Here's What You Should Eat to Ease Period Cramps, According to a Nutritionist


There are lots of great things about being a woman. One not-so-great part? Those few days every month during which it feels like tiny monsters with hammers are banging on and twisting your internal organs.

Translation: Period cramps suck, and we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to ease our pain.

Enter Maria Marlowe, an integrative nutrition health coach and author of The Real Food Grocery Guide. She told us that while she used to get terrible cramps, certain changes to her diet have rendered them almost obsolete.

“Cramps are not a necessary part of getting your period and can actually be a sign of a magnesium deficiency,” she said. “In general, the best sources of magnesium are legumes, nuts and seeds. A few recipes I’d recommend are the Chocolate Almond Avocado Smoothie, Double Chocolate No Bake Brownies, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Bread or a high-quality piece of dark chocolate with a handful of raw almonds or nuts.”

If you get cramps regularly, she suggests adding more dark, leafy greens, beans and legumes to your diet, recommending her recipes for Superfood Chili, Avocado Kale Salad with Chickpea Croutons and Crispy Curry Sweet Potato Skins with Kale and Chickpeas.

Though food on its own isn’t likely to cure serious cramps (and if yours are really, really bad, consider checking in with your doctor), we’re more than happy to give it a shot.

Especially if it means being able to eat more dark chocolate.

How to Relieve Period Cramps in 10 Minutes

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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