Last Updated on November 14, 2019
Periods suck. They suck your energy by giving you fatigue, mood swings, abdominal cramps, digestion problems, sore breasts, and acne as the cherry on top!
Surely, all women follow a monthly routine to make themselves feel better and alleviate period cramps; from drinking warm chamomile tea, taking PMS supplements, to exercising.
So what do you do when that time of the month approaches? Do you just wallow in your misery or do you have an emergency kit filled with your usual cravings (insert chocolate here)?
There is a variety of foods that can distract and help you out of said misery, thanks to their many health benefits, such as green vegetables, nuts including pistachio nuts, and, of course, there is dark chocolate.
And then there are some foods that you must avoid at all costs which you will find out about when you get to the last page!
#1 – Chocolate
Any woman who gets visited by periods every month knows that chocolate is scared food!
But do you know why you crave chocolate and how it benefits you during your periods?
Studies have pinpointed the reason behind an increase in cravings at that time of the month, explaining that it is due to the fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone hormones which affect your reproductive function as well as organ systems like the urinary tract, heart, bones, and digestive system, and the brain.
When these hormones are their lowest on the perimenstrual phase or during the menstrual cycle, it’s normal to feel hungrier and crave foods that often happen to be chocolate since it’s a culture-bound construct.
Still, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, gives you an abundance of benefits during your periods, in addition to satiating your craving; it is packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, iron, and magnesium which can help your blood flow and compensate for excessive menstruation bleeding which often causes iron-deficiency anemia.
#2 – Berries
The natural sweetness and health benefits of berries could be just what you needed to deal with PMS or on the long, painful period days.
Berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and grapes, etc., can help you through your periods by giving you an energy boost! Berries are high in antioxidants and nutrients like fiber, manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin C, vitamin B9, also known as folate which the body needs to make DNA among other functions.
The vitamins and minerals in berries help improve your mood and relieve bloating before and during menstruation.
#3 – Leafy vegetables
Though green vegetables, or leafy vegetables, may not be at the top of your craving list during menstruation, they can work wonders for you!
Leafy vegetables including kale, cabbage, collard greens, cabbage, and spinach are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin and vitamin K, which help compensate for the drop in iron during heavy menstruation.
Leafy vegetables are also known for their ability to boost energy, so imagine what they could do for you when your energy is at its lowest during periods.
Perhaps, it’s not all too bad to add green vegetables to your list of foods to eat during periods!
#4 – Nuts
Yes, nuts do contain some amounts of fats but they can benefit your health more than harm it, especially during menstruation.
Nuts like hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are high in potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, protein, B6 vitamins which contributes to the production of red blood cells, and vitamin E which helps relieve menstrual migraine.
Try eating nuts with Greek yogurt which boosts your energy and eases digestion problems caused by hormones released by your body during periods, and compensate for what’s lost!
#5 – Eggs
Many people have eggs every day for breakfast but if you especially eat eggs every day before your periods, then you’re ahead of your time!
Whole eggs contain iron, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B-2, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent inflammations and contribute to giving your body energy and maintaining it.
Whats’s more, egg yolk eases period symptoms. However, hard-boiled eggs may make your gas and bloating worse, so avoid them.
Consider eating eggs every day, if you don’t already, to raise good cholesterol in your body and shoo the PMS away!
#6 – Fish
Eating fish— especially salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines— on your periods will help stabilize your mood and blood sugar, reduce mood swings, improve your mental and physical energy, and reduce the intensity of period cramps, all thanks to its abundance of essential fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Again, consuming more iron while menstruating helps you compensate for the drop in iron levels.
If you don’t like fish, you can have omega-3 fish oil supplements.
#7 – Bonus
Foods you should avoid on you’re periods:
● Spicy food: Eating spicy such as red hot chili peppers can worsen your abdominal problems and turn your period cramps from hell to super hell!
● Milk: Lactose in milk may worsen your digestion and cause stomach bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
● Alcohol: you may want to skip alcohol during periods if it worsens your cramps. Studies show that alcohol is often the culprit behind makes PMS symptoms worse and pain last longer.
● Saturated fats: They cause you inflammation and give you more pain.
Now you have the list of foods that will be there for you at your lowest point, and foods that will conspire against you to worsen your PMS!