Chocolate And Ice Cream
Sometimes all you want to do is curl up on the sofa with a tub of Ben and Jerrys. Yet this comfort food could actually be doing more harm than good, as Mina explains:
“Foods such as these are really high in both saturated fat and sugar. When we eat excessive amounts of foods such as these, were putting ourselves at risk of weight gain, skin problems, diabetes and heart disease – not to mention mood swings!”
We’d recommend swapping milk and white chocolate for dark when the cravings kick in thanks to it’s high iron content. And any other sugary treats can be enjoyed – though moderation is key.
Tracy Lockwood Beckerman Rd
It’s better to plan ahead than have these cravings sneak up on you when you are not prepared
So what’s the best way to satisfy these cravings? Beckerman says preparation is key. “That way, you are ready to feed your body with wholesome nutrients coming from antioxidant rich dark chocolate, seasonal fruit, or homemade muffins. It’s better to plan ahead than have these cravings sneak up on you when you are not prepared.”
Are There Any Foods You Should Avoid On Your Period
In Brothers work, she tends to focus on foods that we can add into our meals to have a better period, rather than removing any. I find that many of us have a restrictive mindset when it comes to what we eat, so when we focus on eating enough protein, healthy fats, fiber and greens and avoiding feeling guilty for having a few sweets, that can help us have a better period, support our energy levels and improve our mood.
However, trying to limit processed foods, which are high in salt, will possibly help you to feel less bloated.
Alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep, explains Weston, and whilst you shouldnt deny yourself a sweet treat, try not to overload on sugar. Sugar causes inflammation, which can worsen cramps, and sugar cravings are usually down to changes in hormones, she says. Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, try and take some nuts and fruit to work.
What To Eat On Your Period And When
Cramps, low mood, food cravings? Many people have unpleasant symptoms during their menstrual cycle. If that sounds like you, it might be worth looking at whether diet adjustments could help.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best, says the NHS website, but there may also be some foods or eating patterns which can affect you, for better or worse, throughout the stages of your menstrual cycle.
What To Eat On Your Period:
Dark ChocolateYou dont have to totally avoid sweets on your period! Containing antioxidants and magnesium, dark chocolate can actually help reduce headaches and cramps.
Dark Leafy GreensAs you lose blood on your period, your body benefits from replenishing minerals such as iron and calcium. According to Sydney Ziverts, Health & Nutrition Investigator from ConsumerSafety.org, can help to reduce menstrual pains and lessen bloating and water retention. Additionally, If youre iron deficient, you may experience unwanted symptoms during your period such as brain fog, excessive tiredness, and mood swings. Kale and broccoli are great options that are easy to incorporate into your meals.
BeansYep, theyre good for your heart but also for your period being rich in iron and magnesium! Eating beans during your period can help to boost serotonin levels and diminish bloating, says Ziverts.
SalmonConsuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or tuna, can help reduce inflammation during a period. says Dr. Denise Elser, urogynecologist as Advocate Christ Medical Center in Illinois. Not a fan of fish? Other great options include walnuts, chia seeds, and brussels sprouts.
EggsBeat PMS symptoms with eggs! The Vitamin D found in egg yolks can help ease PMS symptoms, specifically cramping, says Dr. Elser. Vitamin D is also known to improve your energy levels and mood.
Read Also: Why Do We Have Period Cramps
What Not To Eat During Period Top 10 Foods To Avoid
Eating certain foods during menstruation can worsen the symptoms of your period. So you should know what not to eat during period to reduce the symptoms. Salty food can cause water retention and this results in bloating. Also, eating too much sugar can put you in a bad mood. These foods can cause indigestion and more period pain.
Some women experience harsh symptoms during their periods like nausea, fatigue, mood swings, and headaches. They also have cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating. Some women find it hard to get out of bed during their periods due to these awful symptoms.
Eating unhealthy foods during menstruation to comfort your hormones can make the symptoms worse. Your body needs nutrient-rich foods during this time to restore its strength. Healthy foods can ease the symptoms and help you regain your energy. Chicken, fish, fruit, and vegetables can help you feel better. Also, drinking enough water can reduce bloating and water retention.
So here is a list of foods that you should avoid during your period:
What Foods Help With Period Cramps
During your period, fluctuating hormones constrict your uterine muscles, which cause cramping. Some foods that help with period cramps are those that have a calming effect like herbal teas or camomile tea, and potassium-rich food like bananas and kiwis. Also, some menstrual cup users report experiencing less cramping, even though research has yet to prove this claim.
Also Check: After Your Period How Many Days To Ovulation
Putting Foods To Work
The key to success is to follow the diet strictly so that the beneficial effects are evident over time.
Eat plenty of:
- Whole grains: brown rice, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, etc.
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils
- Fruits: apples, mangoes, berries, oranges, etc.
- Animal products: fish, poultry, meats, eggs, and dairy products
- Refined grains: white bread, refined cereals, pastries, etc.
- Added vegetable oils: salad dressings, margarine, and all cooking oils
- Fatty foods: doughnuts, cheese, French fries, potato chips, etc.
