8 Ways to Alleviate Period Symptoms
Updated: Mar 28
All of us that have periods know a thing or two about horrible menstrual cycles, me included. For one, why must we suffer? Two, can’t I just pay someone else to go through this for me?
Well, in this lovely world we live in, we cannot. Sorry to burst your bubble of hope. BUT what we can do is try some natural remedies to help alleviate those symptoms from interrupting our day! Below are a few of the at-home remedies I put into place when my period decides to get angry.
1. Drink peppermint and/or ginger tea
Peppermint tea improves digestion AND is a cure for an upset stomach AND cramps. If you are like me and get nausea during a period, try drinking some peppermint tea before heading out the door. If you aren’t a tea person, reach for some peppermint candies.
Ever had a hangover, or getting over the flu, and your parents give you Vicks and ginger ale to cure your symptoms? There’s a reason. Ginger has anti-inflammatory features that help reduce nausea and helps to alleviate cramps!
2. Stay hydrated (no, energy drinks don’t count)
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can be the cause of menstrual cramps (believe it or not). So, if your go-to is a cup of coffee or caffeinated bev. to start your morning, you may want to rethink that. Grab some water and make sure you’re not letting yourself get dehydrated. (Yes, coffee is a dehydrant).
3. POTASSIUM, POTASSIUM, POTASSIUM
Listen, YOU NEEDS A BANANA IN YOUR EVERYDAY DIET. But if you don’t eat a banana every day, then you need to add it during your menstrual cycle. They are full of vitamin B6 and POTASSIUM to help alleviate cramping. If you don’t like bananas, try an orange!
4. EAT THEM GREENS!
You need to eat green veggies. They give you all the necessary iron you need when there is a dip in your iron levels (you know, because you’re losing blood) especially with a heavy flow. If you feel fatigued, dizzy or body aches during your period, you need to add these (I used to eat a bunch of kale and spinach a few days before my period JUST IN CASE my body decided to become anemic for a few days). If you don’t want to eat too much of the green stuff, just add more lentils and beans to your diet. They provide good iron as well.
But as a transitioning vegan, I suggest you eat all the greens, beans, and legumes you can muster.
5. Take a warm bath
My mother used to make me get in a warm bath to soothe my cramps. While I’m in there, I add candles, soft music, and I drift off to a nice slumber. It also helps when I have back menstrual aches (yes that’s a thing).
I know, who is even thinking of exercising when you’re not even in the mood to step that foot outside of your blanket? But I have found that moderate exercise has alleviated a lot of my period symptoms. I switch between walking my dog or yoga (beset thing evaaaaa). Yoga helps stretch those cramped up muscles while giving your heart rate a little jump. 😉
Now we’ve gotten through what you SHOULD eat and do, here’s what NOT to do
7. Stay away from excessive salt, sugar, and coffee
I already gave my peace about coffee, but I wanted to reiterate, coffee can retain water and cause cramps.
Too much sugar can cause you to feel moody, depressed or any bad feeling you can think of. Don’t even get me started on the crash afterwards. Just eat it in moderation to regulate your mood, don’t over do it.
Eating a lot of salt makes your body hold onto water. This causes bloating that YOU DO NOT WANT. Some say don’t add salt to your foods, but I like my foods to have flavor so… I still eat it. I just don’t over-salt my food.
Okay, so I love drinking wine when I’m on my period, but I must warn you, drinking alcohol can cause worse symptoms. Alcohol thins your blood, which causes your flow to become heavier. Alcohol is also a dehydrant, so if you’re going to have a glass, make sure you are drink 2 times the amount of water. Ya feel me?
Here’s the nutshell
If you are maintaining a healthy diet, then your periods may seem minimal in comparison to some. I am coming from a life of anemic periods. I would get very sick during my cylce until I started transitioning to veganism. Since I eat plant-based for all my meals, I get the necessary nutrients to help my body function during my flowy 4 days of bloody mess. And, I haven’t had a bad period since! YAY ME.
But remember, before jumping for that Midol, give these a try. You won’t be disappointed.