inflammatory moments (such as the luteal phase or the menstrual phase) and others that are less so. Normally, when there is inflammation there is sensitization and there is pain,” the specialist tells us.

What can we do to resolve the inflammation? Mainly, we must avoid certain habits or substances throughout the month to favor, in this way, that the menstrual phase is much less painful:

  • Avoid alcohol both in the days before the period and in the days of menstruation.
  • Avoid tobacco, not only during menstruation but always. Tobacco has many substances that are harmful to hormonal health, so it is advisable to quit smoking if you have not already done so.
  • Avoid coffee: you can drink a maximum of one or two cups during your period or the premenstrual phase.
  • Take care of our sleep hygiene: try not to break the cycles, because if you don’t sleep well on those days we will already notice how we are worse, that the menstrual experience is much worse.
  • Do not consume processed foods, those that have a kilometric list of ingredients and additives, something that our body never needs, much less when we have menstrual pain.

Now that we know some of the main things that we should avoid during the menstrual cycle, or in certain phases of it, we are going to see what foods can help us alleviate that menstrual pain.

Foods that help us reduce inflammation in menstruation

  1. There are many foods that will help us process or lower that inflammation. Among them are fish, fats, turmeric, whole grains… In short, a more Mediterranean diet. ” The Mediterranean diet is an anti-inflammatory diet, and in those moments it is good for us to bet on it,” says Marta.
  2. In addition, as we can see in your book, there are other very important nutrients to take into account to help us improve the experience during menstruation. Among them we can find Omega-3, which we can find in oily fish both fresh and frozen. We can also highlight magnesium, a substance that contains chlorophyll and that provides that green color to vegetables (we can find it, then, in spinach, and chard, in fruits such as lemon…) And other nutrients such as vitamin B6 or zinc.
  3. All this, yes, if we are well. We have to see if there is any pathology behind that menstrual pain, for example Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or some other, because in these cases we would have to take much more care of ourselves. Therefore, it is always advisable to go to a specialized gynecologist so that he can establish the best diagnosis for you.

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