Period pain. Lawd. Could there be something that is more annoying, especially since it happens every 28-30 days? Like, c'mon. If you've ever wondered about the science behind it all, basically, we need our uterus to contract, so that it can shed the lining that accumulated, just in case we conceived in between cycles. And so, what basically happens is, the prostaglandins levels in our system increase which trigger inflammation and also period pain, so that the blood is able to flow from our bodies.
When the cramping and total discomfort begin to set in, while your first inclination may be to pop as many ibuprofens as you can (because they are anti-inflammatories in medicine form), did you know that there are certain drinks that can help to ease what you are going through too? So, the next time you head out to stock up on pads, tampons, over the-counter-meds and whatever else can get you through, get at least two of these 10 drinks as well. I've tried several before and can vouch for the fact that they make periods easier to deal with. Thank the Lord.
1. Orange Juice
When it comes to this topic, orange juice is a good place to start. That's because it's loaded with Vitamin C while also being a good source of protein, folate and potassium. As far as general health benefits go, orange juice is good for you because it is high in antioxidants, improves your digestive health, assists with preventing kidney-related diseases, keeps your eyesight in great shape (thanks to the beta-carotene that is in it) and, the flavonoids (hesperidin and anthocyanins) that are in orange juice, they even help to regenerate damaged cells. The magnesium that's also in orange juice can make period cramping less intense. Plus, its potassium can help to decrease the amount of bleeding that you do as well as help with making period pain less intense.
2. Oat Milk
Although I'm a fan of almond milk (when it comes to how it tastes), once I discovered how bad it is for the environment (you can read more about what goes into making almond milk here), I switched over to oat milk. I have absolutely no regrets either. Oat milk is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin B12, calcium and phosphorus. If you happen to be vegan and happen to have a nut allergy, because it's only made of oats and water, it's totally fine for you to drink. Plus, it's great for your bone health, can help to lower your cholesterol levels, will increase your energy levels, support the health of your blood cells and, thanks to all of the fiber in it, oat milk can keep you regular too.
And what does oat milk do for period pain? Well, two other nutrients that are found in oat milk are magnesium and zinc. This combo can reduce the uterine contractions that lead to cramping while helping to settle your nerves so that you can rest easier at night.
3. Cinnamon Tea
If you like tea that is a bit on the spicy 'n sweet side, look no further than cinnamon tea. As far as health benefits go, it's packed with antioxidants, helps to lower your blood sugar levels, assists with eliminating bacteria and fungal overgrowth and can even improve your skin by fighting signs of aging and reducing breakouts. The reason why it's so dope to drink when you're on your period is because cinnamon tea contains properties that reduce bodily inflammation which can help to decrease menstrual-related discomfort and bleeding. Awesome.
4. Banana and Kiwi Smoothies
While my periods aren't rough on the pain tip, the second day of my flow is so ridiculous that sometimes I'm too tired to do a lot of cooking. That's where smoothies come in because they are quick and easy to make yet, depending what you put in them, they are still loaded with nutrients. Take a banana and kiwi smoothie, for example. Bananas are good for you because they are full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and some vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese. All of this helps to improve your digestive health, regulate your blood sugar, prevent muscle cramping and increase kidney health. Plus, the dopamine in bananas is helpful when it comes to keeping you in a positive mood. The Vitamin B6, along with the potassium in them can make cramping less severe.
As far as kiwi goes, talk about a little fruit that packs a powerful punch! Kiwi has fiber, copper, potassium, antioxidants, vitamins C, E, K and so much more in it. Also, kiwi has a reputation for easing asthma-related symptoms, regulating blood pressure, improving digestion, boosting immunity and helping to prevent chronic diseases from setting in. It's awesome when it comes to your period because the properties in kiwi can also help to prevent blood clotting. If your period pain is directly related to clotting, I'm sure you can see why this is certainly good news to know.
Kombucha is a fermented form of green or black tea which definitely makes it an acquired taste. Still, it's one of the healthiest drinks around because it's loaded with antioxidants, is powerful when it comes to getting rid of bad bacteria in your system, it's great at helping to manage type 2 diabetes, it can reduce your heart disease risk and, it can even help to slow down the growth of cancer cells. There are two main reasons why it's so beneficial when you're on your period. First, something else that kombucha contains a high amount of is B vitamins. This is good to know because they can help to stabilize your moods. Also, there are tons of probiotics in this kind of drink which makes it something that can bring balance to your hormones so that period-related discomfort is less, well, uncomfortable.
6. Dark Chocolate Milk
It's kinda crazy that something as good as dark chocolate comes with as many nutrients that it does. It's got a ton of fiber and also has an unbelievable amount of iron, magnesium, copper, antioxidants and manganese. It's also a good source of zinc, potassium and selenium. Because properties in dark chocolate can help to relax your arteries, it has a way of increasing easier blood circulation/flow, lowering your blood pressure, improving your brain function, protecting your skin from damaging sun rays and decreasing your stroke risk.
Period-wise, the potassium and zinc can soothe uterine contractions and the iron can replace some of it that's lost during your cycle. And, since calcium assists with reducing bloating and fatigue, whether you opt for milk or a milk alternative, dark chocolate milk is a delicious way to bring much period-related relief.
7. Watermelon Smoothies
Whenever I think of the health benefits of consuming watermelon, the first thing I think about is how it has a reputation for being "the all-natural Viagra", thanks to the amino acid called citrulline in it that helps to relax blood vessels. Anyway, some of its other pluses include the fact that it's got a good amount of vitamins A, C and also Vitamin E (which is great because it has anti-inflammatory properties in it). Watermelon also contains compounds that help to fight cancer, improve heart health, reduce stress, decrease muscle soreness and improve the quality of your skin. If smoothies are totally your thing, a watermelon smoothie while you're on your period absolutely won't hurt a bit since it is able to hydrate you and help to increase easy blood flow, so that your cramping won't be quite as painful.
8. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is another spicy kind of tea that is really good around "that time of the month". That's because it also has anti-inflammatory properties in it, along with pain-relieving ones that can make cramps more tolerable and bloating less noticeable. Some other benefits of this particular kind of tea include the fact that it can help to reduce your blood pressure, ease the pain that's associated with headaches and migraines, aid in weight loss, soothe feelings related to nausea and, because it also has a lot of antioxidants in it, it can help to boost your immunity too.
One thing that your period tends to do is dehydrate you. And so, if you're someone who, as soon as your cramps set in, the first thing you think is "Damn, I need a drink", try and go for a mocktail (an alcohol-free drink) instead of an actual cocktail. The reason why is because alcohol can sho 'nuf dehydrate you and, when that happens, it can lead to headaches, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, increased cramping and all sorts of other drama. While we're here, also avoid sugary drinks during this time of the month because they can have your moods being all over the place. That said, even when it comes to your mocktails, try and go with ones that don't have loads of sugar in them. Your period will certainly thank you.
We're made up of over 60 percent water so, of course, our system needs it. This is especially the case during our period since we tend to lose body fluids which can make period pain that much worse. If you add to this the fact that water also flushes out toxins, helps to keep you regular, boosts energy levels, protects organs and tissues, cushions joints, keeps your body temperature stabilized, aids in digestion, supports weight loss, clears skin and treats headaches — if you drink nothing else on this list, make sure to get no less than 6-8 glasses of water. It will definitely do a body good…especially when you're on your period.
To learn more about all things vaginal health and wellness, check out the xoNecole Women's Health section here.
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