6 Ways Trying a Vegan Diet can help PMS + Cramps
Vegan, or even a predominantly plant-based diet can have a lot of benefits to the body. But can a vegan or plant-based diet have an effect on menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms? Studies have shown the answer is very likely yes. Plant-based or vegan diets that are high in fiber, low in fat, with little to no vegetable oils have shown to significantly decrease inflammation, water retention and bloating, painful cramps, and even decrease mood swings.
So, how does this work? Your diet can significantly affect inflammation, as well as the levels of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for the thickening of the uterine lining as the body prepares for either pregnancy or menstruation. When the cells that line the uterus begin to break down during menstruation they release inflammatory prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are largely responsible for period cramps, as well as other symptoms including migraines and headaches, nausea and vomiting, as well as diarrhea.
Any inflammatory foods, including sugar, salt, coffee, dairy, processed meat and other foods, as well as those high in omega-6 fatty acids are likely to worsen inflammation occurring in the body during menstruation. Increases in inflammation or estrogen heightens the release of prostaglandins resulting in more painful cramps among other symptoms.
It is important to note that vitamin and other deficiencies can be common with a vegan diet. If you choose to go completely vegan, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure you are supplementing your diet accordingly. A vegetarian or pescatarian diet can be less prone to deficiency. You may also want to consider trying a predominantly plant-based or dairy and red or processed meat-free diet leading up to and during your period, to experience benefits, without committing completely to a vegan diet. Though studies have shown a healthy, vegan diet can have a positive, long-term effect on decreasing cramps and symptoms of PMS.
Here are six things you should know about going plant-based to ease PMS and period cramps.
1. Vegan, vegetarian or plant-based diets can decrease inflammation. Plant-based diets that include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, tend to be higher in antioxidants among other beneficial elements.
2. Animal products have been known to increase estrogen in the body. Higher estrogen means higher levels of prostaglandins which inevitably leads to increased cramps and inflammation.
3. Healthy, plant-based diets are typically low-fat. Cutting back on fat has shown to have a significant effect on lowering estrogen levels. Lower estrogen levels result in decreased cramps, pain, and other symptoms
4. Plant-based diets are often high in fiber, as it is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans among other plant-based foods. Fiber supports the body by blocking reabsorption and eliminating estrogen along with other waste products in the body. A diet that is predominantly processed foods, meat and dairy is typically low in fiber, which means more estrogen will build up in the body.
5. Dairy products, particularly milk products, often contain estrogen from cows, thus increasing the overall estrogen levels in the body
6. Red meat and processed meats have shown to increase menstrual cramps and other women’s health conditions such as endometriosis
In summary, by avoiding animal products, any processed food, particularly red meat, vegetable oils, and dairy, and replacing these with low-fat, high-fiber, high-antioxidant options such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, inflammation and estrogen levels can be decreased, leading to lower levels of prostaglandins and thus less pain and period symptoms.
Not ready to go vegan, but want plant-based period relief? All Holief products are vegan and made with natural ingredients expertly formulated to relieve symptoms PMS and period cramps.
Shop Holief Period Positivity
- Ashwagandha, Don Quai, Chasteberry, Hemp Extract, Maca Root, Vitamin B6, Evening Primrose oil
- Relief from the physical symptoms of PMS including inflammation, cramps, breast pain and tenderness,
- Relief from the emotional symptoms including anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and depression
- Neuroprotective, antidepressant, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects as well as memory enhancement.
Holi Mood Drops
- Evening Primrose oil, Hemp, Chocolate, Peppermint
- Ease PMS symptoms such as mood swings, breast tenderness, irritability, depression, hot flashes, and mastalgia.
- Boost mood, cognition, and memory.
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Cramp Roll on
- Evening primrose oil, Hemp Extract, Menthol, Peppermint, Rosemary and Eucalyptus
- Targeted support for breast tenderness and cramping.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to ease period cramps, while soothing the skin.
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Holi-Cramp Menstrual Relief Cream
- Hemp Extract, Menthol,
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may assist in easing symptoms related to dysmenorrhea or painful period cramps.
- Ppowerful, targeted cooling sensation and muscle relaxation for rapid relief from cramps.