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Foods that can help during your period

Foods that can help during your period

I thought I would share with you a few foods that have been found to be helpful to reduce period cramp pain, bloating, and boost energy at this time.

Leafy greens.

Because your blood is rich in iron, when you lose blood during your period, your body is also losing iron. When your iron levels are low, you are more likely to have painful cramps during your period, because iron helps your red blood cells to bring oxygen to your muscles. So building up iron levels with foods like leafy greens is especially important.

The best greens are spinach, swiss chard and kale. Try adding them into a juice or smoothie, soup, or casserole. I do love crispy kale- achieved by placing on a baking tray with a sprinkle of salt and olive oil and oven roasting for 5-6 mins.

You can also add iron in to your diet with red meat, lentils, pulses, beans, and fortified cereals.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps with the absorption of Iron, as well as boosting your immune system and aiding healing. Adding in some citrus fruits, tomatoes or peppers can help with this.



Ginger fights inflammation by slowing your body’s production of inflammatory chemicals like prostaglandins. Ginger may also help reduce nausea that can sometimes come along with period cramps. Quite simply steep some peeled fresh ginger in hot water and add some lemon.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids fight cramps by helping to cancel out the effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation and trigger pain. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the pain of period cramps and may even work better than ibuprofen.

Oily fish like salmon and sardines are ideal sources but so are walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds.


Dark Chocolate.

A small 2019 study found that dark chocolate helped to reduce cramps, but milk chocolate had no effect. Dark chocolate may help because it provides a dose of magnesium. Magnesium has been found to possibly reduce menstrual cramps because magnesium can help relax the muscles in your uterus and stop painful contractions. A few squares is all that is needed!





Turmeric, the popular yellow spice used in Indian cuisine, has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in relieving cramps. Turmeric can also help relax your muscles and therefore prevent painful uterus contractions. You can add turmeric as a spice in your food, or add it to your ginger tea whenever you feel cramps start.


Avoid Caffeine

Just as Vitamin C helps to increase the absorption of iron, there are also certain inhibitors to be aware of that can interfere with iron absorption. Coffee and caffeinated teas, such as green tea and black tea, have an antioxidant substance called polyphenols which can decrease the amount of iron the body absorbs. The other potential downside to caffeine is that it can make period cramps even worse, so  it might be best to stick to herbal tea on those first few days or spread the caffeine out at least an hour before or after your iron rich meal to help maximize the absorption of iron.


Avoid too much salt or saturated fats

It might feel like our body is craving the bad stuff those first few days but try your best to eat small, regular meals, filled with fruits and vegetables, and energising carbohydrates to help with bloating and hydration.


Be sure to check out our Recipes Warm Salmon Niçoise Salad and Chia Seed Pudding.


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