Top 19 Menstrual Period Diet Do’s And Don’ts All Girls Should Know

Updated: 11/01/2019

Every month, girls often take seven days to deal with the menstrual cycle. At this time, the body will be very tired, stressed, along with much pain in the abdomen and back. Knowing the menstrual period diet do’s and don’ts is always a concern of many girls. Knowing the right foods to eat in these menstrual days, it will help to reduce pain and make your body more comfortable and relaxed. Let's find out what foods to eat and avoid on your menstrual period introduced on TrueRemedies site!

Top 19 Menstrual Period Diet Do’s And Don’ts All Girls Should Know 

I. Foods To Eat

1. Beans

One of the first menstrual period diet do’s and don’ts you should know is beans. Thanks to high fiber content, beans will help you digest quickly and may help to avoid pain due to menstrual cramping. Beans also contain a high level of vitamin B, which will reduce stress and fatigue[1] [2] during your period.

2. Papayas

Papaya contains high levels of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and carotene, which makes it the best choice on your menstrual period diet do’s and don’ts.

Not only does it help to relieve the pain in the abdomen and back, but it also reduces menstrual cramps quickly. Please add papaya to your daily diet.

3. Green Vegetables

This green food is always something you must eat every day, not just during your menstrual period. Green vegetables are rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium[3], all of which will reduce long-term pain in those days. At the same time, a huge amount of vitamin K in green vegetables will help you prevent heavy menstrual bleeding and blood clots in the period[4] [5].

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4. Foods Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Instead of completely removing fat from your diet, you can eat foods that contain healthy fats. Add these foods at least two weeks before your menstrual cycle, and you will feel the change. Grass Fed butter such as Kerry Gold, salmon, nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acid. Try consuming these foods during your menstrual period[6]. A study conducted in 1995 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who had a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduced their pain symptoms before and during their menstrual periods.

Healthy fats are also essential for creating cell membranes, synthesizing the gray matter of the nervous system, synthesizing adrenal and genital hormones, and absorbing essential nutrition, especially oil-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Therefore, it is beneficial in stabilizing the mood even though there are hormonal changes in the body during the cycle.

5. Foods Rich In Calcium And Iron

Many girls often suffer from uncomfortable back pain, along with menstrual cramps during menstrual days. Therefore, it is always the obsession of many girls.

Adding foods rich in calcium will help relieve these issues. And adding milk, tofu, green leafy vegetables, etc. to your diet will be a suggestion for you to eat on your menstrual period.

In your menstrual days, you lose a significant amount of blood. That's why you often feel tired and uncomfortable. So, eat foods rich in iron to compensate for the lost blood, such as red meat, beef, cereals, poultry, green leafy vegetables, etc.

6. Pineapples

According to a report from the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, if a small amount of manganese is consumed during the menstrual period, it will increase blood flow by up to 50% in the body. Therefore, adding pineapples more often because pineapples are rich in manganese and bromelain – an enzyme that helps the body to relax and prevent menstrual cramps.

7. Foods Rich In Magnesium

Adding foods rich in magnesium to your daily diet can help you reduce unpleasant symptoms of menstruation. Magnesium-rich foods also help to regulate serotonin, thereby balancing the mood[7] [8] [9]. In addition, increasing magnesium intake helps you to avoid a few symptoms such as breast tenderness and bloating.

Foods rich in magnesium include brown rice, lentils, whole grain bread, sunflower seeds, spinach, beans, cashews, etc.

8. Tea

Although girls should avoid foods that contain caffeine during the menstrual period, ginger tea may reduce the pain in your abdomen. In addition, chamomile tea will help you to fight spasms and relieve stress[10] [11] and discomfort in these menstrual days. So, a cup of warm ginger tea or warm chamomile tea during menstrual days is not a bad choice.

9. Foods Rich In Vitamins

Eating vitamin-rich foods is important to provide enough vitamins for your body in those uncomfortable days. Some vitamins you should supplement are vitamin E, B6, C, etc. Vitamin E helps you reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as stomach paindizziness, etc. You should eat egg yolk and butter to get plenty of vitamin E. Besides, vitamin B6 helps reduce flatulence[12] while vitamin C is needed to improve your reproductive health[13]. You can eat grapes and lemon to supplement vitamin C in your body. If you need more vitamin B6, you should add potatoes to your diet.

10. Drink Water

During the menstrual day, symptoms of cramps and pain occur due to water retention in the body. One of the best ways to treat this condition is to drink more water. If you don't drink enough water on those days, your body will tend to store water to compensate for the lack of water in your body.

11. Cereals

Research conducted by a British doctor has shown that eating a small amount of carbohydrates 3 hours before going to bed can prevent premenstrual syndrome (PMS)[14] by 70% in a woman's body. Whole grains contain a lot of B vitamins and vitamin E, thus reducing fatigue and stress in these days[15].

12. Yogurt

Yogurt contains a number of live bacteria that help to promote a healthy digestive process. This is a calcium-rich nutrient source that may help to alleviate uncomfortable pain during menstruation.

II. Foods To Avoid

menstrual period diet - foods to avoid

1. Foods That Contain Caffeine

Foods such as chocolate, soft drinks, coffee, etc. are things you should avoid consuming during your menstrual period. Because when caffeine enters the body, it narrows blood vessels, causing headaches and tension as soon as you drink.

