Rid Yourself of Menstrual Cramps with a Change in Diet

Rid Yourself of Menstrual Cramps with a Change in Diet

Do you know that there’s a medical term for menstrual cramps? It’s dysmenorrhea and the condition might be caused by diet.  Millions of women are affected by menstrual cramps, of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, it’s the most common gynecological condition. There are two types of menstrual cramps : Primary dysmenorrhea, which is unrelated to an existing medical problem and secondary dysmenorrhea, which is caused by an underlying illness such as endometriosis. In either case, a change in diet can be incredibly helpful for easing pain caused by menstrual cramps. Following are some foods and vitamins that help.

Increase Omega 3 fats/decrease Omega 6 fats

While Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary, excessive amounts can make menstrual pain feel worse because they produce inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes.  Prostaglandin metabolites are said to interrupt blood supply to the uterus which ultimately adds to cramp pain.  Reduce pain by adding more foods such as flax and chia seeds, walnuts and salmon (all high in Omega 3 fatty acids).  Eat less foods rich in Omega 6, such as refined oils.

Vitamin E

This works by taking a good amount a few days before and during menstruation.  This is said to be effective due to the vitamin’s ability to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis.  The best sources of Vitamin E are certain vegetable oils, seeds and nuts.

Vitamin B6

Bananas are an excellent choice, as are lentils, oatmeal, chick peas and wild salmon.  It’s vitally important to receive B6 to lessen menstrual pain.  Studies indicate that Vitamin B6 does reduce pain, but does not seem to be able to affect any underlying issues that cause discomfort.

Vitamin B3

A study found that women who were given B3 were able to feel reduced cramp pain.  Nearly 90 percent felt this relief.  Foods rich in vitamin B3 are tuna, salmon, peanuts and brown rice.


Leafy green vegetables, non-dairy fortified and dairy milks are sources of calcium.  Anecdotal evidence and scientific studies point towards many pain relief benefits during menstruation that result from getting enough calcium.


Premenstrual bloating and pain can be lessened if you take a supplement with zinc a few days before menstruation.  Make sure to discuss this with your doctor before going ahead with it because you don’t want to take too much.  Zinc requires B6 to be properly absorbed in the intestines.  Eat foods with the highest amounts such as oysters and wheat germ.


There is evidence that shows those who are deficient in magnesium who bring their levels back to normal can benefit from significant pain relief. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, mackerel, and nuts and seeds are foods that are rich in magnesium.


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