Wave Goodbye to PMS: What to Eat on Your Period (And What to Avoid)

February 25, 2020

By Skye Rytenskild

We feel your pain, ladies. Every month, there comes a time when all you want to do is stay at home in your pyjamas, binge-watch Netflix and stuff your face with unhealthy food. Granted, this could happen at any time and for various reasons, but your period is sure to be one of them.

Your menstrual cycle is part of your body’s way of preparing for a possible pregnancy each month. During the monthly menstrual cycle, the uterus lining builds up to prepare for pregnancy. If you do not get pregnant, oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels start to drop, telling your body to begin menstruation. The uterus lining is discarded—often accompanied by cramps.

Around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime, but in 5% to 10% of women, the pain is severe enough to disrupt their daily life.

Some women find that eating the right kinds of foods may help ease menstrual pain. A growing body of evidence suggests that eating a wholefood, plant-based diet rich in anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies can balance your hormones and significantly reduce pain and PMS.

In a nutshell

What to eat
  1. Leafy greens
  2. Citrus fruits
  3. Berries
  4. Wholegrains
  5. Potatoes
  6. Fibrous veggies
  7. Nuts & seeds
  8. Legumes
  9. Dark chocolate
  10. Flaxseed

Calcium relieves muscle tension, so eat plenty of leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, orange, kiwi and rhubarb. Fibre-rich food such as apples, bananas, dark-coloured vegetables, beans and cereals help to absorb and eliminate chemicals causing period pain. Omega-3 fatty acid, which can be found in flaxseed, leafy greens, beans and walnuts, has an anti-inflammatory effect and is found to reduce hormone cycling, which is a major cause of pain accompanying menstrual cramps.

What not to eat
  1. Caffeine
  2. Salty foods
  3. Processed foods
  4. Alcohol
  5. Spicy foods
  6. Sugary snacks
  7. Fried foods
  8. Refined grains
  9. Meat and dairy
  10. Carbonated drinks

Like with most things, change won’t happen overnight. But as the health benefits kick in, you may be surprised how well you feel when the cramps subside. If you are anything like me, you would eat your favourite clutch bag if it would mean that you no longer have to put up with the mind-numbing pain. Luckily, healthy food is much tastier.

Curse the cravings

Of course, it’s all very well to say ‘just eat brown rice and broccoli’, but when you feel like garbage and your cravings are calling, that’s not going to cut it. Here are some healthy and delicious alternatives to high-fat, high-sugar snacks for when you really need something sweet and comforting.

We believe in being conscious – about what we put into our bodies, as well as the planet. Join the movement today.

Written by Skye Rytenskild for Grace & Green