17 Apr Dodge menstrual cramps with green tea
In a new study of 1152 women, those who drank 3 to 5 cups of green tea daily were 51% less likely to have mild menstrual cramp pain and 61% less likely to have moderate-to-severe cramp pain compared to those who did not drink green tea, reports the journal BMJ Open.
The study authors theorize that green tea’s abundance of catechins may reduce the build-up of pain-causing prostaglandins that are behind menstrual cramp pain.
What about black tea? The researchers did not find a pain-killing link, which they believe is because black tea does not have the high level of catechins that green tea does due to its fermentation process.
Are you a coffee drinker and experience painful menstrual cramps? There may be a link. This study found that coffee drinkers were much more likely to experience period pain–and the more coffee the study participants drank the more intense their pain was. It may be that the high amount of caffeine constricts blood flow to your uterus, worsening pain, the researchers say.
Caveat: This study does not directly prove that green tea lowers menstrual cramp pain. However, it does suggest that this may be an easy way to prevent period pain that’s worth trying!
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(1) “Association of tea drinking and dysmenorrhoea among reproductive-age women in Shanghai, China (2013–2015): a cross-sectional study”, Xiaoyu Zhang, et al., BMJ Open, 9 (2019), April 8, 2019, bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/4/e026643.long