12 Foods To Eat (And Avoid) On Your Period



Menstruation can come with a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms, some of which include abdominal cramps, menstrual pain, menstrual cramps, fatigue, bloating, headaches, nausea, mood swings, diarrhea, and many more.

These period and premenstrual syndrome symptoms can be made better or worse with the foods you eat during your period. Food that you eat during your period can affect digestion, but it can also affect menstruation symptoms.

Adding certain foods to your diet and removing other types of foods from your diet can help you improve symptoms, feel better, aid digestion, reduce menstrual pain, and improve your energy levels.

Foods To Eat on Your Period To Reduce Menstrual Pain and Severe PMS Symptoms

Certain kinds of foods you eat during your period will make the severe PMS symptoms, period symptoms, and menstrual pain more manageable and the experience of the menstrual cycle less painful. 

The kinds of food that should make up your diet while you are on your period include:


Staying very hydrated is always essential, but keeping your body hydrated is especially important during the days of your period.

Drinking enough water during the day can reduce your chances of getting dehydration headaches, which is a common symptom of menstruation and one of the most common PMS symptoms experienced by many women.

Drinking plenty of water is also going to stop your body from retaining water, and it will definitely stop you from feeling bloated.

Leafy greens

Many women experience low iron levels while they are on their period, especially those who have a heavy menstrual flow, because they are losing iron.

Low iron levels can worsen headaches, lead to fatigue, dizziness, bodily pain, and period pain. To combat that, try eating iron-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables (kale and spinach), to boost your iron levels.

Spinach is a great choice because it is also rich in magnesium, vitamin D, it has anti-inflammatory effects, and it can also reduce bloating.


Chicken is another iron-rich option that can be beneficial when added to your diet. Besides being rich in iron, chicken is also very rich in high-quality protein, essential for your overall health.

Eating a lot of protein can also help you stay full and satiated during your period, which is going to help you stay away from those unhealthy cravings that worsen menstrual cramps during the menstrual cycle.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium, but dark chocolate is also a delicious snack that will curb cravings and satisfy the sweet tooth that many women experience during their period.

In addition, dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, and several studies have found that magnesium deficiencies can worsen the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms and period symptoms.

Instead of eating sugary treats to satisfy sugar cravings, such as chocolate and ice cream, which contain too much sugar and will spike your blood sugar levels, try eating a bit of dark chocolate to satisfy that craving.


Fruits, especially fruits rich in natural sugars, can help you deal with your cravings without turning to junk food and refined sugars.

Refined sugars can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash after a very short period of time, making the period symptoms and premenstrual symptoms even worse than what they already are.

On top of that, water-rich fruits are going to make staying hydrated pretty easy and tasty. Some of the water-rich and vitamin c-rich fruits and vegetables are watermelon and cucumber.


Fish is a nutritious addition to your diet that is rich in protein, iron, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Consuming iron will counteract the low levels of iron that many women experience during their period. Omega-3s fatty acids can reduce period pain, decrease inflammation, as well as reduce depression.

Omega-3s might be especially helpful for those who experience mood swings and depression around the time of their period.


Turmeric is a spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties, with curcumin as its main active ingredient.

In addition, several studies have shown that turmeric has been found to lessen painful and uncomfortable symptoms of PMS and menstruation.

Foods To Avoid on Your Period

Certain kinds of foods will make the already uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation even worse, especially bloating and cramping.

There are certain kinds of food that you should avoid during that time of the month, in order to help yourself feel better. Those kinds of foods include:


Having some sugar in moderation is acceptable, especially during your period, where many women report that they crave sugary foods more than they usually do.

However, overeating sugar and sugar-based foods can cause a spike in energy, followed by a crash, sudden loss of energy, and the feeling of fatigue and sleepiness, which can worsen your mood.

Watching your sugar intake during your period can help regulate your mood, especially if you already tend to feel moody, depressed, or anxious during those days of the month.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods can be hard to digest, and they can upset the stomach, which can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

If you are not used to eating spicy foods regularly, it might be best to avoid them during your period to avoid making the symptoms of your period worse.

Red meat

The body will produce prostaglandins, which are physiologically active lipid compounds that help your uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining.

In fact, the prostaglandins are the reason behind your menstrual flow, as well as your period cramps.

It is a well-known fact that red meat is high in iron, which might cause you to reach for it during your period days. However, you should avoid doing that because red meat is also high in prostaglandins, which means it could worsen your cramps and should be avoided during menstruation.


Overeating salt during the day can make your body retain a lot of water, resulting in bloating.

To prevent or reduce this period symptom, try to avoid highly processed foods containing a lot of sodium and avoid adding extra salt to your meals.


Excessive caffeine intake during the day can cause bloating and water retention, which will leave you feeling heavy and uncomfortable.

Excessive caffeine intake can also exacerbate headaches that often happen during periods.

However, it is also important to note that caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches. Therefore, if you are used to having a few cups a day, avoid cutting out caffeine altogether.

Coffee can also cause digestive issues, and it can also cause period diarrhea to become worse.


Certain foods will be a great choice during your period, while others should be avoided because they can worsen the period’s symptoms.

If your periods are painful to the point of making your life difficult, make sure to see a doctor, as this could be a symptom of a deeper health issue that should be looked into and resolved.