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A Nutrition Guide: What to Eat on Your Period

Updated: Jan 3

Eating well during your period can help you feel your best and support your overall health and well-being. It's important to pay attention to your nutritional needs and make sure you are getting enough of the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. To help you to do that, we created a guide that can be there for you during your menstrual cycle!


food to eat on your period

Foods to eat on your period

Everyone's nutritional needs and preferences are different. However, there are some general principles that can be helpful to follow when it comes to deciding what to eat during your period:



Have a balanced diet

Aim to include a variety of foods from all food groups in your meals and snacks. This can help you get the nutrients you need and reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies.


Water

Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help reduce bloating and other menstrual symptoms.


Include foods that are high in iron

During your period, you lose blood and therefore iron. To help replace this lost iron, try to include foods that are high in iron in your diet, such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, and leafy green vegetables.


Eat complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can help provide energy and stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be helpful during menstruation.


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Foods that may help reduce menstrual cramps

Some foods, such as nuts and seeds (which also contain magnesium), and fatty fish, contain nutrients that may help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.


Probiotics

Fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut or pickles, and supplements containing probiotics may help improve digestion and reduce bloating.


Calcium-rich foods

Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, and non-dairy alternatives, such as tofu and fortified plant-based milk, are good sources of calcium. Calcium may help reduce the severity of cramps.


Turmeric

Turmeric can have potential benefits for people experiencing period-related symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, and mood changes. You can add turmeric to your diet by using it in cooking.


Dark Chocolate

Eating a small amount of dark chocolate during your period may be a good way to satisfy a sweet craving and boost your mood, as chocolate is often associated with feelings of pleasure and well-being. In addition, the flavonoids in cocoa have been shown to have potential benefits for heart health, blood pressure, and cognitive function.


Fruits and vegetables

These are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can help support your overall health and well-being.


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Berries

Berries can be a healthy and nutritious choice to include in your diet during your period. Berries are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they are low in calories. They also contain antioxidants, which may have a variety of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and protecting against chronic diseases.


Here are a few examples of berries that you may want to consider eating during your period:


Strawberries: Strawberries are high in vitamin C, which may help reduce cramps and other menstrual symptoms. They are also a good source of antioxidants.


Blueberries: Blueberries are high in antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation. They are also a good source of vitamin K, which is important for bone health.


Raspberries: Raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and manganese, which is important for bone health. They are also a good source of antioxidants.


Blackberries: Blackberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K. They are also a good source of vitamin C and manganese.


It's also important to listen to your body and eat when you're hungry. Don't try to restrict your intake or force yourself to eat certain foods. Trust your body to tell you what it needs. Additionally, it is important to remember that everyone's nutritional needs are different, so it's important to consider your individual needs and preferences when making dietary choices.


What you should avoid eating during your period?

We know it is hard to maintain a diet during periods because of food cravings. Who can say no to chocolate during their period? It surely won't hurt but it is still important to take care of your body.


Foods that are high in salt

Consuming too much salt can contribute to bloating and water retention, which can be uncomfortable during your period.


Foods that are high in fat

Fried foods, fast food, and other high-fat foods can be harder to digest and may cause discomfort during your period.


foods to eat and avoid on you period wha to eat and avoid on your period

Caffeine

This is surely one of the crucial ones, but a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning is fine! Caffeine can interfere with sleep and may worsen cramps and other menstrual symptoms. If you do consume caffeine, try to limit your coffee intake to moderate levels (no more than 300 mg per day).


Sugar

Consuming large amounts of sugar can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Consequently, too much sugar intake can contribute to mood changes and energy fluctuations during your period.



Again, it's important to listen to your body and eat in a way that makes you feel your best. If a certain food doesn't agree with you or seems to worsen your menstrual symptoms, it may be a good idea to limit or avoid it during your period.


Processed Food

Bloating and water retention can be worsened by canned foods, highly processed meat, and other products produced with chemicals and preservatives. High sodium levels are harmful at any time of the month, but they are more harmful when you are on your period.


Maintaining good nutrition during your menstrual cycle

Good nutrition is important for overall health and well-being, and it is especially important to pay attention to your diet during your period.


Your body's nutritional needs may change during this time, as menstruation can deplete your body with certain nutrients. That's why, in addition to the things you can eat during your period, you can take multivitamins. If you're concerned about getting all the nutrients you need, you may want to consider taking a daily multivitamin to help fill any gaps in your diet.


what to eat on your  period

Why is important to be careful about what to eat and not during your period?


Reducing menstrual symptoms

A healthy diet can help reduce menstrual symptoms, such as cramps and bloating. Certain foods, such as those that are high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, may be particularly helpful in reducing these symptoms.


Maintaining energy levels

A healthy diet can help maintain your energy levels and prevent fatigue during your period.


Supporting overall health

A healthy diet is an important part of maintaining overall health and well-being. A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall well-being.


Eating well during your period can help you feel your best and support your overall health and well-being. It's important to pay attention to your nutritional needs and make sure you are getting enough of the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.


