Food to avoid for period pain

There’s no need for me to describe to you that excruciating, crippling ache that is period pain.

Getting down to the science of it though, dysmenorrhea (period pain) occurs more intensely in women that have raised levels of prostaglandins – hormone-like compounds that cause the muscles of the uterus (womb) to squeeze and contract harder than normal to dislodge the thickened lining (endometrium). These contractions may also reduce blood flow to the uterus, making the pain worse.

I’m sorry to tell you ladies, but there’s really not one sure fire fix that can make these go away instantly.  But for those of you willing to stick to a low fat, high fiber diet, there may be long term relief for you yet.

Following a plant based diet that is relatively low fat decreases estrogen concentrations—since estrogen production increases with dietary fat consumption—and decreases prostaglandin production, ultimately decreasing the amount of pain we feel from menstrual cramps.

The key is to eat a balanced diet every day:

Have plenty of whole grains (brown rice, whole-grain breads and pastas, and oats), vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and some fruit.

Avoid where possible having too many animal products (fish, poultry, meats, eggs, and dairy products), added vegetable oils (salad dressings, margarine, and all cooking oils) and fatty foods.

As the benefits kick in—reduced menstrual cramps, weight loss, and increased energy—most women find following this healthier way of eating is so rewarding that they wish they’d jumped on the band wagon sooner.

Be sure to choose foods in as natural a state as possible for example brown rice instead of white rice and whole-grain bread instead of white bread, in order to preserve their fiber.

If you give these suggestions a shot for just one or two cycles, you might be amazed at what can happen!

In a new collaboration with Dietitians Association Australia, Eat Right provides expert nutrition and diet advice on a range of niche’ exercise, and health condition topics.