Alright so maybe this is a bit TMI, but it’s that time of the month for me – and with that comes terrible cramps that make me want to curl up into a ball and cry and not do anything. But exams means I have to study, and that means I have to get rid of the cramps somehow. Usually I take some painkillers. But another symptom I experience while on my period is super-intense hunger. I don’t even crave anything specific, I just feel a constant hollow ache in my stomach that screams foooodddddd. Painkillers don’t solve that. So I went scavenging in the fridge today.
This smoothie is great because it contains ingredients which are supposed to alleviate cramps – bananas and oranges, both of which are high in potassium. Bananas are also high in magnesium, another mineral which helps with cramps (or rather, low magnesium and potassium levels make cramps worse). Then there’s pineapple, which contains bromelain, an enzyme which is supposed to help relax the muscles and thus reduce cramping. I also added chia seeds, which are high in magnesium and also have lots of protein, making the smoothie more filling.
(Also let’s be honest, that’s just what was in my fridge today.)
Next time, I would probably try adding spinach as well – it’s high in iron, something that you lose a lot of while menstruating. (I learnt this the hard way when I went for a blood donation drive; being on your period pushes your iron count down really low. Rejection from blood donation hurts.) Plus, spinach doesn’t alter the taste of the smoothie so it doesn’t taste like veggies.
So here’s my smoothie for ‘that time of the month’:
1 banana (peeled, chopped and frozen) –> please don’t freeze the whole banana, chop it first THEN freeze
1 orange (remove skin and chop flesh roughly)
5-6 pieces of pineapple
1-2 tsp chia seeds
handful of spinach
1/2 cup water
Blend everything together, pour into a cup and enjoy, preferably curled up in bed with some good entertainment and no responsibilities whatsoever. If there’s too much stuff in your blender, blend the orange + pineapple + water first into a liquid before adding the other ingredients.
I’m so delighted with this because I totally didn’t expect all of these ingredients to come together and be perfect for helping with my cramps. Will definitely be making more of this in the months to come.
If you try this, let me know if it helps/works for you! And well, if you don’t get cramps, good for you! This is delicious anyway on its own, so you should still try making it (: