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

7. Foods you don’t tolerate well

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: If you have food sensitivities, avoid those foods, especially during your period.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you might occasionally treat yourself to a milkshake, regardless. But during your period, it’s especially important to avoid the foods that can trigger issues in your body.

Eating these foods can cause nausea, constipation, or diarrhea, which will only add to your discomfort when you’re having a painful period

Other cramp remedies

Eating and avoiding certain foods isn’t the only action you can take to ease the symptoms of your period. Try these, too:

  • Exercise. Some evidence suggests that exercise, such as light cardio and yoga, can reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Hot compresses. Hot water bottles or microwaveable hot compresses can soothe pain in your abdomen and back.
  • Over-the-counter medication. Ibuprofen and other OTC meds can reduce your cramps.
  • Massages. Massaging your stomach or your back can reduce menstrual pain. In a small 2010 studyTrusted Source, massages soothed pain in 23 subjects with endometriosis.

Cravings explained

It’s common to have cravings during or after your period. Progesterone, a hormone that is at its peak just before your period, is associated with a bigger appetite, according to a 2011 study. As such, you might feel hungrier at that time.

Plus, if your mood is low, you might feel the need for comfort food. Eat the foods you enjoy, but remember that moderation is key.

The bottom line

Certain foods are great to eat during your period, while others can worsen your symptoms. The foods you choose to eat or avoid will largely depend on your specific symptoms and food sensitivities.

If your periods are particularly painful, to a point that you have difficulty functioning, see a doctor. This could be a symptom of a deeper health issue.