What Should I Eat On My Period


What Should I Eat On My Period? Planning out your diet during your menstrual cycle can be the difference between feeling great and feeling terrible. Having control over how you feel will help you get through life with a positive attitude and make healthier choices for yourself in the long run! The purpose of this article is to show what are good foods to eat when you have your period. It will provide some essential foods that should be in your diet everyday to prevent period cramps,


It is likely that you feel crampy, moody, tired, and bloated during this part of your monthly cycle, which is normal. Over the three days to a week that you’re actively menstruating, you’ll lose approximately 35-40 ml of blood, and that can make even healthy women slightly anemic due to the resulting loss of iron. What to eat during menstruation? Try your hardest to consume iron-rich foods during this time.
Examples include leafy green vegetables, lean meats, seeds, beans, and fish. While a good steak once a month is never a bad idea, fueling up on fish during this time can deliver an extra boost of Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory elements, too. Foods that are rich in vitamin C help the body absorb iron from other foods, so stock up on citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, and anything fortified with the vitamin. Conversely, stay away from alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine, as these can cause heavier menstrual bleeding and result in a greater loss of iron.
Add this to the menu: Grilled petite rib-eye steak with a southwestern bean salad.

Follicular Phase

This phase of your monthly cycle is characterized by heightened estrogen levels. Your body will be hard at work trying to develop a dominant follicle. If you’re having trouble conceiving, especially if it is due to endometriosis or fibroids, your body may be flooded with too much estrogen. In this case, try to consume foods that not only support follicle development but also help you metabolize estrogen as efficiently as possible.
Examples include green vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, and legumes. Cruciferous vegetables, like kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are packed with a phytonutrient called diindolylmethane (DIM), which helps normalize estrogen levels. While you’re at it, stay away from alcohol during the follicular phase, as it can quickly dehydrate the body, cause hormonal imbalance, and even cause cervical mucus to thicken to an undesirable level.
Add this to the menu: Grilled chicken breast with a side of sautéed cauliflower and garlic.


During the ovulation phase, the body is seeking as much B vitamins as you can deliver. B vitamins are used to encourage and support the healthy release of the egg and a successful implantation. Zinc is another important nutrient during this phase, too. Essential fatty acids, also called EFAs, are a necessary supplement during ovulation, as they help encourage blood flow to the uterus and promote the opening of the follicle to release the egg in a timely manner. Fuel up on foods that are rich in B vitamins, zinc, and EFAs.
Examples include whole grains, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and leafy greens. Also, ensure you take in plenty of water so your body is always adequately hydrated. Water plays an important role during ovulation, as it helps follicle development, transports hormones around the body, and even thins out cervical mucus, which increases the likelihood of pregnancy during traditional methods of conception. As in the previous two phases, stay away from alcohol. Try to also limit overly processed foods, acidic substances, and coffee.

Best and Worst Foods for Your Period

Woman holding stomach cramps digestive problems

We’ll be the first to admit that a Midol or two can be a woman’s saving grace when her period shows up for its monthly routine of causing havoc. But seeing as how we still need to eat several times a day, wouldn’t it make sense to make sure the foods we’re putting into our body are the best choices for our lives during our cycles? That’s why we’ve set out to discover exactly what to eat — and what not to eat — on your period.

Here’s what’s up: There are a number of commonly-consumed foods rich in nutrients that help your body fight back against the wrath of your out-of-control hormone and symptoms. Meanwhile, experts have identified a number of things you should avoid because they can make symptoms (like bloating and cramps) even worse.

To help you better cope with the most painful and annoying aspects of both PMS and your period, we pulled together the foods that can either help or hinder your hopes for feeling more normal. Check ’em out and then don’t miss these best foods for women

Whole-grain toast

toast - what to eat on your period

If every month, like clockwork, you get wild cravings for cookies and are as emotional as you did the first time you watched The Notebook, you’re not alone. The tears are flowing and your appetite is going wild because your serotonin (the mood-boosting, feel-good hormone) levels have dipped. Carb-rich foods (like those cookies calling you like a siren song) help to increase the amount of the hormone in your system. That’s why those cravings are so hard to say no to—your body is hunting for a hormonal overhaul.

Instead of caving to your inner Cookie Monster, turn to a healthy source of complex carbs like whole-grain bread. The raisins in the Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Sprouted Whole-Grain Bread provide natural sweetness to nip your sugar craving in the bud while the vitamin B6 and manganese-rich whole grains help boost your mood. “Whole wheat toast can provide us with the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin,” says April Bruns, RDN, LD, a registered dietician with Clear Springs Foods. “B vitamins are essential during a woman’s cycle because they help our metabolism by releasing energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates also provide us with fiber, which helps with bloating and constipation and helps us feel full with fewer calories.” Toast up a slice as a mid-morning mood-boosting snack.


Pumpkin seeds

pumpkin seeds - what to eat on your period

“PMS can be worsened by low serotonin levels, making a woman feel moody or sad. Our body does not make serotonin, but we can naturally increase our serotonin levels by eating foods high in tryptophan,” Bruns tells us. “Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and can aid in improved mood, less depression, and better sleep. Pumpkin seeds are an overlooked source of tryptophan that can easily be tossed into salads, smoothies or eaten as a snack.”

