Let’s Talk About Foood! What to Eat & Avoid During Your Periods
Aunt Flo’s visiting?
Where’s my pint of chocolate ice cream with extra choco-chips? I need a large glass of Oreo milkshake pronto! Oooh, where’s my never-ending stock of chips? Hmmm, maybe I should order some Chinese.
Aunt Flo and her cravings can prove to be quite the conundrum at times. It can have you making quick runs to the grocery store for tubs of ice-creams, bags of salty snacks, bars of chocolates, and all sorts of junk food. One too many times, this indulgence is followed by guilt trips and crash diets until Aunt Flo comes knocking again.
This endless loop can feel like a trap, especially when you’re unaware of expert-recommended food to eat during your period in order to have a healthier menstrual life. Well, worry no more! We have compiled a list of foods to eat and to avoid during your period, and don’t worry, there are some goodies in there too!
Foods you should eat during your period:
- Salmon – Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, this alleviates period bloating. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, a good meal of perhaps grilled salmon or salmon sushi can keep both your uterus and your taste buds happy.
- Dark Chocolate – Told you there are some goodies in here. Dark chocolate, while being a paradise for our taste buds, is loaded with antioxidants. These can be the perfect comfort food for your period, although it is important to ensure that it is plain dark chocolate in contrast to one filled with additives and a lot of sugar.
- Ginger – Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which soothe cramps and can also help reduce nausea. However, it must be consumed in moderation as consuming more than 4 grams of ginger a day can cause heartburns and stomach aches.
- Chamomile – A warm mug of chamomile tea can help combat stress and anxiety and alleviate cramps. It also promotes better sleep. A cup of chamomile tea before bed can help you sleep your worries away.
- Lentils and beans – These are a good protein-rich alternative to meat for vegans and vegetarians. These are rich in iron and hence are a healthy addition to your overall diet.
- Probiotic foods – These include foodstuffs like yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, pickles et cetera. Probiotic foods nourish the good bacteria in the vagina and may help to fight infections down there. This is an especially important part of the diet for people prone to yeast infections.
- Citrus – It is rich in Vitamin C and fiber and can help with mood swings and bloating. It comprises fruits like lemon, orange, limes et cetera which can also keep you hydrated due to their high water content.
Other foods which are recommended for consumption during periods include eggs, oatmeal, peppermint tea, quinoa, nuts, flaxseeds, turmeric, chicken, leafy green vegetables et cetera.
Foods you should avoid during your periods:
- Caffeine – It can cause water retention and bloat. It may also worsen headaches and cause digestive issues.
- Alcohol – The loss of blood during menstruation can make you more vulnerable to alcohol’s side effects. Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, hence making you more susceptible to cramps and prolonging the pain. It can also adversely affect your hormone levels.
- Sugar – You don't have to cut off sugar completely, but it is important to limit its consumption, especially during your periods. Sugary food can increase your insulin levels and high insulin levels can cause hormonal imbalance.
- Red Meat – This includes a high amount of prostaglandins. While a nominal amount of prostaglandins might help get rid of the uterine wall, high amounts of the same might cause cramps.
- Salt – Consuming a lot of salts can lead to water retention thus worsening bloating. Excess amounts of sodium are unhealthy at all times, but they can be especially harmful during your period. Hence, it would be wise to avoid processed foods while on your period.
Other foodstuffs which you can avoid include spicy foods, candies, high-fat food, fried food et cetera.
When you’re a victim to various period problems like cramping, mood swings, muscle aches et cetera, it may seem impossible to inculcate healthy food habits in your menstrual life. So, go easy on your body. These changes might take several months to occur and that’s okay. Focus on taking baby steps, go one change at a time and try to stay consistent with it.
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