We women suffer pain in the lower abdomen during ovulation, during days with premenstrual syndrome, and during menstruation. This pain is caused by contractions like those in childbirth due to the changes happening in our bodies and hormonal imbalances.

During these days, we may also get headaches, swelling, depression and feel apathetic or irritable. But there is fortunately a way to reduce these symptoms with food.

However, it is not just about changing habits during this period, but eliminating or adding certain foods to our normal diets that seem to be related to these pains.

It is very important to eliminate estrogen that has fulfilled its function in the body, so we should eat a good amount of fiber to assist with bowel movements because, if not, it is reabsorbed, which causes turmoil to these hormones.

They also recommend eating red meat, legumes, red fruits and seafood, due to their zinc, folate and protein contents, which helps increase the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Hormonal alterations also take place during menopause that–while not translating into the same pain as menstrual pain–have other effects on the body. And it has been proven that in countries where they consume soy sauce and flax seeds, menopause occurs without any problems, so it is recommendable to increase their consumption.

Another bad habit we do is stuff ourselves with chocolate, jelly beans, ice cream, cookies… We understand, they are difficult moments and we all deserve a reward. But we are actually hurting ourselves more. The increase in blood sugar causes a leap in insulin, which triggers a process to metabolize it that stops estrogen from being evacuated.

However, there is a larger problem that is more difficult to avoid: food packaging. Plastics contain a series of chemicals called xenoestrogens, which contribute to premenstrual disturbances and can even hinder reproduction. Due to this, experts recommend not drinking liquids in plastic glasses or bottles, avoiding ready-made food trays and not microwaving food in plastic containers. It is better to move these foods onto a plate and then heat them.

Relax though, it may seem like we’re making it really tough for you, but it really is not that complicated, and we assure you that you can forget about the pain, without turning to ibuprofen. As mentioned, the pain occurs because of the excessive cramping of the uterus, and zinc, the omega-3 acids in blue fish and magnesium, which is in nuts, legumes and vegetables, will reduce them.