Increase Your Amount Of Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is full of nutritious goodness for your period. Fruit is full of natural sugars to soothe those sugar cravings. Juicy fruits, like watermelon combat bloating because of the high water content. They also contain nutrients, such as B6, which can ease irritability and a bloated belly. Bananas, like dark chocolate, contain a considerable amount of magnesium as well as potassium. Alongside unrelenting hunger, many women may have irregular digestion during shark week. Eating bananas can help your tummy regulate digestion. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes contain both calcium and vitamin D which have been known to combat PMS symptoms.
Soooo here is the bad news
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What Causes The Pain
Before a period begins, the cells that form the lining of the uterus, also called endometrial cells, begin to break down during menstruation and release large amounts of inflammatory prostaglandins. These chemicals constrict the blood vessels in the uterus and make the muscle layer contract, causing painful cramps. Some of the prostaglandins enter the bloodstream, causing headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.2
Researchers have measured the number of prostaglandins produced by cells of the uterus and found that it is higher in women with menstrual pain than for women who have little or no pain. This helps explain why nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work for menstrual pain. Ibuprofen , naproxen , and other NSAIDs reduce the production of prostaglandins. NSAIDs have been found to decrease menstrual flow, which may reduce menstrual pain.
Avoid: Sugar And Artifical Sweeteners
We fully understand that when your uterine lining is plotting its exit strategy, few things are more satisfying than a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie from your local coffee shop. Just keep in mind that sugar is a slippery slope, especially when it comes to mitigating your period symptoms. By messing with your blood sugar and cortisol levels, sugar will likely only exacerbate bad mood swings, acne, and energy levels. That’s especially important to remember if overwhelming fatigue is one of your most consistent side effects.
Artificial sweeteners aren’t a wise replacement, since they’re shown to disrupt hormones as well. Our advice? If you’re craving something naughty, reach for some unsweetened dark chocolate instead.
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In Fact Pretty Much Stay Away From All Junk Food
Despite the fact all we want to eat is junk food during our period, it really isnt the best thing for us menstruators. Fried foods and processed foods can increase estrogen levels. This can then worsen your period cramps. High-sodium foods will leave you feeling like a bloated balloon as they retain water in the body. Processed grains such as white bread, pasta, cereal rice etc, dont help with bloating either. They also cause your blood sugars to spike which is a cause for concern, particularly around your period.
Now you know what foods can help your period, you can eat your way to an easy-breezy period. Well almost. Making healthier choices will directly impact your menstrual health. Bringing in the right foods before, during and after your period will balance out your hormones, meaning your PMS wont hit you as hard. You surely cant say no to that.
Should You Give In To Period Cravings
Though you shouldn’t totally give in to eating junk or processed foods, which are rich in sodium, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, it’s not healthy to completely deprive yourself either. Find a balance and eat healthily while treating yourself to a few cookies or slices of pizzas every once in a while.
Read Also: How To Know You Missed Your Period
Do Proper Type And Intensity Of Exercise
If you are a person who has period irregularities, then light to moderate exercise can really be helpful. Daily exercise can be really helpful to keep the periods on track.
On the other hand, too much of vigorous exercise can disrupt normal menstrual rhythm. Many athletes who indulge in extremely strenuous exercise activities from a very young age, face multiple hormonal issues and hence have disrupted menstrual rhythm.
So, limiting the exercise at proper levels as well as performing the right type of exercise can be beneficial in bringing periods faster.
The Best Foods To Eat On Your Period According To Experts
Grappling with PMS? We asked the experts for the best foods to eat on your period to make things a little easier
Our diet has an impact on most aspects of our health, and how we eat during our menstrual cycle is no exception. But what are the best foods to eat on your period?
Having a well-balanced diet is always good for us, but at different phases of our menstrual cycle, our body both craves, and needs, different things. Whether its adding in extra vitamins through supplements, using the best protein powder for women to keep you fuller for longer, or upping your intake of foods rich in nutrients, you can make lots of changes to help influence detoxification, avoid excess bloating, and increase your energy levels.
Our body is most harmonious when we feed it what it needs, and keeping our body in check when the balance of progesterone and estrogen changes is important to keep us feeling physically and mentally well. We spoke with LeNise Brothers , registered nutritional therapist and author of You Can Have a Better Period, and Penny Weston, founder of MADE , to find out the best foods to eat on your period, so that you can feel your best during some of the more difficult times of the month.
Read Also: How To Regulate Your Period With Pcos
What To Eat After Your Period Nourish Your Blood
The optimal time to nourish your blood is within 1-5 days after you stop bleeding.
1. Eat some blood nourishing foods.
Check out my list of simple blood nourishing foods.
2. Avoid sugary foods.
Blood sugar fluctuation is one of the main causes of PMS symptoms. You can keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding sugary foods, such as soft drinks, candies, and cakes.
I have to admit I have a weakness for chocolates, and I dont want to give up the pleasure of enjoying them. So I go with 70-80% dark chocolates and savor them in moderation.
3. Consume foods high in fiber.
Fiber can help move excess estrogen from your body, hence regulate your periods, reducing PMS and calming your mood. Veggies, fruits and whole grains are good sources of fiber.
