One of the most common gynecological conditions among women of reproductive age is painful menstrual cramps. More than the fifty percent of women have reported some pain during the time of menstruation lasting one or two days each month. Considering this a normal step in the monthly process, most women unfortunately don’t seek treatment for these cramps.
Researches have proved that women who experience higher levels of pain have higher levels of inflammatory prostaglandins or hormone-like substances in their bodies. The high levels of these substances can generate painful uterine contractions, decreased blood flow to the uterus, and pain. In most of those cases, the solution lies in the avoiding of foods which can increase inflammation, and highlight foods which decrease it.
In the list of food a woman should avoid during these periods are processed vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, and sunflower, among others; also fried food should be avoided; products like margarine, baked goods, and nondairy coffee creamers have to be written out of the list; and processed meat, dairy products, alcohol, flour, and sugar are totally forbidden during menstrual period.
Sugar and carbs excessively eaten at these times should be avoided completely. The reduction of these foods in general can give a total different panorama when it is related to menstrual pain.
Stay away from gluten or grains are an important solution to lighten pelvic pain. Some studies have demonstrated that a 12-month-gluten-free diet reduces the pain and the menstrual cramps and it is reflected in an increase physical function, vitality and social function.
In order to reduce menstrual pain, most women must follow the following indications:
- Include good fats in the diet. It is highly recommended to include high monounsaturated oils such as organic almond or peanuts oil for cooking. For dressing or cold applications, it is recommendable to use cold-pressed extra virgin oil or avocado oil.
- Increase the consumption of Omega-3s. Try to eat more walnuts or pumpkin seed in you daily diet and also include fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies, among other cold-water fish. The inclusion of a high-quality omega-3 supplement is a must.
- Look for organic, pasture-raised eggs and meat. Avoid all industrial or processed food. These sort of food also provide high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs and meat as well as help with the body rebuild and reduce inflammation.
- Add more fiber to your meals. They help to keep hormone balance by binding estrogen and carrying it out of the body. Apples, coconut, citrus fruits, berries, bean, artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli should form part of the diet during the menstrual cycle when pain is presented.
- Vegetables must be taken. Studies show that women who do not suffer from menstrual pain have a higher intake of zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. Zinc can be found in red meats and pumpkin; while beta-carotene is presented in carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens; and good sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Additionally, the following supplements would help to offer relief for the menstrual pain, but they should be taken along with the food mentioned above. These supplements are:
- It is very effective especially when experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea caused by cramps.
- Studies show that magnesium has been more effective for menstrual pain and reduced the need of additional medicines.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. A study from 2012 demonstrated that menstrual pain is reduced after 3 months of taking omega-3s from fish oil. Reducing the consumption of pain killers is an additional benefit