FAQ on hormone health, period cramps, and more


What factors should you consider when choosing foods to eat during your period?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing foods to eat on your period:


Nutrient needs: During your period, you may have increased needs for certain nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, which can help reduce cramps and other menstrual symptoms. It's a good idea to include foods that are rich in these nutrients in your diet.


Personal preferences: Choose foods that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Trust your body to tell you what it needs.


Digestibility: Some people find that certain foods are harder to digest and may cause discomfort during their period. If you notice that a certain food seems to worsen your symptoms, it may be a good idea to limit or avoid it.


Allergies and sensitivities: If you have food allergies or sensitivities, it's important to avoid those foods to prevent a reaction.


Sustainability and ethical concerns: If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your food choices or want to support ethical food production, consider choosing foods that align with these values.


Ultimately, the most important thing is to listen to your body and eat in a way that makes you feel your best. It's also a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian if you have specific concerns about your nutritional needs during your period.


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Why do hormones affect my period?

Hormones play a vital role in regulating the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is the series of physical and hormonal changes that occur in the body to prepare for pregnancy.

The menstrual cycle is controlled by two main hormones: estrogen and progesterone.


These hormones are produced by the ovaries and regulate the growth and development of the uterine lining in preparation for pregnancy.



During the first half of the menstrual cycle estrogen levels increase, causing the endometrium to thicken. Around day 14 of the cycle (on average), an egg is released from the ovaries in a process called ovulation.


After ovulation, the hormone progesterone takes over, causing the endometrium to continue to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, the levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to drop, and the endometrium is shed through the vagina in a process called menstruation.


Hormonal imbalances or disruptions can affect the menstrual cycle and cause problems such as irregular periods, missed periods, or heavy bleeding.


Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, changes in weight, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions. If you are concerned about your menstrual cycle or think you may have a hormonal imbalance, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider


what to eat on your period

How can I reduce stomach cramps and bloating?

There are several things you can try to reduce period cramps and bloating:


Exercise: Regular physical activity can help reduce cramps and bloating by increasing blood flow and releasing endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that can help reduce pain.


Heat therapy: Applying heat to your abdomen can help relax the muscles in your uterus and reduce cramps. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a warm compress.


Pain medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce cramps and inflammation.


Get enough rest: Getting enough sleep can help reduce fatigue and stress, which can worsen cramps and bloating.


Eat a healthy diet: A diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help reduce cramps and bloating. Avoiding salt, caffeine, and high-fat foods may also help.


Try natural remedies: Some people find that taking supplements, such as vitamin B1, vitamin E, or omega-3 fatty acids, or using natural remedies, such as ginger or chamomile tea, can help reduce cramps and bloating.


It's important to note that what works for one person may not work for another, so it may be a matter of trying different approaches and seeing what works best for you. If your cramps and bloating are severe or persist, it's a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider.


What are some self care tips to help me manage my period?

Here are 8 self-care tips that may help you manage your period:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help alleviate bloating and other menstrual symptoms.

  2. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help reduce cramps and bloating and improve your overall well-being.

  3. Get enough rest: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to help reduce fatigue and stress.

  4. Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

  5. Eat a healthy diet: A diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help reduce cramps and bloating. Avoiding salt, caffeine, and high-fat foods may also help.

  6. Use menstrual products that are comfortable for you: Experiment with different types of pads, tampons, or cups to find the one that works best for you.

  7. Keep track of your menstrual cycle: This can help you anticipate your period and make any necessary preparations, such as stocking up on menstrual products or making plans to take time off from work or school if needed.

  8. Talk to your healthcare provider: If you are experiencing severe or persistent menstrual symptoms, it's a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

Remember, everyone is different, so it's important to find what works best for you and to be kind to yourself during your period.


What are the causes of heavy menstruation flow?


Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause heavy bleeding. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, changes in weight, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions.


Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the uterus. They can cause heavy bleeding and other menstrual symptoms.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular periods and heavy bleeding.


Uterine abnormalities: Certain abnormalities of the uterus, such as uterine polyps or uterine cancer, can cause heavy bleeding.


foods to eat on your period

How can I balance my hormone levels and manage food cravings?


Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help reduce cravings and prevent weight gain.


Practice portion control: Instead of denying yourself the foods you crave, try eating smaller portions of them. This can help you satisfy your cravings without overindulging.


Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help reduce cravings and prevent weight gain.


Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase appetite and cravings, so it's important to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.


Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help reduce cravings and prevent weight gain.


Eat slowly and mindfully: Taking your time to eat and paying attention to your food can help you better tune in to your hunger and fullness cues and prevent overeating.


Consider taking supplements: If you are concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals, you may want to consider taking supplements. However, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before starting any new supplements to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for you.


Why am I craving chocolate?

It is common for women to crave chocolate or other sweet, high-fat foods during their menstrual cycle. This is often referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some research suggests that chocolate cravings may be related to an increase in the hormone progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which is the time between ovulation and the start of the next period.


Other theories suggest that chocolate cravings may be related to changes in serotonin levels in the brain or a desire to increase feelings of pleasure or comfort during a time of hormonal fluctuations and physical discomfort.

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