Can what you eat affect menstrual cramps? A new analysis of studies on menstrual pain (also called dysmenorrhea) suggests that diet may be a major contributor. Research shows that while diets high in inflammatory foods such as meat, oil, sugar, salt, and coffee can make pain worse, eating more vegetarian It has been shown to relieve pain by reducing the inflammation it contributes to. The research findings were recently presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Atlanta, Georgia.
This research was designed to study the effect of diet on menstrual pain and to identify which foods contribute to it and which can reduce it. The research was conducted by reviewing the literature that found nearly 20 studies that examined dietary patterns that led to menstrual pain. They consisted of questionnaires, randomized trials, and nested control studies.
Overall, these studies have found that diets rich in omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and foods that are high in fat Omega-3 fatty acids reduce it. In addition, other inflammatory foods such as meat, sugar, salt, and coffee worsen cramps by increasing prostaglandins, which cause the blood vessels in the walls of the uterus to constrict, causing cramps.
Research also shows that some foods have the opposite effect. Notably, those who follow a vegan diet have the lowest rates of inflammation, and eating a vegan diet can reduce cramping in the long run.
Research cites a study Published in scientific journals Nutrition ResearchParticipants were randomly assigned to follow several different diets, from vegetarian to carnivore. Those who ate a vegan, vegetarian, or vegan diet (a vegetarian diet that included fish) had significant reductions in bodily inflammation compared to diets that included meat, although menstrual cramps were not measured directly.
A plant-based diet reduces menstrual pain
Principal researcher Sera Sanoh of Rutgers University says she did this research in part because she wanted to find natural remedies for herself. menstrual pain. During her final year in high school and college, Sannoh experienced unbearable cramps during her life.
“Research into the effects of diet on menstrual pain began as research on a treatment for pain I personally experienced; I wanted to understand the science behind this association,” Sannoh, lead author of the research from Rutgers University, said in a statement.
“Identification of the different foods that increase and decrease inflammation, and that increase or decrease menstrual pain, revealed that diet is one of many factors that contribute to health outcomes that are often overlooked,” Sannoh said.
According to NAMS, nearly 90 percent of teenage girls experience period pain and cramping. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily life. “With period pain being the leading cause of school absenteeism for teenage girls, it is important to explore options that can reduce pain,” NAMS Medical Director Stephanie Faubion said in a statement. “Something like adjusting the diet can be a relatively simple solution that can provide great relief for them.”
Sannoh hopes the research findings will inspire women of all ages to make dietary changes to improve their lives, especially during their menstrual cycle. “I hope this research will help those who menstruate to reduce the pain they experience and highlight the importance of holistic treatment options,” she said.
What are plant foods that reduce inflammation?
In addition to the possibility of reducing menstrual cramps, and adjusting the foods you eat reduce inflammation It can bring you closer to optimal health. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. More research has shown that both vegetarian and vegan eating patterns reduce inflammation in the body, likely due to the large number of antioxidants found in plant foods.
else study Posted in Obstetrics and gynecology Led by Neil Barnard, a low-fat vegan diet was found to significantly reduce pain and PMS for many women. The study involved 33 women who followed either a low-fat vegan diet or a regular diet and then switched treatments. The diet change was designed to do two things: eliminate all animal fats and nearly all vegetable oils, and his focus on plant foods increased fiber in the diet.
While study participants followed a low-fat, plant-based diet, the severity of their pain was significantly lower than during their usual diet. They also noted reduced water retention and fewer mood swings.
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