What to Eat During Your Period: Fish, Leafy Greens, Yogurt, and More

Many people have uncomfortable symptoms during menstruation. Some foods can lessen these symptoms, while other foods can make them worse. These symptoms include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • bloating
  • mood swings
  • diarrhea

If you experience any of these symptoms, adding certain foods to your diet and removing others can help you feel better.

Foods to eat

1. Water

Drinking a lot of water is always important, and this is especially true during your period. Staying hydrated can reduce your chances of getting dehydration headaches, a common symptom of menstruation.

Drinking plenty of water can also stop you from retaining water and bloating.

2. Fruit

Water-rich fruits, such as watermelon and cucumber, are great for staying hydrated. Sweet fruits can help you curb your sugar cravings without eating a lot of refined sugars, which can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash.

3. Leafy green vegetables

It’s common to experience a dip in your iron levels during your period, particularly if your menstrual flow is heavy. This can lead to fatigue, bodily pain, and dizziness.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach can boost your iron levels. Spinach is also rich in magnesium.

4. Ginger

A warm mug of ginger tea can improve certain symptoms of menstruation. Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects, which can soothe achy muscles.

Ginger may also reduce nausea. Few studies confirm this, but a 2018 study found that ginger effectively reduced nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Since it’s safe and relatively cheap, it’s worth trying.

Don’t consume too much ginger, though: Consuming more than 4 grams in one day could cause heartburn and stomachaches.

5. Chicken

Chicken is another iron- and protein-rich food you can add to your diet. Eating protein is essential for your overall health, and it can help you stay full and sated during your period, curbing cravings.

6. Fish

Rich in iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, fish is a nutritious addition to your diet. Consuming iron will counteract the dip in iron levels that you might experience while menstruating.

Omega-3s can reduce the intensity of period pain, according to a 2012 study. Subjects who took omega-3 supplements found that their menstrual pain decreased so much that they could reduce the amount of ibuprofen they took.

A 2014 study showed that omega-3s can also reduce depression. For those who experience mood swings and depression around menstruation, omega-3s may be helpful.