As girls reach puberty between the ages of 10 and 15, they cannot avoid having menstrual flow lasting between 28 to 34 days, which plays a huge role in their reproduction cycle. However, they can develop period/menstrual cramps, which can be painful monthly, and various solutions such as lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, and medical treatments have been sought to alleviate it.
Period cramps occur when a woman’s uterus tightens and relaxes to remove its lining during menstruation. You can also call this cramps dysmenorrhea, affecting women in their lower belly.
So, among the various solutions to ease menstrual cramps, drinking orange juice is quite effective, according to some studies. However, how true is it? Can women start drinking more of it? Keep reading to find out.
How Orange Juice Can Ease Menstrual Cramps
While most people believe that orange juice can ease period cramps, there’s little evidence to back it up. However, it has several qualities that make people use it even though you can entirely rely on it.
Orange juice contains vitamin C, which includes antioxidant properties to reduce stress and the ability to boost the immune system. During menstrual flow, women lose iron, and one of the features of vitamin C is to absorb iron. So when you take orange juice, you’ll also heal quickly, and it will help you ease the pain experienced.
Another feature of orange juice that can help to ease period cramps is flavonoids, which are plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on health. Periods can cause inflammation and pain, and this is where flavonoids come to the rescue.
During the menstrual cycle, women lose blood, weakening them. While orange juice includes folate, also called vitamin B9, which can help by making more red blood cells, its direct role in restoring blood loss and easing menstrual cramps still lacks some evidence. However, there is still a chance it can still be effective to an extent.
Moreover, orange juice is rich in potassium, which manages blood pressure and ensures the muscles are functioning correctly. Sometimes, during menstrual cramps, the uterus muscles squeeze too hard and cause severe pain in the abdomen. Potassium can help to relax the muscles and ease the pain.
Downsides of Orange Juice
While drinking a glass or two of orange juice can boost your mood and alleviate period cramps, it has some downsides.
- Consuming too much sugar drinks like orange juice can increase blood sugar levels, which can cause health issues like type 2 diabetes, obesity, cavities, etc. Therefore, orange juice should be taken moderately.
- Orange juice is not recommended for everyone because sometimes, instead of easing menstrual cramps, it might increase it due to the acids present in it. Such individuals will experience gastrointestinal problems, severe bloating, and pain. Therefore, these individuals should avoid it.
Other Strategies To Incorporate With Orange Juice
While orange juice might not stop menstrual cramps but ease them to an extent, the following are other strategies to adopt:
- Eating a Balanced Diet: Consuming several healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will help the body get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for overall well-being and ease menstrual cramps. Moreover, when you eat foods rich in magnesium, like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, it may relax the muscles and ease the cramps. Also, eating omega-3 fatty acids foods like salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, etc., will offer anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate period cramps.
- Drinking Enough Water: If you’re dehydrated, you risk making your period cramps more painful. So, drinking enough water and adding your orange juice to it can reduce bloating and other pain related to menstruation.
- Exercising: Just because exercising is an option to ease menstrual cramps, it doesn’t mean you should do high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It will only make it worse. Instead, consider light aerobic exercises like yoga or walking. These exercises help to circulate the blood and boost your mood by releasing endorphins.
Menstrual cramps can be painful for women, as they seek different ways to relieve it, including drinking orange juice. Orange juice isn’t a reliable solution to ease this pain; however, it can still do some good. You can try incorporating strategies like eating a balanced diet, exercising, and hydration to relieve it. Don’t forget to take orange juice in moderation and avoid it if it increases the pain.