There is such a deep urge to binge on fatty or sweet foods during and before your period. But could there be a connection to the symptoms we feel during this time of the month, and what we put in our bodies? Here are the foods not to eat, and the foods to eat for the easiest, lightest month ever.
Tea assists in raising the globulin hormone level in your bloodstream during your period, which may make your period lighter and shorter. Drinking green tea is even better for you, and may reduce the pain associated with heavy periods. Get yourself some white tea, some green tea, yerba mate and plenty of herbal teas. Drink no more than three cups of caffeinated tea during the day, and use the herbal tea to replace it regularly to make sure you stay hydrated and warm.
If you avoid drinking water during your period because you think it might make you feel more bloated, bear in mind that drinking enough has been shown to actually decrease the likelihood of water retention. Water is great for keep your head clear, allowing you to concentrate for longer and makes everything easier for the body, which means you’ll be happier, calmer and healthier during your period.
Whole grains are high in fibre and can help with cravings during those important days leading up to your period. They contain vitamin B6, which alleviate pre-menstrual symptoms, and provide lots of iron and calcium, which we need more of during this time. Eat oats, wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, and other natural, whole grains that haven’t been processed. Avoid the sweet boxes of cereals you used to eat when you were a kid. You might not realise it, but they are full of sugar and are highly processed.
Low-fat dairy products may be helpful during your time of the month due to their pro-biotic benefits and the fact that saturated fat can increase inflammation. Low fat dairy is great for giving you a little calcium, but did you know that sesame seeds actually contain a lot more calcium, which relaxes your muscles? Get in the plant-based milks during the whole month, and the omega oils and helpful minerals will hugely improve how you feel during your period.
Foods you should avoid during menstruation
Caffeine-loaded foods and drinks like chocolate, energy drinks coffee, tea and soft drinks can make anxiety, depression and breast tenderness more of a problem during your period. Any stimulant you use to keep you up doing whatever it is you feel you need to do is not going to be helpful for your body. They get in the way of your body’s natural rhythms, like sleep. Try to rest more than you would normally when you’re expecting your period, and have some alone time. Pamper yourself. Have a nice warm bath. Allow yourself to dream and plan some lovely activities for the month ahead.
Replace them with herbal teas and make sure you’re well hydrated.
Salty foods can make bloating much worse, so avoid them wherever possible. That includes crisps of all kinds, pizzas and pastas served in restaurants or cooked at home, salty fish and meat dishes. Try to up the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables you eat, just for a few days.
Anything that comes in a packet that doesn’t look natural is processed, and will make you feel worse on your period. Buy and enjoy natural food if you can.
Saturated fat just isn’t worth it at this time of the month, because they increase the oestrogen levels that bring on PMS. So avoid them all, unless you want extra bloating, breast tenderness and bad skin. Avoid all red meat, whole milk, sausages and burgers. Get in the lean cuts of poultry and meat, and roast, grill and steam them without oil or butter.
Sugar levels becomes more unstable during our periods, which is why we crave sweets! Eating foods that are loaded with sugar can lead to mood swings and more stress. You may get immune system imbalances and fatigue as a result of that donut or piece of cake so give them a miss and make yourself a fibre-rich salad topped with berries and low-fat yogurt.