If you’re cranky and seem to snap at the drop of a hat when it’s that time of the month, reach for these little bullets that can ease your symptoms. Just one ounce of the seeds serves up 75 percent of your day’s magnesium, which can make you feel more positive and ward off water retention. The nutrient can also help relax your blood vessels, nixing painful headaches, too, according to research in Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. Mix pumpkin seeds into your salads and veggie side dishes for a touch of crunch and some much-needed relief.



melon - what to eat on your period

Having a hard time buttoning those skinny jeans that just fit a couple of days ago? Breathe easy: you didn’t gain weight! In the days leading up to your period, your body begins storing sodium and fluids. Instead of trading in your favorite pants for sweats and leggings, try munching on honeydew melon to de-bloat. Bruns suggests increasing your intake of water-rich foods such as melon instead of reaching for a salty, bloating snack. “Melon is made mostly of water and is a natural diuretic, which means it can help cure that puffy feeling you get during your period. Foods high in water will keep your body hydrated, reduce cramps and help improve your mood,” Bruns says.

What’s more, research suggests the fruit contains a compound called Cucumis melo, a diuretic that helps flush excess fluid from the body. That sugar and alcohol-filled daiquiri you’re craving, however, does the opposite. The bottom line? Skip the fruity cocktail and stick with the fruit if you want to zip up your pants. Bookmark these foods to stop belly bloat for more smart bites!



popcorn - what to eat on your period

Yes, you read that right! Popcorn is a powerful solution for the same reason Ezekiel bread is beneficial; it’s a whole grain that boosts the production of serotonin. “Whole grains cause the body to release insulin which promotes tryptophan absorption. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which can help us have a better mood, decreased depression, and improved sleep,” Bruns tells us. “The key is combining a whole-grain snack, like popcorn, with a protein source of tryptophan. Try sprinkling spices with no salt on air-popped popcorn and tossing in a handful of nuts while you’re watching your favorite late-night TV.

Stick to unsalted varieties to keep salt-induced bloating at bay while simultaneously improving your mood. So go ahead, pop a fresh bag and turn on Netflix. If there’s any time you get a free pass to binge-watch Scandal guilt-free, it’s this week. Just pass on the red wine.



saffron - what to eat on your period

If you typically feel so blue you want nothing more than to lie in a dark bedroom during Mother Nature’s monthly visit, we may have the cure you’ve been looking for: saffron. A British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology study found that consuming the yellow-hued spice can significantly reduce feelings of depression.

How? The spice increases serotonin levels, which typically drop before menstruation. Although saffron is one of the most expensive spices, a little of it goes a long way. Use it to whip up African, Middle Eastern, and European-inspired dishes and reap the PMS-busting benefits. The only caveat? You’ll need to crawl out of bed to do your cooking or cajole your significant other into whipping up dinner.


Rainbow Trout

rainbow trout - what to eat on your period

“Not only are omega-3 fats good for our heart and brain,” Bruns says, “but they can also help women relieve some PMS symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as chia seeds and rainbow trout. These healthy fats can help ease period cramping due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rainbow trout is also rich in high-quality protein loaded with B vitamins, helping you gain energy and stabilize mood swings.”


Chia seeds

chia seeds - what to eat on your period

If you can’t keep your eyes dry and cry at the drop of a hat, you probably need a nutritional fix. Adding some omega-3s to your plate may just do the trick. Harvard researchers think the nutrient may function as an antidepressant, although they aren’t sure exactly which mechanisms are involved quite yet. Some researchers believe the nutrient makes it easier for serotonin to pass through the cell membranes; in turn, making the effects of serotonin more powerful.

While omega-3s can be found in salmon, enriched eggs, and grass-fed beef, we like chia seeds because they are portable and easy to pop into just about anything. Add the small, but mighty seed into cereal, smoothies, and homemade baked goods to boost your intake and keep menstrual blues at bay.



beans - what to eat on your period

Before we even get into their benefits, you should know this is leading to a brownie recipe. Beans are a magnesium-rich food that helps boost serotonin levels and diminish water retention. Since a woman’s period can cause a lot of discomfort on digestion, accelerating menstrual cramps, foods high in fiber and magnesium can help with cramps, constipation, and diarrhea that may be experienced during that time,” Bruns explains. “Magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxer, giving women relief from menstrual cramps. Beans are a great combo of fiber and magnesium and can quickly be tossed in salads, soups, or wraps for a nutritious meal.”

When choosing a can to prepare, stick with no-salt-added varieties. Sodium can make your body hold onto water, undermining the bean’s bloat-busting effects. Bonus: These small but mighty seeds are antioxidant-rich and loaded with other good-for-you nutrients like iron, fiber, copper, zinc, and potassium.

Add beans to salads, soups, or whole-grain pasta and rice dishes. Craving something more indulgent? Here it is, folks, the healthy bean brownies we promised: Blend 15 ounces of black beans and 1 cup of water together in a blender. Combine with a package of organic brownie mix and combine until smooth. Bake in a greased baking dish for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Enjoy!

