It is true what they say, you are what you eat. This statement is especially true during your period.
With constant cramps, bloating and mood swings, dealing with a period is no fun! While there are various ways to ease the pain, one of our favorite modes of making our cycle more manageable is to reach out for some comfort food. While this may momentarily make you feel better, certain foods can make your period worse in the long run and make your symptoms more difficult to deal with.
Our diet has a direct impact on our period, even before we start bleeding, therefore it is important to avoid or reduce certain types of food before the beginning of your menstruation cycle. From Caffeine to Sugar and Salt to fizzy drinks, read on for our list of foods that can make your period worse.
We know it's tempting to reach for a cup of coffee in the morning, especially on the days you need an extra energy boost, but try your best to avoid Caffeine in the days leading up to your period. Caffeine makes your blood vessels constrict causing the uterus to tighten, this may increase the pain of symptoms such as cramping and bloating. Try switching to a soothing cup of tea or juice during the first few days of your period.
Salty food aids water retention in your body, which therefore causes bloating and discomfort. Lower your sodium intake during your period by avoiding food such as French fries, chips, canned food, onion rings etc. For best results try to cut down on your intake of salty foods at least a week before the start of your period.
Blood sugar levels tend to fluctuate up and down sporadically, during our period. Consuming an abundance of refined carbs and high sugar food will make this worse, resulting in inflammation and cramping. As comforting as it may seem to indulge in cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other desserts, try to avoid it as much as possible. If you are craving something sugary, try to satisfy that sweet tooth with some naturally sweet food options such as dates, raisins, fruit, or figs.
Dairy can increase your chances of bloating and cramping as it contains Arachidonic Acid which causes inflammation. Try to minimize your intake of cheese, milk and ice cream during your period.
Say no to sodas and other fizzy drinks when you are on your period! These drinks can increase bloating. Try to stay hydrated by drinking as much water as possible as it will help ease bloating and cramping.
They say chocolate can fix anything, but not in this case! While you may crave chocolate while you are on your period, it can make the period pains worse. Chocolate elevates Prostaglandins levels which therefore worsens symptoms of cramping and bloating. If you want to have some Chocolate, have a small piece of Dark Chocolate. Do avoid milk and white chocolates.
Trans fats which are commonly found in fried food tend to increase inflammation. Avoid deep-fried food, fast food etc.to keep your period pains at bay.
While avoiding sugar on your period is a smart move, replacing it with artificial sweeteners is not advisable. These sweeteners tend to disrupt hormone levels that can increase your symptoms of bloating, cramping and mood swings.
Soy products such as tofu, soy milk and artificial meat can take a toll on your hormonal balance, try to avoid these when you are on your period.
Many types of meat are high in saturated fat and can increase the number of Prostaglandins in your body, which can lead to cramping, bloating, breakouts and breast tenderness. Try to consume a wholesome diet full of lean meats and fish during your cycle.
White flour and White rice can affect your blood sugar levels, causing it to drastically fluctuate. Avoid food that contains white grains to stay free of inflammation and bloating.
Stay comfortable and pain-free by avoiding legumes such as chickpeas and kidney peas which can all cause bloating and discomfort.
Reaching for a glass of wine may seem like an easy solution to make a bad day good, especially when you are on your period, but it might do more harm than good. Since your body is already tired and stressed while menstruating, adding a toxin in the form of alcohol will cause you to feel more fatigued and anxious in the long run.