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10 food options for period pain & a few that don’t help

Many women suffer from menstrual cramps, whether it’s every month or every once in a while. So we’re always looking for ways to help during that time of the month, where food for period pain comes in.

Period pains can range from light cramping, or they can be extremely debilitating. 

For women with severe menstrual cramping, it’s crucial you seek medical help to manage your symptoms. For those with less severe cramping, pain killers or water bottles might help alleviate the pain.

There are also things you can eat to help reduce the cramping.

10 beneficial options of food for period pain

1. Bananas

Image of a bunch of bananas

Bananas are a beneficial food for period pain. They are packed full of fibre and can help you have regular bowel movements.

This may help make you feel less bloated as well. Bananas also contain magnesium, which can help and is very effective in relaxing muscles, which might help reduce cramping.

2. Cinnamon

Image of ground cinnamon in a spoon next to cinnamon sticks which is a food for period pain

Cinnamon is an excellent food for period pain; many women use cinnamon to regulate their periods. This improves pelvic blood flow.

This is also a helpful useful tool to stop heavy bleeding.

3. Lemons

Image of a half of a lemon

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which can help your body absorb iron from your food into your bloodstream.

They can help keep you hydrated and also help keep your bowels moving and make you feel less gassy.

4. Broccoli

Image of broccoli in a bowl which is great for menstrual cramps

Broccoli is packed with fibre and iron, making it a great food for period pain. Moreover, broccoli has been found to help reduce multiple symptoms of PMS.

5. Salad

Image of salad with breadsticks and juice

Salads, particularly lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, are loaded with natural magnesium. When looking at food for period pain, it’s good to include magnesium options.

Eating food that contains magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxant, may help ease the pain from menstrual cramps.

5. Milk

Image of a jug of milk being poured into a glass on a wood table, milk helping with menstrual cramps

Milk contains calcium, which is said to help fight muscle spasms and avoid menstrual cramps. Increasing milk consumption will help you in many ways, which makes it the perfect food for period pain.

However, too much dairy can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhoea.

6. Chocolate

Image of small blocks of chocolate, which is a food for period pain

Experts believe chocolate could help reduce the symptoms of the menstrual cramps we suffer each month.

This is because it may help balance your blood sugar levels and makes it a great food for period pain, which is why women often crave something sweet.

Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants and less processed sugar, making it the perfect sweet treat.

7. Chamomile tea

Image of a cup of chamomile tea which can help with menstrual cramps

Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce menstrual cramping pains.

This herbal drink can also help stabilise your mood and nervous system.

9. Salmon

Image of two slices of salmon which makes a great food for period pain

Including more salmon or other cold-water fish into your diet will help you with menstrual cramps. Being full of omega-3 fatty acids makes these fish, great foods for period pain as they help with inflammation. Reducing inflammation helps to reduce general pain, including the pain of menstrual cramps, according to one small trial.

10. Oats

Blackcurrant, oats and chia seeds is a recipe that could be useful as oats are a food for period pain
Blackcurrent, Oats & Chia Seeds

Oats are not only full of fibre, helping you feel fuller for longer, but they also contain zinc and magnesium. Magnesium is an excellent ingredient in food for period pain because it relaxes blood vessels and can help regulate serotonin which is beneficial to your mental health.

Check out this oat recipe to help include this food for period pain into your healthy meal plan.

Blackcurrant, Oats & Chia Seeds

Recipe by the Wellness TeamCourse: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes


Chia seeds are a source of those depression-and-anxiety-reducing omega-3s, these are symptoms that can present during menopause. 

Chia seeds that are high in fibre, calcium, omega 3 is an amazing ingredient. Omega-3′ s can travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain.

Omega 3 also have anti-inflammatory actions that have assisted with the help to relieve depression. Blackcurrants magnesium in blackcurrants can help people with insomnia. Magnesium helps improve the quality and duration of sleep. It is known for providing relief from certain sleep disorders.

If you are prone to sleep disturbances, try eating blackcurrants on a regular basis. magnesium in blackcurrants can help people with insomnia.

Magnesium helps by improving the quality and duration of sleep. It is known for providing relief from certain sleep disorders. If you are prone to sleep disturbances, try eating blackcurrants on a regular basis.


  • 1 cup of rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup blackcurrants

  • 2 cups almond milk


  • Place all ingredients in a jar and shake after 1 hour and allow to set over night.


  • Cal: 330.11
  • Protein: 10.25
  • Fat: 16.68
  • Sat Fat: 1.85
  • Carbohydrate: 29.20
  • Sugar: 5.90
  • Free Sugar: 4.32
  • Fibre: 12.76
  • Contains 47% of the recommended dietary intake of Magnesium. Magnesium supports adrenal and nervous system function as well as our hormones and blood sugar metabolism. 

5 Foods and habits that can make menstrual cramps worse

1. Beans

Image of a pot of beans in sauce which aren't on the list of food for period pain

Beans might upset your stomach and make you feel gassy and bloated, so they don’t make great food for period pain. Canned foods are high in salt, which causes more bloating and cramping.

2. Sugar

Image of jam-filled powered doughnuts to illustrate that sugar is not helpful for menstrual cramps.

Artificial sugar can make period cramps worse. What’s more, sugar can cause inflammation and heavy flow, so they are definitely not food for period pain but one to avoid.

3. Fried food

Image of fried chicken which isn't a good choice as food for period pain

Fried foods can slow digestion and leave you feeling more bloated, which doesn’t help with menstrual cramps. For food for period pain, it’s best to stick to steamed or grilled meat.

4. Caffeine

Image of a coffee in a bug and a hand hugging it. Caffeine isn't one of the foods for period pain

You might feel like a strong coffee will work to get you through the pain of menstrual cramps, however, caffeine can worsen pelvic pain before or during your period.

5. Skipping meals

Image of an empty plate with a knife and fork and a frowning face to indicate that skipping meals is not helpful in helping menstrual cramps.

Even if the period pain is unbearable, skipping meals might worsen the menstrual cramping. So, rather than skipping meals if you want food for period pain, you should ensure you’re drinking enough water and staying hydrated to lessen the severity of the cramping.

For more recipes and other information to help your menstrual cramps download the Wellness App

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You can listen to podcasts, read blogs, work out with our trainers and find healthy, family-friendly recipes from the palm of your hand.

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