This post was originally published in April 2020. Updated in November 2022.
Some women don’t know that consuming certain foods during menstruation can help reduce pain while other foods can worsen the symptoms. Your body needs nutrient-rich foods during this time to restore its strength. Healthy foods like chicken, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits can ease the symptoms and help you regain your energy. So what are the top foods to avoid during period to lessen the symptoms? In this article, I will include the foods you should avoid, why those foods are bad for your period, what foods to consume instead, and more FAQs.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
Top Comfort Foods To Avoid During Period?
1- Processed Food
Processed foods are made with preservatives and unknown ingredients. They also contain too much salt. Consuming salty foods causes bloating and water retention.
Processed foods include; canned foods, frozen foods, pickles, and canned soups. You should avoid consuming a lot of sodium during this time of the month to reduce the symptoms of your period.
What To Consume Instead?
It’s highly recommended to cook your meals at home and avoid adding too much salt. You can consume chicken, fish, salmon, fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, whole oats, or quinoa.
Those foods are full of nutrients that your body needs at this time of the month which will definitely help reduce the symptoms.
Consuming too much sugar will lead to bloating and gas. Sugar in candy causes also a spike in your blood sugar levels that will drop sharply again after some time. This results in mood changes and makes you feel depressed or anxious.
What To Eat Instead?
Fresh fruits like watermelon, figs, and bananas can help curb your sweet cravings. Fruits are also high in water content and fiber which helps relieve bloating and keep you feeling full for longer. You can also have dark chocolate.
It’s best to reduce your consumption of alcohol during your period. Alcohol has a negative impact on your body, it will worsen the symptoms of your period. It could cause nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
What To Drink Instead?
Drink water, peppermint tea, ginger tea, or chamomile tea instead. They can settle an upset stomach, reduce cramps, relieve constipation, and keep you relaxed.
Plus, those herbal teas have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties that will help you feel better.
4- Fried Food
Eating fried foods like fast food, chips, and donuts during your period can cause more period pain. Deep-fried foods aren’t good for your health as they contain hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fats. They increase estrogen levels in your body which makes the symptoms of your period worse.
What To Eat Then?
Opt for more healthy balanced meals that contain enough protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat grilled chicken or salmon instead of frying them. Those meals will give your body more energy, reduce cramps and pain, and boost your mood.
You should avoid caffeinated drinks when you menstruate as they cause bloating and raise your blood pressure and heart rate which affects your mood and makes you feel anxious and moody. Coffee can also worsen PMS symptoms.
Keep in mind If you are a coffeeholic, avoiding coffee for some days can result in severe caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Caffeine withdrawal increases blood flow to your brain and this leads to headaches.
So What To Do? Reduce your coffee intake during your period and drink more water to keep your body hydrated. Also, drink herbal teas to boost your mood and relax your body.
Carbonated drinks like soda and sparkling water can cause bloating. Soda contains too much sugar which could worsen bloating. Studies showed that carbonated drinks increase the risk of diabetes. Plus, drinking soda every day leads to weight gain.
What To Drink Instead?
Drink water, ginger tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and fresh smoothies with no sugar added.
7- Spicy Food
It’s highly recommended not to eat spicy food during your period as it usually causes digestive problems including gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
What To Add To Your Meals Instead?
You can add cinnamon, ginger, or turmeric to your meals as these spices have anti-inflammatory properties. They can help reduce inflammation, cramps, and pain.
8- Refined Grains
Refined grains are one of the top foods to avoid during period. This is because they increase your appetite and don’t contain enough nutrients. Also, they cause bloating and constipation, and rise your blood sugar levels which will affect your mood badly.
So avoid refined grains including pizza, white bread, cereal, crackers, and cakes during this time of the month.
What To Eat During Your Period Then?
Stick to whole-grain carbohydrates during your period to reduce pain.
Whole grains are loaded with nutrients that your body needs to regain strength. Whole grains provide your body with minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
They help boost iron levels in your body as they decrease during your period. Also, B vitamins in whole grains help your body produce serotonin that can regulate your mood. Moreover, they are rich in protein which reduces hunger and keeps you full.
9- Fatty Food
Fatty food messes with your hormones, and this could increase your pain and cause more cramps. Burgers, red meat, and dairy products are high in trans fats and saturated fats. They can make the symptoms of your period worse. Plus, these foods may contribute to inflammation and pain. Fatty food can also cause heart disease.
What To Consume?
Reduce your fat intake to regulate hormone levels. Eat more chicken, fish, salmon, nuts, and beans. You can also eat yogurt as it’s rich in protein and minerals like magnesium that help reduce cramps, constipation, and pain.
10- Food Allergies
Eating food that you are intolerant or allergic to causes diarrhea, nausea, or constipation. When you eat these foods during your period, you will experience more pain and discomfort. Avoid eating these foods to reduce pain during menstruation.
Best Foods To Eat During Period:
Eating certain foods during your period can help reduce the symptoms and help feel better.
These foods include:
- Dark chocolate.
- Ginger Tea.
- Peppermint Tea.
- Fatty Fish.
These foods can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to boost your energy. For more info, Check out this article.
Which Fruits Is Good During Periods?
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are rich in water content and antioxidants which will help reduce pain and cramps. Also, bananas, oranges, and watermelon are highly nutritious so they can help with period pain and curb your sweet cravings.
What Food Eases Period Pain?
Leafy greens vegetables, chicken, salmon, dark chocolate, fruits, whole grains, flaxseed, and nuts can ease period pain and give your body more energy.
What Drinks Help With Period Pain?
Peppermint tea, ginger tea, anise tea, and chamomile tea can help reduce cramps, relax your body, boost your mood, and relieve digestive problems.
Choosing unhealthy foods to eat during period to comfort your hormones is the worst thing to do to your body. Eating fatty food, refined grains, and spicy food results in gas, cramps, and pain. Also, Alcohol can dehydrate your body and causes headaches. Salty food and coffee cause water retention and bloating.
So it’s highly recommended to avoid these foods during this time of the month and go with healthier options to relieve the symptoms. You should also visit your doctor if the symptoms of your period are painful and severe.