Women's Wellness

Foods To Avoid During Your Period

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 13 December 2022, Updated on - 22 May 2024

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Most women experience fatigue, bloating, mood swings, and cramps during their periods due to hormonal imbalance, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While period cramps are a natural phenomenon, 1 in 10 women skips school, work and other activities at least one day every month because of unbearable pain. Furthermore, certain food items can also worsen the period pain. It has been found that these foods lead to the release of excess estrogen hormone in the body. This causes the uterine lining to become very thick, thereby increasing the intensity of cramps, heavy blood flow, and menstrual symptoms. Let us read about some food items that can aggravate menstrual cramps.

Foods to Avoid During Period

Many women crave for sweets, carbs, and fatty foods during menstruation, however, these seemingly comforting foods with high sugar and oils increase menstrual pain. While you can take any food in moderation, you are better off avoiding the following items that intensify period symptoms.

  1. Red Meat. Your body produces prostaglandins throughout the menstrual cycle and causes contractions in your uterus to remove its lining. Avoid eating red meat as it has high levels of prostaglandins, which can induce severe cramps.
  2. Oil and refined foods. Avoid eating fried items like chips, cheese, and salad dressing as it contains trans fat that can raise oestrogen levels. Excess oestrogen during periods can result in digestive discomfort and mood swings.
  3. Alcohol: Stop drinking alcoholic beverages during menstruation. Blood loss during periods lowers the body's blood pressure, making it more vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol. Furthermore, it also increases menstrual flow and fatigue.
  4. Processed Food: Canned foods, overly processed meat, and foods containing too much salt, chemicals, and preservatives can aggravate bloating and water retention during periods.
  5. Spicy Foods: Eating spicy foods may cause gas and bloating during periods. One can replace spices with healthier alternatives like fresh chillies or cinnamon, turmeric, and fennel.

Progressively cut off these foods to experience fewer cramps, weight loss, and improved energy.

Best Period Comfort Food

Here are some healthy and fibre-rich alternatives to common comfort foods to add to your diet.

1. Fibrous foods

Fibre helps the body to remove the excess oestrogen in your bloodstream, thereby relieving period cramps. Some of the best food sources of fibre include:

  1. Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils
  2. Fruits like berries, oranges, apples, and mangoes
  3. Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice
  4. Vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, and carrots

2. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which help relieve menstruation pain and bloating. You can take fresh ginger in tea or can have it in the form of powder or candies.

3. Nuts

Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, magnesium and vitamin E that help reduce muscle contractions, thereby relieving cramps. You can eat them alone or mix them in smoothies and salads.

4. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate can be considered one of the best period comfort foods as it is low in sugar and has caffeine that boosts your mood and satisfies your sweet tooth.

It has been found that eating whole foods during menstruation can help lower inflammation, thereby reducing period pain. One can try changing their diet during periods based on the information mentioned above to reduce period pain. If you need medical advice, consult our specialist.

Talk To An Apollo Gynaecologist

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