Plant Based Diet
Plant Based Diet
By | July 30th, 2013 | Modified - January 19th, 2015

Eat A Plant Based Diet For Menstrual Cramps Relief?

Menstrual Cramps Relief With A Plant Based Diet
Menstrual Cramps Relief With A Plant Based Diet

Menstrual cramps relief with a plant based diet? I usually write about subjects I have first hand experience with, but I can say I have no first hand experience with this subject.

I wrote this article about menstrual cramps relief because I found an interesting video by Michael Greger M.D. which covered the issue of easing menstruation pain with a plant based diet.

The conclusion seemed obvious to me but there is no way for me to test the idea on myself since I am a man, and I wondered what women would think of the idea? I also wondered how many women even knew that they could seek menstrual cramps relief with a plant based diet, and since there are many women who have converted to a vegetarian and vegan diet, did they notice menstrual cramps relief?

Menstrual Cramps: Dysmenorrhea

This is what I have learned. Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods, which affects half of menstruating women. When I heard this, the gears in my head started to turn. I thought, “Was this half of the women in the world, or half of the women in the US, or half the women in industrialized nations? Why didn’t the other half experience the severe menstrual cramps?” Does the environment and food affect the levels of women’s menstrual cramps differently in different parts of the world? I am still researching this.

Dr. Greger pointed out that few women will seek treatment for painful menstrual cramps because they believe it will not help. I wondered if most women do not seek treatment because they believed the pain was just part of the natural process.

Menstrual Cramps Relief: Medical Treatment

Dr. Greger does point out the different treatments, with a bit of sarcastic humor. It seemed like the more difficult treatments were examined first before the simplest. This may be because the more difficult and destructive treatments were the quickest treatments for severe menstrual cramps relief, while the simpler treatments took more time and discipline.

Treatments ranged from surgically cutting the nerves leading to the uterus, performing a hysterectomy and completely removing the uterus, and hormone therapy to suppress the menstrual cycle all together.

I found it interesting to learn that menstrual cramps is caused by inflammation. A lightbulb went off in my head! Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen provide menstrual cramps relief in two thirds of women, but women need to be aware of the adverse drug side effects.

Natural Relief For Menstrual Cramps

There are non-drug, non-surgical treatments like acupuncture, and behavioral therapies that provide menstrual cramps relief but their effect is generally weak. So is there any help in sight?

Menstrual Cramps Relief: Vitamin D

It appears that a single high dose of vitamin D can provide menstrual cramps relief. It a test, all of the women who took vitamin D felt better compared to none of the women feeling better who were given a placebo.

Menstrual Cramps Relief: Plant Based Diet

Now back to my “Ah-ha” moment. Menstrual cramps are caused by inflammation. Lightbulb! What is a natural and best way to reduce overall inflammation in the body? A plant based diet is.

Women were put on an anti-inflammatory diet, a plant based diet, for two menstrual cycles. These women experienced significant pain relief for menstrual cramps which included reduction in pain duration and pain intensity.

This was a cross over study so the women were supposed to return to their regular diets after the two cycles were up. Several of the women said no because they felt so much better, even though they were required to do so by the conditions of the study.

A plant based diet provides menstrual cramps relief and is also an excellent way to reduce overall inflammation and diseases caused by inflammation, which is an excellent way to provide you with healthy living.

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About Author:

I obtained a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, a BA in Organizational Behavior and Communications from NYU, worked as an elementary school teacher, and have studied social work. I am a web designer/developer and I enjoy boxing, kick boxing, cycling, power walking, and basically anything challenging, and my plant based diet supports all that I do. Eating a plant based diet and exercising is a great way to achieve healthy living. ~ Natural Life Energy

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  • Cathy says:

    I have experienced painful cramps for years, but found that the following helped to eliminate the pain:
    1) Drinking dandelion green tea throughout the day OR
    2) drinking two cups of almond milk in one sitting OR
    3) a cup of tomato soup

  • Lori B. says:

    OMG, it worked for me!! I am on day 18 full vegan and this has been the first time in my life that I didn’t get ANY of the extremely bad cramps I always get after having my IUD taken out. My breasts are barely sore too!!! This is a game changer for me. I wasn’t sure how long I could go without my cheese, but I truly dont think I will ever eat meat or dairy again.

    • Aqiyl says:

      This is great news Lori!!! Please share this information with your friends. I share this information with female friends of mine and they take a while to come around, because they think I can’t relate because I am a man. I am just patient with them and they slowly come around, but hearing this from other women makes the process quicker.

  • Lynn says:

    I totally agree with your findings here based on firsthand experience. I am usually a die-hard carnivore but last month I went on a meditation retreat that started about 3 days before my period came, where they served only vegetarian food. Remarkably, for the first time in several months, I had no cramps at all. I’m still trying to figure out how early I’d need to start a veggie diet to prevent cramps relative to my cycle (I just can’t give up meat completely) but this was certainly an eye-opening experience.

  • Sara says:

    Thank you very much, I really appreciated this article. I’m going to begin a vegan healty diet for better manage my debilitating menstrual pain. I’ve taken all the necessary tests and all the doctors could suggest nothing but pills. Thank god we have internet and websites like yours! If I succed I’ll sure be back to report my experience. Cheers from Italy!

  • Akilah says:

    Aqiyl, I can attest to this firsthand! Last month, I switched from my regular diet (meat-eater, but no red meat) to a raw vegan (fruitarian) diet. I used to have intense menstrual cycles with heavy flow and debilitating pain. During last month’s cycle, I had some discomfort, but nowhere near the level of pain I usually experience. I’ve since re-introduced cooked vegan food into my diet, but no meat, and during this month’s cycle, I had some cramping and bloating, but again, nowhere near the level of my usual pain. I’m really grateful that you shared these insights, because they reinforce what I already know–more plants for me, for sure! Keep giving all this vital information; I appreciate you immensely!

    • Akilah, thank you very much for sharing your experience. I try to pass on as much knowledge as I can, but I have no practical experience in this matter. Thank you for sharing your experience with other women who can benefit from it. I am humbled that you appreciate the knowledge I pass on. (Please forgive my tardy response. I just realized that many of my comments were being caught up in the spam filter, sigh…)

  • Evelyn says:

    Hi Aqiyl!

    I can’t remember the last time I had menstrual cramps. I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with cramps. :) Eating a plant-based diet has definitely helped me and I would recommend it to anyone who has problems.

    Take care,



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