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

Foods to avoid

While all foods are OK in moderation, you might want to avoid certain foods that worsen the symptoms of your period.

1. Salt

Consuming lots of salt leads to water retention, which can result in bloating. To reduce bloating, don’t add salt to your foods and avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of sodium.

2. Sugar

It’s OK to have sugar in moderation, but eating too much of it can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash. This can worsen your mood. If you tend to feel moody, depressed, or anxious during your period, watching your sugar intake can help regulate your mood.

3. Coffee

Caffeine can cause water retention and bloating. It can also exacerbate headaches. But caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, too, so don’t cut out coffee completely if you’re used to having a few cups a day.

Coffee might also cause digestive issues. If you tend to get diarrhea during your period, reducing your coffee intake could stop this from happening.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on your body, which can exacerbate the symptoms of your period.

For example, alcohol can dehydrate you, which can worsen headaches and cause bloating. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhea and nausea.

Plus, a hangover can bring on some of the same symptoms that occur during your period, including:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

5. Spicy foods

Many people find that spicy foods upset their stomachs, giving them diarrhea, stomach pain, and even nausea. If your stomach struggles to tolerate spicy foods or if you’re not used to eating them, it might be best to avoid them during your period.

6. Red meat

During your period, your body produces prostaglandins. These compounds help your uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining, resulting in your menstrual flow. However, high levels of prostaglandins cause cramps.

Red meat may be high in iron, but it is also high in prostaglandins and should be avoided during menstruation.