5 Best Foods for Period Cramps





If you have dysmenorrhoea, or period pain, you are not alone as around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime. Period pain can occur anytime from your early teens right up to menopause. Most women experience some discomfort during menstruation, especially on the first day, but 5% to 10% of women experience pain severe enough to disrupt their life. If your mother suffered period pains, you are more likely to suffer too. In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.

While painkillers can be an effective treatment for period pain, having a balanced diet can also help to alleviate menstrual cramps. When iron levels dip during menstruation, particularly if you have heavy menstrual flow, it may lead to body pain, fatigue and dizziness. Be sure to incorporate foods with high water content, such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber to ensure you are well-hydrated. If you have cravings for sugar, choose fruits instead so you can avoid the sugar crash from eating a lot of refined sugar. 

A warm cup of ginger tea can help you feel better due to its anti-inflammatory effects, which can soothe achy muscles. Ginger may also reduce nausea.

Include more of these 5 foods into your diet regularly to help reduce or skip the period pain for your next cycle!


     1) Calcium

     Calcium is found to reduce cramp pains, reduce bloating and water retention. Calcium is present in substantial amounts in:

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese

Fish with edible bones, and

Calcium-fortified soy milk, beancurd/tofu


2) Fibre

      Fibre maintains regularity of bowel movements, thus making you feel less bloated. Aim for two servings of fruits and vegetables daily and opt for wholegrain products. To prevent constipation, do not forget to increase your fluid intake too!

     3) Magnesium

      Magnesium is found to reduce symptoms such as headaches and cramps. Magnesium can be found in foods such as:

Dark chocolate


Dark green leafy vegetables


Wholegrain products (see below)



4) Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12

Used in combination, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 have been found to be more effective than just having adequate omega-3s alone. Some good options to consider including in your diet before your period are:





Chia seeds


  • 5) Vitamin E

    For reduction in menstrual pains, studies that have shown improvements included up to 500 IU of vitamin E daily. Foods that are high in vitamin E include:   

Wheat germ

Dry roasted sunflower seeds


Peanut butter


Although more research is required to determine if these foods are effective in reducing period pain, there is no harm in including more of these natural, wholesome foods to improve your overall diet and overall health.


Article above adapted from and