4. In between meals have some healthy snacks rich in Vitamin B.
Walnuts, almonds and cashews are some good choices. For more info, check out how B complex affects your menstrual cycles and fertility.
5. Make sure you get sufficient proteins in your meals.
Salmon, organic meat, eggs, tofu, tempeh or beans are examples of high quality protein.
6. Keep your meals regular.
Regular meals help avoid blood sugar fluctuation and strengthen your digestion.
7. Avoid or reduce caffeine intake.
Too much caffeine can make you prone to mood fluctuations, such as irritability or anxiety.
Try organic raspberry tea or green tea instead. Theyre healthier and can be just as delightful.
8. Consume calcium-rich foods.
Redefine The Good Stuff To Avoid Feeling Bad
When youre cramping and irritable, you just know that a hot fudge brownie sundae with extra fudge, nuts and whipped cream will make everything better. The problem is those sweet treats can significantly impact your insulin levels.
Foods that are really sugary and sweet will increase your insulin levels, and high insulin levels can cause imbalances in other female-factor hormones. Thats why you want to follow a low glycemic diet starting at least a couple of weeks before your expected period, says Dr. McClure.
If you eat a lot of carbs and sugar during your period, you might feel bloated or backed up. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome might experience irregular periods which could lead to other complications. But when your blood sugar levels are going up and down, Dr. McClure says you might feel tired or get headaches frequently.
The other problem with that hot fudge brownie sundae comes from the added estrogens that can be found in some animal products such as dairy and oils. Estrogens, which can be found in some animal products and added oils, can cause your uterine lining to become abnormally thickened. Then, during your menstrual cycle, your body must create more prostaglandins to break down the lining. More prostaglandins translate to more pain. Thus, you also want to avoid foods that can increase estrogen levels in your body.
Read Also: How Do I Know I M Getting My Period
Foods To Eat During Periods
Lets be honest- even without symptoms, periods arent easy on anyone. Sudden cravings are also often accompanied by an increase in hunger, and that should not be ignored. However, eating right can not only help you satiate your hunger and curb cravings but can also make you feel much better! Below is a list of foods to eat during your period.
Warm Compress Or Bath
A warm bath may help relax tight muscles and relieve emotional stress. Perhaps this is the reason for anecdotal reports that this can help to bring on your period.
You can try adding some relaxing scented oil to a bath. You could also try using a warm compress such as a hot water bottle by applying it to the abdomen.
Heat may help you relax. It may also help increase blood flow to the area, thus gently accelerating the menstrual cycle. However, research is needed to support this.
Also Check: Do You Get Cramps On Your First Period
Avoid The Following Things During Periods
The following are some things that can be harmful and exacerbate the symptoms in women during menstruation. Food such as processed food, fried food, chips, high-fat, high salted, sour things, etc. These things should be avoided.
1. Avoid Caffeine
We should limit the quantity of caffeine during periods. Although caffeine has no direct impact on periods it can shorten the length of periods. It can also cause increased urination or headache sometimes. Dehydration also occurs if we consume caffeine during periods. This can worsen menstrual symptoms like pain, cramps, discomfort, etc. Instead of caffeine-containing products, you can go for green tea, carrot and tomato juice or any kind of vegetable soup. It will help to relieve cramps during menstruation.
2. Avoid Consumption Of Alcohol
Consumption of alcohol during menstrual periods can increase discomfort so it should be avoided. Intake of alcohol during periods can cause the swelling of the lower abdomen. It can also cause irregularities in periods and increase estrogen levels in the body, which can worsen menstrual symptoms. Instead of alcohol consumption, you can drink coconut water or lassi. This will be helpful to keep women hydrated during menstruation.
3. Avoid Processed Foods
4. Avoid High-fat Food
5. Avoid Dairy Products
6. Avoid Fried Food
7. Avoid Excess Of Salt Consumption
8. Avoid Red Meat
What To Eat After Your Period
Starting already towards the end of your period, when your flow is lighter, you will want to focus on food that supports estrogen production. Its the hormone responsible for boosting your mood and energy levels.
Youll feel your absolute best during this phase, which leads up to ovulation, so this is a great time to start a new habit, focus on new workout routines and schedule social appointments.
- Adding a tablespoon of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds to your salad, porridge or energy balls can naturally increase your estrogen levels.
- Make the most of the rise in energy levels, and get active. Support your muscles growth and body by making sure that your body gets enough proteins.
- Youre appetite will decrease during this phase, so focus on eating your meals regularly. It will be a lot easier to focus on healthy foods in smaller portions, so if theres a new healthy recipe you want to try, this is the menstrual phase to do it.>
- Its a great week to consume calcium-rich foods such as kale, spinach, collard greens or turnips.
- But theres also a downside to all of the energy coming from the estrogen-peak: some might feel anxiety or stress. If thats the case for you and you feel restless, try to meditate a little and add a ritual that includes drinking chamomile tea, taking a few moments for yourself and relaxing.
You can find a variety of creative, delicious recipes for this menstrual phase here.
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