5 Essential Foods During Periods (and what to avoid)

We go through a lot of symptoms while menstruating  that can be quite uncomfortable and while some foods are helpful and nutritious, others can be harmful and can make your symptoms worse. Not just the unwelcome physical symptoms like abdominal cramps, headaches and nausea, but also mental symptoms like frequent mood swings and anxiety can persist because of certain dietary routines. Let’s first take a look at 5 essential foods that help curb PMS and period symptoms and then also a few unhealthy foods that are best to avoid. 

1. Fruits
Water-rich fruits, such as watermelon and cucumber, are great for staying hydrated and also eliminate sugar cravings with their natural sweetness without eating a lot of refined sugars. Unlike natural sugar in fruits, refined sugar can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash that can make you feel suddenly drained out. Certain fibrous fruits like banana, apple, berries and citrus fruits are great for digestion and are the perfect solution for constipation, generally and especially during periods.  
2. Dark Chocolate
Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has more healthy cocoa beans, which are high in magnesium, potassium and iron that help relax your muscles, relieve period pain and uplift your mood. It is also quite common for people with magnesium deficiencies to have severe PMS symptoms and the magnesium in dark chocolate reduces the severity of PMS symptoms. So it is perfectly okay for you to indulge in chocolate while being on your period because your body needs it!
3. Nuts
Most nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are a great source of protein that also contain magnesium and various vitamins. They ensure that blood glucose levels remain balanced and can help us feel energised and prevent sugar crashes and cravings. Even if you aren’t a nut freak, just a few almonds, walnuts and pistachios can go a long way.
4. Ginger
A warm mug of ginger tea during periods can significantly improve certain symptoms of menstruation. Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects that help soothe muscles and body pain, and even reduce nausea. It is important to note that Consuming more than 4 grams in one day could cause heartburn and stomach aches and one must remain cautious.
5. Leafy Green Veggies 

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, cabbage and cauliflower are high in magnesium and iron. There is a tendency for magnesium and iron levels to dip during periods due to hormonal changes. The magnesium-rich greens are nerve and muscle relaxants that also help prevent migraines and cramps. The high source of iron from them helps with symptoms like fatigue and dizziness during periods, considerably.

The few listed essential foods significantly curb period symptoms. Now let’s list a few no-nos that are harmful during periods: 

Firstly, small amounts of sugar is completely fine but a larger intake can worsen your mood and make you feel irritable, depressed, or anxious during your period. Next, coffee causes bloating, headaches and digestive issues like diarrhea while menstruating. Then alcohol dehydrates you which worsens headaches and nausea.   

The foods you choose to eat or avoid are largely dependent on your specific symptoms during periods and various food sensitivities. If your periods are particularly painful, to the point where you have difficulty in daily functioning, it may be a symptom of a deeper health issue and you must consult a doctor.

Knowing about our bodies will help us keep them healthy, fit and fine! Share this helpful information with your friends and family and let’s #BreakTheshush together!

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