5 Essential Foods During Periods (and what to avoid)

Posted by Aditi Madan on

Diet plays a significant role in how we feel during our menstrual cycle. Certain foods can help alleviate symptoms like cramps, bloating, and mood swings, while others may exacerbate them. Here are five essential foods to incorporate into your diet during your period, and a few to avoid:

1. Leafy Greens: Foods like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are packed with iron, which your body loses during your period. Consuming iron-rich foods can help prevent fatigue and replenish iron stores.

2. Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent mood swings. They also contain fiber, which can help combat bloating and constipation.

3. Healthy Fats: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and seeds, can help reduce inflammation and may alleviate menstrual cramps.

4. Lean Proteins: Foods like chicken, tofu, and legumes are rich in vitamin B6, which may help reduce bloating and boost mood.

5. Dark Chocolate: High-quality dark chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa) is rich in magnesium, which can help regulate serotonin (the "feel-good" hormone) and alleviate mood swings.

Foods to avoid include:

1. Caffeine: It can increase anxiety and make you retain water, leading to bloating.

2. Salty Foods: High sodium foods can cause water retention and bloating.

3. Sugar: While you might crave sugary foods, they can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to mood swings.

4. Alcohol: It can exacerbate PMS symptoms and lead to dehydration, which can worsen cramps.

Remember, everyone's body responds differently to foods, so it's important to listen to your body. If you're not sure about your dietary needs, consider consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.

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