2. Hot Spicy Foods

Hot, spicy dishes may affect the lining of the stomach and intestines, leading to acid reflux. In particular, eating spicy, hot dishes during your period can easily stimulate the body to cause rash and acne on the skin[16]. So, you should pay attention to eating frugal, healthy dishes on your menstrual cycle so as not to affect your appearance.

3. Processed Foods

To prevent water retention and bloating in your body, you should reduce the amount of sodium intake from processed foods. Also, canned foods, canned soy sauce, cold meats, cheese, etc. are packaged foods that contain up to 200mg of sodium per serving.

4. Alcohol And Carbonated Drinks

Drinks such as alcohol, beer, coffee, etc. may adversely affect blood circulation and absorption of iron in the body. It makes you fall into heavy menstrual bleeding and even anemia[17] [18]. Moreover, it causes anorexia, negative effects on the stomach, and the absorption of carbohydrates. In particular, these drinks seriously affect your mood during the period. It keeps you in a state of fatigue, discomfort, anxiety, and even depression.

Drinking carbonated beverages during the menstrual cycle may result in tiredness and weakness, which is a sign of iron deficiency.

Because soft drinks and other drinks mostly contain phosphate that causes a chemical reaction with iron in the body, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb iron[19]. In addition, sodium bicarbonate in sugary and bottled juice drinks reduces the role of stomach acids in digestion and disinfection, affecting appetite.

5. Fried Food

Be careful with fried foods that are high in fat because oils will increase estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen levels should only be maintained at a stable level so as not to cause spasm and cramps.

6. Dark Chocolates

Dark chocolate sbring many good effects for the body, including reducing the symptoms of the menstrual period[20]. So you should eat dark chocolate during your menses. According to scientists, dark chocolate contains magnesium and fiber, all of which are good for the digestive system. With 85% of cocoa, dark chocolate will help your mind to relax, improve your mood, and dispel menstrual cramps quickly[21].

However, you should choose chocolate bars with less sugar, less milk to minimize the pressure on the digestive system.

7. Sugar

Consuming sugar into your body in these menstrual days will increase your blood sugar. Avoid eating too much sugar and reducing sweet cakes, candies, etc. and break into small portions during the menstrual days instead of three big meals. This will help your blood sugar stay stable and lift your mood.

III. Mistakes You Are Making During Your Cycle

menstrual period diet - mistakes you are making during your cycle

1. Don’t Wash Your Hands In The Right Times

Like most people, you often wash your hands thoroughly after changing a sanitary pad or inserting a tampon. However, you often forget to clean your hands before you do these actions. In fact, it is crucial to keep your hands clean to protect the vagina from harmful bacteria that you can encounter during the day. Therefore, if you want to do anything in your vagina, wash your hands carefully before doing so.

2. Don't Pay Attention The Color Of The Menstrual Blood

The color of your menstrual blood is important. It should be blood that has bright red in color, with occasional blood clots. Dark colors are also normal because the older blood took longer to draw out. However, contact your doctor if you see your menstrual blood is orange or orange with some red streaks. The colors mean that fluid in the cervix is mixed in there, and maybe you are experiencing an infection. And visit your doctor if you experience heavy clots more often.

3. Use Scented Products

Fragrant and scented powders, wipes, gels, soaps, and other products contain chemicals that may irritate your vaginal area. So, reduce the use of these products, even if you have an odor when you are on your cycle. It is just the way your vagina keeps itself clean. When taking a bath, you should use water to cleanse your internal parts. And you can also wash outer areas by using natural soaps.

4. Don't Take Pain Relievers

If you use just pain relievers only when you can't stand cramps, it will reduce the effectiveness of the pain relievers. You can relieve pain easily when it is mild. So, if your menstrual cycles are regular and predictable, you can take anti-inflammatory drugs 1-2 days before you experience your period to aid in preventing cramps. If they are irregular, you should take pain relievers as soon as you have any bleeding or cramps.

5. Don't Change Your Pads Or Tampons Enough

You should change the sanitary protection every few hours to prevent leakages. Depending on your flow, you can check pads every 2 to 4 hours. If you use the lowest-absorbency tampon, you should switch your tampon every 4 to 8 hours. By this way, it will help to reduce the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening complication of bacterial infections. This syndrome often related to using superabsorbent tampons.

6. Don't Track Your Cycle

Charting your period is just essential for females who are trying to get pregnant. By tracking your menstrual cycle, the heaviness of your menstrual bleeding flow, and the pain level, you can share with your doctor about what is going on. And you will know how you feel and what you are expecting physically and emotionally over time. Many apps can help to make the process easier.

7. Don't Get Enough Rest

During your menstrual cycle, the body is working overtime. Therefore, you should take enough rest by having a sound sleep. Otherwise, you will get more stressed, crankier, and prone to snacking. So, don't try to push through the pain caused by your cycle. Instead, have good sleep habits to improve your overall health and productivity.

The above are suggestions on the menstrual period diet do’s and don’ts all girl should know. We hope that you will go through the series of menstrual days smoothly. The health-related articles will continue to be updated on the News & Facts page; please remember to follow them.

Note: Read more: 10 Effective Home Remedies For Cysts In Breast. This article was medically reviewed/fact checked by Dr. Myle Akshay Kiran.

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