What Foods You Should Eat (And Avoid) During Your Period

Are you wondering what to eat during period? Do you want to know which foods can help ease period cramps and which ones make them worse? If so, you’re in the right place.

Having your period is, on the whole, not very pleasant. But as unpleasant as it can be, there’s at least one positive: you can eat whatever you want to in the comfort of your own home.

It’s a time when many women find themselves craving chocolate, or perhaps going for a second (or third) slice of pizza. If you suffer from bad period cramps, there’s no harm in indulging yourself to some degree. But you should also make sure to eat a balanced diet for maximum health and well-being.

So, what foods should you be eating, and more importantly what foods should you be avoiding, during your period?

The foods you eat can have a significant impact on how well your body copes with menstruation.

A balanced diet will keep your body healthy, while an imbalanced one can make you feel tired and lethargic, give you bad mood swings, and even make your cramps worse.

Since periods affect everyone differently, there is no one-size-fits-all list of what to eat (or avoid eating) when you’re on your period.

But here are some foods which you should try and eat more of during your period, as well as some foods which you may want to give a wide berth.

What Foods You Should Eat (And Avoid) During Your Period

What To Eat More Of When You’re On Your Period

Fruit and vegetables

Not only are fruit, vegetables, and whole grains associated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and obesity, but they also have a number of other benefits. These include lower blood pressure and less bloating for some women when menstruating. They are also high in iron which can help to relieve period cramps.

Iron-rich foods

Foods like spinach, kale, lima beans, tofu, lentils, and raisins are all good sources of iron which may help to reduce period pains by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against pain caused by cramping.

Vitamin B6

A lack of vitamin B6 is often associated with breast tenderness during periods, so eating more bananas or walnuts could be beneficial for you. Vitamin B6 is also needed to maintain fluid balance in the body, so it can also help to reduce bloating.

Fresh fish

If you suffer from painful periods, a diet rich in fresh fish may be helpful as a study published in the American journal ‘Fertility and Sterility found that out of 36 women suffering from period pain, those who ate three or more servings of high-quality protein per day had much better pain relief than those who ate less. Good sources of protein include fish, meat, and dairy products.


Some women find that having a cup of coffee or tea during their period can help to ease cramps, although this may vary depending on the woman. Caffeine is thought to be able to stimulate the central nervous system which can lead to the release of endorphins, giving you that ‘feel good’ sensation.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for lowering inflammation in the body which may also help to reduce menstrual cramps. Good sources include flax seeds, soy products, and walnuts.


Magnesium is a mineral that can help to relax muscles and improve your overall mood. You can boost your magnesium intake by eating more dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

What To Consume Less Of When You’re On Your Period


Some women find that having a cup of coffee or tea during their period can make cramps worse. You should bear this in mind, particularly if your periods are extremely painful.


This includes soft drinks and other sugary foods as well as refined flours that you might find in some processed foods. Eating foods high in sugar can increase inflammation which could worsen period pain. It can also lead to insulin resistance, which may be partly responsible for the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes linked with menstruation.


We all know that alcohol is bad for us when consumed excessively, but it’s also important to keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink during your period because it may affect your menstrual cycle length. Overconsumption of alcohol has been known to lead to missed or irregular periods.

Refined carbs

These are usually processed and can include white bread, pasta, rice, and baked goods. They are broken down quickly into simple sugars by the body, increasing your blood sugar levels. These peaks are then followed by a ‘crash’ which isn’t good for your overall health.

Processed foods

These are usually high in added sugars and refined carbs, which not only affect your blood sugar levels but also cause inflammation.

Try to avoid processed snacks as much as possible.

Artificial sweeteners

Try to avoid sugar substitutes such as those found in diet soda and other ‘diet’ and low-calorie foods.

They can trigger cravings and may affect the way your body responds to sugar. Aspartame, for example, has been linked to headaches and dizziness, while other sweeteners such as saccharin have even been found to cause cancer in laboratory rats.

What to Eat During Period FAQs.

Why it is necessary to eat certain foods during our period?

There are a few reasons why it is necessary to eat certain foods during our period. First, during our period, we lose a lot of blood and iron. Eating foods high in iron can help replenish lost iron.

Second, certain foods can help ease cramps and other period symptoms. Finally, eating a healthy diet, in general, can help improve our mood and energy levels during our period.

How can I get enough iron during my period?

There are a few ways to make sure you’re getting enough iron during your period. First, try to eat foods that are high in iron, such as red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, and fortified cereals.

You can also take an iron supplement, which you can get over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

Is it true that certain foods can help ease cramps?

Yes, there is some evidence that some foods can help ease cramps. For example, studies have shown that ginger can help reduce period pain. Other foods that may help reduce cramps include:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Yogurt
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fatty fish

Can I still eat junk food during my period?

Yes, you can still eat junk food during your period, but it’s not the best idea. Junk food is often high in sugar and fat, which can make you feel sluggish and bloated. Plus, eating a lot of junk food can make it harder to get the nutrients you need, such as iron and magnesium.

If you do eat junk food, try to balance it out with healthier foods as well.

How much extra food should I eat during my period?

There is no need to eat extra food during your period, unless you’re trying to bulk up or gain weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to cut back on your calories during your period.

If you’re trying to maintain your weight, you can eat normally during your period. Just make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The bottom line

Growing evidence suggests that the types of foods we eat have an effect on our menstrual cycles and can even affect how long a period lasts.

That being said, it’s important to remember that no two women are the same and what works for you may not work for others.

There is a lot of conflicting information about what foods women should eat or avoid during their period, so I encourage you to experiment and see what works best for you.

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