When it’s that time of the month, it feels like you have a free pass on eating everything and anything your heart (and ovaries) desire. Binge eating a packet of salted chips, indulging in a large tub of chocolate ice cream, and treating yourself to a meaty burger can be quite tempting but can do a lot of damage to your health. Intense bloating, period cramps and body aches are often fueled by bad eating decisions, which soon lead you to feel like you are on the brink of death. So, it is important to not give in to your junk cravings and instead take the healthy route that can cure many of your menstrual symptoms.
Here is the list of food to avoid, and indulge in, while you are on your period.
The Foods You Should Indulge In
Staying hydrated is the key to a smooth cycle. Dehydration can cause headaches and bloating, so drinking lots of water can keep you from feeling exhausted and weak while you are on your period.
Fresh, water-rich fruits should be your go-to while you are on your period. Eating fruits like Watermelon can keep you hydrated while sweet fruits can satisfy your sugar cravings without consuming refined sugar.
The one indulgence that no one can say no to, dark chocolate is not only delicious to eat but it also comes with multiple health benefits. Eating a bar of 70 to 80 percent dark chocolate can increase your iron and magnesium intake in no time. Dark chocolate is also great for reducing PMS symptoms such as headaches and cramps.
Drinking peppermint tea can be very relaxing and soothing after a painful and hectic day. Peppermint tea is known for its many health benefits, some of which include soothing headaches, menstrual cramps, nausea, and diarrhoea.
The Foods You Should Avoid
There’s a reason why most nutritionists will tell you that processed sugar is bad for you (on or off your period). But during your cycle, in particular, sugar-filled cravings can disrupt your natural blood sugar levels and can therefore increase mood swings and cramps, making your week even worse.
A good cup of coffee can surely brighten up your day, but there is talk that consuming caffeine can increase your oestrogen levels that can make your menstrual cramps even worse. Try avoiding too much coffee during this time and switch to light and soothing beverages instead.
Snacking at any time of the day is what dreams are made of. But sadly salt is the main culprit in extensive water retention, which results in bloating. To avoid bloating, it’s best to not consume food with high sodium content.
Craving a slice of pizza or your favourite doughnut from the sweet shop is completely normal. But consuming too much fried food can cause some serious inflammation which could increase your abdominal pain. It is advised to ditch greasy food and switch to healthy, oil-free snacks that can curb your cravings while keeping bloating at bay.
And while these are all suggestive, every body is different. What works for you may not work for another; so make sure to talk to your gynaecologist or nutritionist before making any serious dietery changes.