written by Jamie Shaw
Do you suffer from painful menstrual cramps? This problem can often be reduced and eased by making small changes in your diet. Menstrual cramps are caused by hormone-like substances that are produced each month by the lining of a women’s uterus- these substances are called prostaglandins. High levels of prostaglandins can cause excessive contractions leading to cramping. Here are 5 important foods to add to your diet to reduce and relieve cramping.
Omega-3 Rich Foods
Flaxseed- One of the main factors in monthly cramping is the production of prostaglandins. This is due to the uterus spasms when prostaglandins are released into the tissue. Flaxseed can inhibit the release of certain prostaglandins by providing the body with omega-3. Try to add 1-2 teaspoons of flaxseeds a day into your diet. Ways you can do this are by adding them to your smoothies or sprinkling into cereals and salads.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential nutrient to our bodies. It is responsible for activating many different biochemical reactions necessary for your body to function properly. Magnesium assists in the relaxation of our muscles, which reduces cramping. A food source that is rich in magnesium is bananas.
Calcium Rich Foods
Calcium works synergistically with magnesium. Calcium rich foods will reduce bloating and cramping. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with calcium. Add these to your diet by eating salad and adding them to smoothies.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B3
Foods rich in vitamin B3 (niacin) lessen spasms in the uterine arteries. One of the top foods sources of vitamin B3 is chicken. A vegetarian food source would be whole-grain foods such as brown rice.
Foods High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is vital in your diet to reduce menstrual cramping and pain. One of B6’s roles is the synthesis of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which promotes both emotion and physical well being. Lentils and chickpeas are packed full of vitamin B6.
So why not combine some of these important nutrients into a delicious smoothie. This is a Strawberry Banana and Flaxseed Smoothie.
Strawberry Banana and Flaxseed Smoothie
1 medium banana
½ cup of strawberries
1 ½ cups of your choice of nut milk
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
1 cup green, leafy vegetables (spinach or kale)
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth consistency.
Drink up and enjoy!
Jamie Shaw is currently studying to be a Certified Nutritional Practitioner at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. Prior to this she completed an Undergraduate Degree in Kinesiology from Western University. Jamie has worked as a Kinesiologist at a Physiotherapy clinic where she also did personal training and sports rehabilitation. Jamie is very enthusiastic about all things involving health, nutrition and overall wellness. This being why she has founded Pure Life Nutrition and Wellness. She is excited to share her knowledge and do everything she can to help others. Jamie has an online presence which she maintains through blogging for her website. You can also find her on Facebook and twitter.