Most of the women face pain and menstruation cramps during their periods. What foods you do or do not eat before, during and after your period largely affects your menstrual health. This article has a quick list of foods that you should eat before, during and after your periods. 

Know what to eat before, during and after our periods

Before your Periods:

  • Keep It Light: If there’s an excessive amount of estrogen in your body, you may experience premenstrual tension, breast tenderness, abdominal distension, fatigue, irritability or insomnia, the so-called Premenstrual Syndromes.
  • Certain foods can help your body process estrogen more efficiently, and therefore reduce or eliminate PMS symptoms.

The following dietary guidelines are recommended during the 10 days before your period:

  • Eat light, easy-to-digest, nutritious and balanced meals, including beans and legumes, fish, leafy greens and fruits.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep regular and smooth bowel movement, which helps reduce stagnation in the abdominal area.
  • Avoid spicy and stimulating foods, such as cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic etc.
  • Reduce the consumption of greasy and oily foods and sweets to avoid over-taxing your digestive system, which helps maintain the regularity of the menstrual cycles, as our digestive health has a lot to do with our menstrual health.
  • Cut down on salt. Too much salt impairs the functioning of your blood vessels and kidneys, which can cause a headache, irritability, and an accumulation of fluids in the body.

During your Periods:

Follow the same guidelines recommended before your period.

  • Replenish your iron: Normally women lose about 30-80 ml of blood and 15-25 ml of iron during each menstruation. So it’s important that we replenish our blood and iron during this time. Foods rich in iron include organic red meat, liver, egg yolks, spinach, collards, dried prunes, raisins, turkey, chicken giblets, beans, lentils, chickpeas.
  • Avoid drinking strong tea: The tannic acid contained in tea may affect the proper absorption of protein and iron in food.

After your Periods:

  • Nourish Your Blood: The optimal time to nourish your blood is within 1-5 days after you stop bleeding.
  • Avoid sugary foods: Blood sugar fluctuation is one of the main causes of PMS symptoms. You can keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding sugary foods, such as soft drinks, candies, and cakes.
  • Consume foods high in fibre: Food such as veggies, fruits and whole grains. Fibre can help move excess estrogen from your body, hence regulate your periods, reducing PMS and calming your mood. 
  • Healthy Snacks: In between meals, have some healthy snacks rich in Vitamin B, such as walnuts and cashews.
  • Protein intake: Have sufficient protein in your meals, such as salmon, organic meat, eggs.
  • Keep your meals regular: To avoid blood sugar fluctuation and strengthen your digestion.
  • Avoid or reduce caffeine intake: To avoid mood fluctuations, such as irritability or anxiety. Try herbal tea or green tea instead. They’re healthier and can be just as delightful.
  • Consume calcium-rich foods: Foods such as organic milk and yoghurt, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, collard greens.  

Consult your gynecologist or a nutrition specialist to clear any questions you might have about your diet to improve your overall menstruation health.