What to eat on your period

What to eat on your period

Do you crave certain foods around the time of your period? 

News flash– the idea that people crave chocolate during their period is not a myth. Believe it or not, during your time of the month, cravings are extremely common and are most likely due to hormonal changes. When you are on your period your serotonin, estrogen, and progesterone levels are fluctuating. It’s not shocking if you’re going through pints of ice cream and Domino’s orders- these hormones can increase cravings for sugary, high-carb foods.

Just as it is important to honor those cravings, it is necessary to honor your body. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are key players during your menstrual cycle: they help regulate mood, bone and cardiovascular health, and overall development. When you are on your period, not only are you losing iron from bleeding, but those hormone levels are also very low.

This can make it difficult to find a balance between eating foods that your body needs and foods that your body wants. So, we came up with a short guide to help you figure out what to eat on your period!

What should you try to avoid?

  • Sugar– sugar can spike cortisol levels, and heighten mood swings
  • Salt– salty foods lead to water retention, which can make you feel extra bloated
  • Alcohol– high in prostaglandins which can cause an overproduction during your period, leading to increased cramping, effect progesterone and estrogen levels leading to heightened mood swings and other period symptoms
  • Spicy foods–  can lead to stomach pain and nausea
  • Red meat– high in prostaglandins which can cause an overproduction during your period, leading to increased cramping

Food that are good for you during your cycle:

  • Iron-rich foods to compensate for bleeding (lentils, dark leafy greens, meat)
  • Vitamin C for better iron absorption (citrus, tomatoes, berries, red pepper)
  • Warm and/or hearty foods to help cramping and to soothe (tea, soups, stew)
  • Anti-inflammatory foods to help with bloating (fish, turmeric, ginger, broccoli, berries)

Just to be clear, we are not saying to never give into your cravings. You should! It is all about balance. If you are getting the vitamins you need to sustain your body, there is nothing wrong with also eating what you want.

Keep Reading