Sigh. Is it that time of the month again?! Aunt Flo is always paying an unwelcome visit and bringing the gifts of cramps, bloating, and fatigue. As much as you'd love to lock yourself in your room for the next five days with junk food, there's a better option. Here are the10 best foods to eat while you're on your period that'll actually make you feel good!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many women completely forget that their bodies are losing as much fluid as they are and while you may want to reach for the Coca Cola, your best bet is actually H2O. Unlike coffees and colas which have caffeine (which could increase muscle cramps) water is pure and good for your body’s health all around.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are loaded with iron rich nutrients that your body needs when you’re menstruating. Have a small salad with dinner and you can be sure that you’re feeding your body just what it needs. Be careful of eating too much though, as some leafy greens can lead to bloating.
Salmon and tuna are both fish that are rich in Omega 3’s and other fatty acids that are great for relaxing the muscles in your body, which may decrease the severity of your cramps. Try a nice tuna roll from your local sushi restaurant, or try grilling up some salmon yourself at home.
One of the leading sources of potassium, bananas are rich in B6 and other vitamins affect blood glucose and help boost your mood. They can also help regulate your bowel which is good since many women deal with diarrhea while on their period. Grab one off the counter and peel your way to a friendlier bowel.
Beans, like leafy greens, are an excellent source of iron and are a quick easy way to restore your body’s balance. Like leafy greens, they should be eaten in moderation as they are notorious for giving gas, which in turn leads to bloating.
6. Red Meat
Are we seeing a pattern here, with the whole iron thing? If ever there was a time to indulge your inner cave woman, your period would be it. A nice lean piece of red meat will boost your iron, and if you’re eating it along with your salad and beans from earlier, your iron levels should be back on the mend in no time.
While there is some debate on this as chocolate contains caffeine and is loaded with sugar, chocolate also contains magnesium, a nutrient that gets depleted whilst on your cycle. Go ahead and have a little, the darker the better, since chocolate has been scientifically proven to release serotonin, that feel good chemical you love so much. Moderation is the key here as too much chocolate (especially milk chocolate) can lead to unwanted weight gain and bloating.
8. Nuts and Seeds
These little guys are packed with all kinds of nutrients that are good for your body, but beware, many of them come salted and candied which can lead to water retention and a sugar high that comes with a crash. Pick them up at your local fruit market rather than your grocer’s snack aisle, where they are raw rather than processed, and get to cracking on feeling better.
Let’s face it, telling you to avoid sugar while on your period is like asking a child to think of their own punishment — it’s just not possible. So go with natural sugars instead of processed ones which could lead to a crash later on. Plums, figs, and watermelon are just a few of the fiber rich fruits you should reach for since they can help with your regularity.
10. Whole Grains
Whole grains are good for your body because they are not bleached, blanched, and sucked dry of their nutrients. They help you feel fuller longer, which will prevent you from over eating throughout the course of your period, and regretting it later on.
Tea is such a life saver! Of course, stay away from the caffeinated version, which can actually lead to greater menstrual discomfort! Chamomile tea contains properties that relieve muscle spasms and helps reduce the tension that leads to anxiety and irritability! For help in relieving nausea and bloating, drink some ginger tea.
12. Lots of Calcium
Yogurt helps promote a healthy digestion! It's also a good source of calcium which seems to alleviate menstrual discomfort. You can also choose nondairy forms of calcium like broccoli and kale.
Cherries, blueberries, rasberries, oh my! These are are great things to snack on while you're on your period. They help promote wellness and, well, they're all delicious!
Let’s face it. Your period sucks. Its 5-7 days of absolute misery. Try giving these ten simple tricks a try and you can bounce back from your aunt's visit in no time. Do you have any other good-for-you foods to add to my list?