16 Foods to Eat When Your in Period (+ Foods to Avoid)

“Eating the right foods during your period can help alleviate symptoms, while certain choices may worsen discomfort. Menstruation often brings about uncomfortable symptoms like abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea, fatigue, bloating, mood swings, and diarrhea. Adjusting your diet by incorporating some foods and avoiding others can contribute to feeling better.

Foods to Eat


Staying well-hydrated is crucial, especially during menstruation. It can reduce the likelihood of dehydration headaches and prevent water retention and bloating.


Opt for water-rich fruits like watermelon and cucumber to maintain hydration. Sweet fruits can satisfy sugar cravings without causing glucose spikes and crashes.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Combat potential iron deficiency, common during heavy menstrual flow, with iron-rich leafy greens like kale and spinach. Spinach is also a good source of magnesium.


A warm mug of ginger tea can help with menstrual symptoms. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can soothe muscle aches, and it may also alleviate nausea. While studies on its effectiveness during menstruation are limited, it’s a safe and affordable option. Be cautious not to consume more than 4 grams in one day to avoid heartburn and stomachaches.


Packed with iron and protein, chicken is a great addition to your diet. Protein is crucial for overall health and can help keep you feeling full, reducing cravings during your period.


A nutritious choice rich in iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Iron helps counteract potential dips in iron levels during menstruation. Omega-3s, found in fish, can lessen period pain, as shown in a 2012 study. Additionally, omega-3s may help reduce depression, particularly for those experiencing mood swings around menstruation, according to a 2014 study.


Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric contains curcumin, its active ingredient. A 2015 study found that curcumin can help reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.

Dark Chocolate

Beyond being a tasty treat, dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium. A 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate bar can provide 67 percent of the recommended daily intake for iron and 58 percent for magnesium. Studies from 2010 and 2015 suggest that magnesium can alleviate PMS symptoms and that magnesium deficiencies may contribute to more severe symptoms.


A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, magnesium, and various vitamins. If you’re not a fan of eating nuts on their own, consider trying nut butters, nut-based milks, or adding them to smoothies.

Flaxseed Oil

Just 15 milliliters of flaxseed oil contains a substantial 7,195 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, well above the recommended daily intake of 1,100 to 1,600 milligrams. A small study indicated that flaxseed oil may help soothe constipation, a common symptom of menstruation, but more research is needed to fully understand its impact on digestive health.


Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain, packed with essential nutrients like iron, protein, and magnesium. It’s also gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for individuals with celiac disease. Additionally, its low glycemic index ensures that you’ll feel full and energized for an extended period after consumption.

Lentils and Beans

Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein, making them ideal substitutes for meat in vegan and vegetarian diets. They are also rich in iron, which can be beneficial for those with low iron levels.


For individuals prone to yeast infections, especially during or after their menstrual period, incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt into their diet can support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the vag and aid in combating infections. Yogurt also provides essential nutrients such as magnesium and calcium.


Tofu, derived from soybeans, is a popular protein source for vegetarians and vegans. It is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium, contributing to a well-balanced diet.

Peppermint Tea

A 2016 study suggests that peppermint tea can alleviate PMS symptoms, including menstrual cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. It offers a natural and soothing remedy for these discomforts.


If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to promote gut health, kombucha tea is an excellent choice. As a fermented food, it contains probiotics with yeast-fighting benefits. When selecting kombucha drinks, be mindful of sugar content to maximize its health benefits.

Foods to Avoid During Your Period

While enjoying all foods in moderation is generally fine, there are specific ones you might want to avoid as they can intensify your menstrual symptoms.


Too much salt can lead to water retention, causing bloating. To reduce bloating, skip adding salt to your meals and steer clear of highly processed foods with high sodium content.


Moderation is key with sugar. Excessive intake can lead to energy spikes followed by crashes, potentially worsening your mood. If you experience mood swings, depression, or anxiety during your period, monitoring sugar intake can help stabilize your mood.


Caffeine in coffee can contribute to water retention, bloating, and headaches. However, abruptly quitting coffee can also lead to headaches. If you’re accustomed to a daily coffee routine, consider moderating your intake to minimize the risk of headaches and digestive issues.


Alcohol can intensify period symptoms by dehydrating the body, worsening headaches and bloating. It may also lead to digestive problems like diarrhea and nausea. Hangovers can mimic period symptoms, causing headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.

Spicy Foods

For some, spicy foods can upset the stomach, causing diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. If your stomach is sensitive to spice or you’re not accustomed to it, avoiding spicy foods during your period might be advisable.

Red Meat

During menstruation, your body produces prostaglandins, which help the uterus contract and shed the uterine lining, causing menstrual flow. Elevated prostaglandin levels lead to cramps. While red meat is rich in iron, it’s also high in prostaglandins and should be avoided during your period.

Foods You’re Intolerant To

It may seem obvious, but it’s crucial to emphasize: if you have food sensitivities, especially during your period, steer clear of those foods. For instance, if you’re lactose intolerant, indulging in a milkshake may be tempting, but it’s essential to avoid foods that trigger nausea, constipation, or diarrhea during a painful period to minimize discomfort.

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Foods to Eat When Your in Period

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