Let’s be honest, periods are never fun. Besides the inconvenience, they can considerably impact the lives of those who have them. In fact, over 80% of people who have periods experience cramps, moodiness and bloating, among other undesirable symptoms.
While research is somewhat limited on the topic, some experts argue that ditching meat and dairy could improve the symptoms of menstruation. In fact, women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider told POPSUGAR that is not uncommon for people to experience better periods upon turning vegan.
Wider explained that those ditching animal products “describe lighter periods, less PMS symptoms including, mood swings, cramps, and even bloating”.
Similarly, dietitian and health expert Julieanna Hever revealed that she too had heard multiple cases of improved period symptoms after shifting to veganism. Hever experienced the changes first-hand, apparently seeing a “significant improvement” after making the switch.
“Plant-based diets are anti-inflammatory,” she stated, even adding that a plant-based diet may work in the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil.
Contrastingly, it has been stated that consuming meat, eggs, and dairy “triggers an inflammatory reaction inside the body”.
Plant-based foods are frequently recommended to assist with period pain- bananas, oranges, brown rice, broccoli, almond butter, spinach and even dark chocolate are among those recommended. The evidence concerning animal products such as meat and fish suggests that these foods have a detrimental effect, even increasing period pain in some cases.
Although research on the issue is limited, one study found that following a plant-based diet reduced the duration and intensity of menstrual cramps. An obstetrics and gynaecology clinic has supported these ideas, revealing that “Some plant-based diet eaters have noticed lighter flow, less painful cramps, decreased bloating, and fewer mood swings”.
While a lack of research leaves the issue somewhat inconclusive, the research done so far points towards plant based diets having the potential to alleviate menstrual symptoms. However, each person’s experience will differ, this information should not be considered a substitute for professional medical treatment.