Home / Blog / Eating For Comfort: 6 Foods To Be Mindful Of During Your Period

Eating For Comfort: 6 Foods To Be Mindful Of During Your Period

May 02, 2023May 02, 2023

Excruciating body aches, throbbing muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea - it's that time of the month again and we hate periods all over again. For many women, periods are a horrible time. To make it worse, they experience mood swings as well. How to get some relief from it? During this time, it's important to pay attention to our bodies and provide them with the nourishment they need. While there is no strict "period diet," there are certain foods that you may want to avoid or limit during your menstrual cycle. Let's explore some common culprits and why you should consider avoiding them.

Menstrual cramps are caused when uterine and abdominal muscles contract to discharge the menstrual fluid out of the body. A chemical called prostaglandins is responsible for the muscle contractions. Some foods and beverages stimulate the production of this chemical, and it's best to avoid them.Also Read: This One Food Can Help With Constipation, Bloating, Painful Periods And More Such Health Issues

Cold foods and drinks, including cold water, should be avoided during periods. Health Coach Shilpa Arora explains, "The muscles in the ovary and the vaginal walls tense up during the period and it causes discomfort. For easy blood flow, drink warm water and avoid very cold water to reduce the inflammation."

Consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta warns against eating refined carbs and fried foods to relieve period pain. Highly processed foods like fast food, chips and pre-packaged meals can wreak havoc on your hormones. These foods are often high in unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and artificial additives, which can lead to inflammation, bloating, and mood swings. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods that provide essential nutrients to you.

Excessive salt consumption can cause water retention and bloating, which are common discomforts during menstruation. It's best to reduce your intake of salty snacks, processed meats, canned soups, salted butter, peanuts and sauces. Instead, flavour your meals with herbs, spices, natural seasonings, and just a pinch of salt.Also Read: 5 Drinks That Will Help In Relieving Pain During Periods

While a morning cup of tea or coffee can provide a much-needed energy boost, excessive caffeine consumption can worsen menstrual symptoms. Caffeine can stimulate the nervous system and give rise to anxiety, irritability, and breast tenderness. It can also disrupt your sleep. Opt for herbal teas or decaf coffee during your period.

When sweet cravings strike, we immediately reach for sugary treats. But you should know that high-sugar foods can disrupt blood sugar levels and lead to energy crashes and mood swings. Sugary foods can also cause inflammation and hence, menstrual cramps. Choose naturally sweetened foods like fresh fruits, and dark chocolate, or sweeten your desserts with healthier alternatives like dates, bananas, honey or maple syrup.

Dr Deepali Bharadwaj suggests that anyone suffering from cramps shouldn't eat heavy foods. While it's essential to include healthy fats in your diet, opting for high-fat meats like red meat during your period may lead to increased inflammation and discomfort. Lean proteins like chicken and fish, and foods with healthy fats like ghee are good options.

Remember, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet throughout your menstrual cycle is important for overall health and reduced period pain.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

What causes menstrual cramps? Also Read: What You Should Not Eat During Your Period? Food To Avoid During Periods: Also Read: