You probably know that as someone who menstruates, your body and mood can change throughout the month. But did you know that what you consume can also affect the intensity of symptoms and your overall experience during each phase of your cycle? From menstruation to ovulation and beyond, certain foods can help alleviate uncomfortable period symptoms, while others can actually make them worse.
It is important to eat a balanced diet during menstruation to get the right nutrients and reduce period symptoms. Here are a few foods that are good to eat during this time:
Complex carbohydrates are a great source of sustained energy and aid in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes, whole grains, and brown rice are all fantastic options for obtaining complex carbs.
Iron is essential for keeping red blood cell levels at healthy levels and preventing anemia. Lean red meat, fish, nuts, legumes, seeds, and fortified cereals are all excellent sources of iron.
Magnesium is crucial for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. It also helps in alleviating pain and cramps associated with periods. Foods that are rich in magnesium include dark chocolate, leafy greens, avocados, and bananas.
Probiotics aid in maintaining a healthy gut and digestion, which can relieve bloating and discomfort during periods. Foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics.
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in reducing inflammation and relieving pain associated with periods. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and mackerel.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in enhancing iron absorption and strengthening the immune system. Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, and bell peppers are abundant sources of vitamin C.
Calcium is necessary to keep bones healthy and prevent muscle cramps. Dairy items, green leafy vegetables, and fortified plant-based milk are excellent sources of calcium.
It is important to stay hydrated during menstruation because water helps with body temperature, digestion, and nutrient absorption. Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, and you can also try herbal teas for extra benefits.
Fruits are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can ease menstrual discomfort. Here are a few recommended fruits to consume during your period.
Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate pain and inflammation during periods. Furthermore, they are abundant in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and aids in fighting infections.
During periods, consuming bananas is a great choice because they contain high levels of potassium. This mineral helps control water retention and decreases bloating. Moreover, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and aids in fighting infections.
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that can reduce pain and swelling during periods. This fruit is also an essential source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and aids in fighting infections.
Eating oranges is a great way to get vitamin C, which can strengthen the immune system and promote collagen production. This can ease some of the discomforts that come with menstruation, like pain and inflammation.
Watermelon is a great dietary choice for your period menu because it has a lot of water and can keep you hydrated. This is important during menstruation because your body loses fluids from bleeding. Watermelon also has vitamin C and potassium, which can help with period discomfort.
Kiwi is a fruit that contains a lot of vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and decrease inflammation. It also has plenty of fiber, which aids in digestion and relieves bloating during menstruation.
Consuming a larger amount of food during your period is generally natural, but it's important to focus on eating foods that are packed with nutrients to support your overall health and well-being. The reason you might need more nutrients during menstruation is because of the blood loss and hormonal changes that happen during this time.
When you're on your period, your body needs more iron to replace the iron your body loses through bleeding. Iron is a super important mineral that helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. Eating foods that are rich in iron, like lean red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified cereals, can help replenish your iron levels and reduce fatigue and weakness that often come with low iron.
Staying hydrated is also essential for your well-being during your period. Drinking plenty of water can help regulate your body temperature, keep your electrolyte levels balanced, and prevent dehydration, which can make your menstrual symptoms worse.
It is fine to enjoy all kinds of food in moderation during your period. However, it's worth considering that the following foods can make your period symptoms worse.
Eating excessive salt causes your body to retain water, leading to bloating. To combat bloating, skip adding salt to your meals and steer clear of heavily processed foods that are high in sodium.
While eating a moderate amount of sugary foods during your period is acceptable, avoid consuming too much sugar. Increased sugar levels can lead to a sudden boost in energy followed by fatigue and a bad mood. If you often experience mood swings, anxiety, or depression during your menstrual cycle, keeping an eye on your sugar consumption can assist in balancing your emotions.
Caffeine has the potential to make you retain water and feel bloated. It can even make your headaches worse. However, if you're used to drinking a few cups of coffee a day, completely cutting it out might lead to caffeine withdrawal headaches. Another thing to consider is that coffee can sometimes cause digestive problems. If you experience diarrhea during your period, reducing your coffee consumption might help prevent it.
Alcohol can cause various harmful impacts on your body, including worsening your period symptoms. For instance, alcohol can make you dehydrated, leading to more severe headaches and bloating. It can also result in digestive problems like diarrhea and nausea.
Certain foods can be beneficial to consume during menstruation, while others may exacerbate your symptoms. The selection of foods to include or exclude from your diet will primarily depend on your individual symptoms and sensitivities to certain foods. If your menstrual cramps are severe to the extent that they hinder your daily activities, it is advisable to consult a medical professional. This could indicate an underlying health concern.