Foods to avoid

While all foods are OK in moderation, you might want to avoid certain foods that worsen the symptoms of your period.

1. Salt

Consuming lots of salt leads to water retention, which can result in bloating. To reduce bloating, don’t add salt to your foods and avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of sodium.

2. Sugar

It’s OK to have sugar in moderation, but eating too much of it can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash. This can worsen your mood. If you tend to feel moody, depressed, or anxious during your period, watching your sugar intake can help regulate your mood.

3. Coffee

Caffeine can cause water retention and bloating. It can also exacerbate headaches. But caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, too, so don’t cut out coffee completely if you’re used to having a few cups a day.

Coffee might also cause digestive issues. If you tend to get diarrhea during your period, reducing your coffee intake could stop this from happening.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on your body, which can exacerbate the symptoms of your period.

For example, alcohol can dehydrate you, which can worsen headaches and cause bloating. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhea and nausea.

Plus, a hangover can bring on some of the same symptoms that occur during your period, including:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

5. Spicy foods

Many people find that spicy foods upset their stomachs, giving them diarrhea, stomach pain, and even nausea. If your stomach struggles to tolerate spicy foods or if you’re not used to eating them, it might be best to avoid them during your period.

6. Red meat

During your period, your body produces prostaglandins. These compounds help your uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining, resulting in your menstrual flow. However, high levels of prostaglandins cause cramps.

Red meat may be high in iron, but it is also high in prostaglandins and should be avoided during menstruation.

7. Foods you don’t tolerate well

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: If you have food sensitivities, avoid those foods, especially during your period.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you might occasionally treat yourself to a milkshake, regardless. But during your period, it’s especially important to avoid the foods that can trigger issues in your body.

Eating these foods can cause nausea, constipation, or diarrhea, which will only add to your discomfort when you’re having a painful period.

Other cramp remedies

Eating and avoiding certain foods isn’t the only action you can take to ease the symptoms of your period. Try these, too:

  • Exercise. Some evidence suggests that exercise, such as light cardio and yoga, can reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Hot compresses. Hot water bottles or microwaveable hot compresses can soothe pain in your abdomen and back.
  • Over-the-counter medication. Ibuprofen and other OTC meds can reduce your cramps.
  • Massages. Massaging your stomach or your back can reduce menstrual pain. In a small 2010 study, massages soothed pain in 23 subjects with endometriosis.

What to Eat During Periods to Increase Flow

Below mentioned are a few superfoods that can increase menstruation flow:

1. Emmenagogues

These herbs stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. Turmeric or Haldi is one such herb. It has an antispasmodic effect on your body, expanding the uterus and inducing menstruation flow. Therefore, you may regularly consume Haldi doodh or turmeric latte to increase the flow and reduce period irregularities. However, before consuming these herbs, always consult a health expert.

2. Vitamin C-rich Fruits

These fruits are beneficial for inducing period flow. Papaya is one of the best vitamin C enriched fruits to eat during periods to increase blood flow. It contains carotene, which can help stimulate the oestrogen hormone that induces menstrual blood flow. Pineapple, oranges, lemon, kiwi, and mangoes are other vitamin-C-rich fruits that reduce irregularities in periods and regularise the flow when eaten regularly.

3. Beetroot

It contains iron, calcium, folic acid, and other essential nutrients. It helps decrease water retention and bloating and induces menstruation.

What to Eat During Periods to Reduce Pain

Following is a list of food that can help to reduce pain during the period:

1. Bananas

They are amazing for menstrual cramps. Hence, these are rich in fiber, beneficial in easy bowel movements, and reduce digestive problems, which might occur during periods. They also contain magnesium, which helps in reducing the severity of period cramps.

2. Lemons

These are a powerhouse of vitamin C, which assists your body in absorbing iron from the food you consume into the bloodstream and tissues. As you lose blood during menstruation, consumption of lemon juice or lemon tea helps in boosting the possess of iron absorption in your body. This also reduces stress in your body.

3. Broccoli

The fibre and iron in broccoli help reduce period cramps, especially the pain in your lower abdomen.

Fruits to Eat During Periods

Following are some fruits that you should eat during periods:

1. Sweet Fruits

To control sugar cravings during periods, you can eat sweet fruit such as apples, grapes, etc. These fruits help to fulfil your daily sugar intake and keep you at bay from consuming artificial sugar.

2. Water-rich Fruits

Fruits such as watermelon, muskmelon, strawberries, oranges, cucumber, etc., contain loads of water, hence keeping you hydrated. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during menstruation, to avoid feeling fatigued and stressed. In addition, these water-loaded fruits also help to decrease the chances of bloating during menses.

3. Citrus Fruits

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pomelos, and limes are some citrus fruits you can consume during your periods. These fruits help regulate your mood and make you feel better during periods.

4. Gut-friendly Fruits

Various women suffer from digestive problems during their periods. Therefore you must consume fruits that help resolve digestive issues and maintain your digestive health. One such fruit is bananas. It contains high potassium, which is beneficial for nerve function in the digestive tract.

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