Top Things to Eat and Avoid for a Happy & Healthy Period

lemon, limes and oranges in a basket

Many women face uncomfortable symptoms during menstruation. Menstrual pain can be relieved by eating the right food. Do read ahead to find out what to eat and what not to eat during periods: 

Simple steps like a right nutritious diet can help to ease the pain during menstruation. High body temperatures as well as chills and sweats have been reported in women with severe PMS (Premenstrual syndrome). Some foods can lessen these symptoms, while others can make them worse. These symptoms include: 
  1. Abdominal cramps 
  2. Headaches 
  3. Diarrhea 
  4. Bloating 
  5. Fatigue 
  6. Nausea 
  7. Insomnia 
  8. Constipation 
  9. Pain in the breasts
  10. Excessive or scanty bleeding 
  11. Yeast infections near the vagina
  12. Mood swings 

Foods to eat: 
If women experience any of these symptoms, adding certain foods to their diet and removing others can help the women feel better during periods: 

Water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, pomegranate and cucumbers should be eaten during periods. Sweet fruits can be eaten, which will take care of your sugar cravings and keep the body hydrated and fresh.

Some women experience a dip in their iron levels during periods, particularly if their menstrual flow is very heavy. This can result in fatigue, bodily pain, nausea and dizziness. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, coriander and red vegetables like beetroot, carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, red peppers can boost your iron levels. 

Drinking a lot of water is important during periods. Staying hydrated can reduce your chances of getting dehydration headaches, retaining water and bloating.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe achy muscles. Ginger may also reduce nausea. Ginger can be grated and eaten with food. Women can even drink ginger tea. Don't consume too much ginger, as it can cause stomach pain and heartburn. 

For those women who experience mood swings and depression around menstruation, omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful which are found in fish. Fish also carries important minerals, iron and vitamin E, which are important for healthy hair and skin. Eating fish reduces period pain. For those who do not eat fish omega-3 fatty and vitamin E supplements can be taken as per the physician's advice.

Some women experience constipation during menstruation. Ayurvedic medicine states that women should drink warm milk with honey and turmeric in it to ease the period pain. Milk acts as a laxative to cure constipation and also treats insomnia. Turmeric has a lot of benefits and is an important ingredient in Indian food recipes. Turmeric is well-known in the world as an inflammatory spice.

7.Dark chocolate  
A tasty snack, dark chocolate is one of the favorites of menstruating women. Dark chocolate is not sweet and does not increase the blood sugar level. It is rich in iron and magnesium and small pieces can be eaten during periods to ease the heavy flow.

8.Nuts, lentils, beans and flaxseed.
Most nuts contain magnesium, proteins and various vitamins. Lentils, beans and flaxseed are rich in proteins. If you are a woman who does not eat meat and fish then you must eat lentils and nuts to get adequate protein-intake. Protein helps in building tissues and keeps the reproductive system strong.

9.White meat and Dal
White meat like chicken is another iron and protein-rich food that women can add to their diet. Eating protein is essential for women's overall health. If a woman takes a vegan or vegetarian diet, then protein can be consumed in the form of cereals and pulses. The yellow Dal made from Tur or Arhar is extremely healthy and protein-rich. It is called "pigeon-pea" and is eaten with rice or roti (flat bread). It has the status of staple diet throughout the length and breadth of India.

10.Yogurt and milk products 
Some women have a tendency to get yeast infections during or after their periods. Thus, prebiotic-rich foods like yogurt and paneer can nourish the "good" bacteria near the vagina and may help to fight the infections. Yogurt and milk are also rich in magnesium and other essential nutrients, like calcium and Vitamin D.

For those who do not drink animal milk, for them soy milk and soy paneer can be helpful. A popular source of protein for vegans, tofu is made from soybeans. It's rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium. 

Foods to avoid: 
These are the foods women want to avoid as they worsen the symptoms and pain during periods:

Consuming lots of salt leads to bloating. Hence, foods with high sodium content should be avoided. Packaged food, junk food and processed food should be avoided. 

Processed sugar and highly sweet foods can lead to increase in body fat. Eating too much sugar can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash. This can worsen mood swings. Thus, watching sugar-intake can help regulate your mood. 

Caffeinated beverages can lead to bloating and water retention. Coffee might also cause digestive issues. Some women get diarrhea during periods, reducing coffee-intake could stop this from happening.

Addiction to alcohol, smoking and drugs can cause serious negative effects on women's overall health and also on menstrual health. 

5.Red meat 
Red meat contains high levels of prostaglandins, which cause severe cramps during menstruation. Thus, red meat should be avoided during periods.

6.Spicy foods 
Many women complain that spicy foods upset their stomachs, giving them diarrhea, pain and nausea. Thus, it might be best to avoid them during periods. 


Other remedies and steps for overall wellness during periods include: 

  1. Hot compresses. Hot water bottles or microwaveable hot compresses can soothe pain in your abdomen.
  2. Over-the-counter painkillers can reduce cramps. 
  3. Oil Massaging your stomach, legs and back can reduce menstrual pain.
  4. Exercise 
  5. Sleep. Try rolling to your side and tuck in your arms and legs. This position takes pressure off your abdominal muscles and is the best sleeping position to relieve tension that can make cramping worse. 
  6. Keep your bedroom clean and tidy.
  7. Keep the vaginal area clean. 
  8. De-stress before bed. Try listening to soothing music or take a relaxing bath before bed. 
Certain foods are great to eat during periods, while others can worsen your symptoms. The foods you choose or avoid to eat will largely depend upon your specific symptoms and food sensitivity. If your periods are particularly painful, to a point that you have difficulty in walking or functioning, then go see a doctor. This could be the starting of a deeper health issue. 

Women must be mindful of what they eat during periods, as food has a major impact on women's overall health and wellness. It is essential to avoid foods and spices that may trigger issues and cause problems like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and constipation. Hence, a simple balanced diet must be followed. 

Along with nutritional food, women should exercise daily. Usually, heavy exercise is not preferred during periods. Thus, Yoga can be of great help. Women should also have exposure to ample sunlight, which is important for Vitamin D and calcium. This right body posture is also essential while working, sleeping and eating during periods. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and our website for more interesting topics.



  1. 16 foods to eat (and some to avoid) during your period 
  2. Pigeon pea 
  3. 7 ways to get better sleep on your period 


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