The Best And Worst Foods To Eat On Your Period, Revealed

Craving chocolate? You’re not alone.
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You know the feeling. You’re tired, maybe a little crabby and a brutal ache starts low in the stomach: it’s time for menstruation. If you’re automatically reaching for the Ben & Jerry’s when your period hits, you’re not alone. But what should you really be eating to fuel your body when on your period?

Eating sugar and takeaway can give us an immediate feeling of satisfaction, and there’s no harm in treating yourself from time to time.

However, a certain combination of vitamins and minerals may actually help you to feel better, to have more energy and feel more at peace during this uncomfortable time for your body.

Here, the key foods you should reach for or avoid.

The Best Foods To Eat During Your Period


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According to the Royal Women’s Hospital, there is growing research to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids support women going through PMS.

A 2012 study found that those who took an omega-3 supplement experienced a significant reduction in pain intensity and also took fewer doses of ibuprofen to manage pain.

Try including some salmon or another type of fish that you like in your diet around the start of your period to help combat these symptoms. Other sources of omega-3’s include chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.

Go Bananas

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Consider adding a range of fruits and vegetables to your diet, and upping this intake around your period. A 2018 study found that those consuming more fruits and vegetables also had fewer cramps and less menstrual pain.

Dietitian Susie Burrell told 9Honey that anything green is a good idea, especially things like kale, spinach, cucumber and celery are good options as they’re rich in potassium.

“This makes them the perfect foods to deal with any bloating and fluid retention associated with that time of the month,” she says.

Dark Chocolate

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If you’re craving chocolate, why not consider opting for a dark chocolate?

Studies have found that dark chocolate has higher concentrations about magnesium and iron. Women naturally lose more iron during menstruation, so opting for iron rich foods during this time is a good idea.

Other sources of iron, according to the University of Edinburgh, include apricots, minced beef, rump steak, whole meal bread and lentils.

What Foods To Avoid?

Salty Food

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While you might be craving some cheesy bread or a takeaway, it might be a good idea to avoid salty food during your period.

The Royal Women’s Hospital suggests, “Avoiding salt can help reduce fluid retention, abdominal bloating, breast swelling and pain.”


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While we all love a cup of joe, it might be a good idea to steer clear of it during menstruation. Some studies have correlated caffeine intake with menstrual abnormalities and PMS symptoms.

Burrell told 9Honey to reduce intake of coffee, cola drinks and energy drinks, “These foods will cause blood vessels to further constrict making the effect of cramps, headaches and bloating even worse.”

As always, the healthy eating pyramid provided by Nutrition Australia is always a good source of nutritional information, as is visiting your GP for a referral to a nutritionist.

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