Ladies, it’s that time of the month again and we all dread it. To help you get through the monthly visit, here are some home remedies that help ease menstrual cramps.
#1. Apply Heat
Heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for your pain. This can greatly help, but most of us don’t do it.
It’s very simple, if you don’t have a heating pad, take a regular plastic bottle with hot water and roll it up and down your abdomen or lower back.
Or invest in some cheap and accessible heating pads in stores.
#2. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
Prevention is always better than the cure, which is why making sure your body has enough vitamin D is important in preventing menstrual cramps.
A study found that high doses of vitamin D3 led to a significant decrease in menstrual cramps. As reported by Health.com, “40 women were split into two groups: one receiving a single oral dose of 300,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and the other getting a placebo five days before the expected start of their menstrual periods.”
Their pain scored dropped by 41 percent, while those in the placebo group saw no change in their pain scale.
Magnesium is a key nutrient for preventing water retention, which is known to contribute to menstrual pain, so eating foods such as bananas, pumpkin seeds, and dark leafy greens can also help with this. Foods rich in both magnesium and vitamin A are even better.
Plan a plant-based meals with magnesium-rich green, leafy vegetables, and vitamin A-rich yellow and orange vegetables.
Also, you’ll like this one, chocolate is also high in magnesium, so you have a good excuse to indulge in your square or two of dark chocolate during your period.
As for what to avoid, the answer may sound simple, and yet for many, it’s a shocker: sugar, processed foods, and anything with preservatives can all make cramping worse, no matter how convinced you are that greasy fries or a sugary candy bar will help.
Bad dietary habits like skipping breakfast, eating more fast food or processed foods were linked to increased cramping, and it is also important to avoid salty foods, which can increase water retention and thus menstrual pain.
#4. Drink Something
Of course, you can’t drink just anything and hope it will cure your period pains, but there are a few beverages you could try.
Keeping hydrated with lots of water is a good place to start. Water actually prevents the body from retaining water, and it also prevents bloating. Warm or hot water, is known to increase blood flow to the skin and help in relaxing cramped muscles.
It is also recommended to increase your consumption of foods with a high water content, like cucumbers, watermelon, celery and berries.
This might sound a little crazy and you might be thinking to yourself, I can barely move, let alone exercise.
However, brisk walking, or any type of physical activity, can help to ease your belly pain. The increased blood flow and the endorphins help counteract the prostaglandins and reduce cramping. Experts even compare these endorphins to a “natural morphine.
When you’re doing any type of aerobic exercise, your body is pumping more blood; this helps to release endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and reduce your cramps.
Exercising three to four times a week is good for the overall health of your body, but it is especially important if you’re prone to painful menstrual cramps.
#6. Sleep Tight
In general, getting enough sleep is crucial to one’s health. But, believe us when we say that it pays to be especially diligent during PMS-prone times. Interruptions in your regular sleep rhythms can interfere with your regular cycle and result in even more irritability, fatigue, and stomach cramping.
Perhaps even more than sleep, relaxation in general can play a role in pain relief. Remember that the pain you are experiencing, while unpleasant, is normal. Allowing your body to go through its natural cycles without medications or suppressants will allow you to understand your cycles better.
Pay attention to what you feel, journal the feelings, and accept this is a natural, healthy process.
Massage therapy for about 20 minutes can help reduce menstrual pain. Certain acupuncture points can help relief your pain. Here’s a simple video tutorial on message therapy you can do yourself to help reduce menstrual pain.