Make sure to keep these ingredients in stock to make recipes that will help you power through those dreaded 5-7 days of monthly womanhood. Bananas: These beautiful yellow fruits are loaded with B vitamins and potassium that help relieve cramping, reduce water retention and bloating. It also contains melatonin that helps to regulate the body’s natural rhythms and provide a good night’s rest. Oats: Oats are high in zinc and magnesium, which are anti-cramp vitamins and minerals, so kiss those cramps goodbye by squeezing in a bowl of oatmeal into your weekly diet plan. If possible, soak the oats overnight in water and enjoy them the next morning for breakfast — doing this will allow the enzymes to break down and the nutritional value in the oats to improve. Spinach & Kale: These leafy greens are jam-packed with calcium, which has been known to alleviate menstrual cramps. They also containvitamin E, B6 and magnesium which all help to provide strength to fight of tummy pains. For all you ladies who suffer from icky stomach pains, load up on this and you won’t be sorry. If you’re not a fan of either vegetable, sneak them into your smoothies and salads — the options are endless and we have plenty of recipes to use them in. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds: Vitamin E is known to be a magical “menstruation cramp relief” vitamin, and it is commonly found in pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They also contain zinc which alleviates belly bloats and stomach pains. Sunflower seeds are a great source of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which helps support the absorption of zinc and magnesium. Both seeds consumed together work hand in hand, and will reduce abdominal discomfort in no time! So, instead of popping a handful of M&Ms in your mouth, swap it with a mix of these and you’re good to go! >> If you don’t want to eat them plain, use them in a healthy recipe. Sesame seeds: In addition to pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sesame seeds are great to toss on your food. These tiny guys contain healthy fatty acids that help relax the stomach muscles, reduce cramping and are also rich in vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. Sprinkle them on stir-fry dishes, salads and other healthy noodles! Water: Drinking as much water as possible on your menstrual cycle is a must! Water is always extremely important, but by staying hydrated on your period, the chances of the body retaining water decreases and painful bloating is minimized. Try to make yourself a hot cup of water with lemon and ginger before you go to bed to relax muscles and cramping. Always have a water bottle nearby to remind you to stay hydrated, and feel free to jazz up your daily intake with tasty flavor combinations.