What to eat during your period

Hell hath no fury like a hangry woman on her period. Period food cravings drive us crazy. The insatiable hunger we have, during our period, is caused by the ebb and flow of our hormones.

Eating all the junk food we possibly can may feel good while we’re scoffing away, but does it actually help our periods? Here are the most beneficial foods to eat while on the blob and the foods you should definitely avoid. 

Yes, you can eat chocolate while on your period!

chocolate bar and biscuits illustration

We aren’t talking about Dairy Milk, unfortunately. Many women experience a dip in their magnesium levels while menstruating. Dark chocolate is a great food to eat during your period due to the high magnesium content. The higher the cocoa percentage, the better. Dark chocolate has also been proven to help the brain produce serotonin or ‘the happy hormone’. This will help alleviate all-consuming cravings as well as rollercoaster swings. 

Eat like goldilocks and crack out the porridge.

Bowl of porridge next to bottle of milk

Oats are a great food to eat while on your period. This food is full of fibre which is aids heart health and also pesky mood swings. Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, author of The Better Period Food Solution, told Refinery29 that oats are rich in B1 or thiamin, “ thiamin-rich foods break down carbohydrates in the body, so more mood-boosting neurotransmitters become available in the brain. This process can help combat PMS-related moodiness and anxiety”. Make yourself some overnight oats with some dark chocolate and your gut will be ready to kick your period’s butt. 

Increase your amount of fresh fruit. 

Illustration of various fruits

Fresh fruit is full of nutritious goodness for your period. Fruit is full of natural sugars to soothe those sugar cravings. Juicy fruits, like watermelon combat bloating because of the high water content. They also contain nutrients, such as B6, which can ease irritability and a bloated belly. Bananas, like dark chocolate, contain a considerable amount of magnesium as well as potassium. Alongside unrelenting hunger, many women may have irregular digestion during shark week. Eating bananas can help your tummy regulate digestion. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes contain both calcium and vitamin D which have been known to combat PMS symptoms. 

Soooo here is the bad news…

Stay away from caffeinated drinks 

Illustration of a cup of tea, coffee and fizzy drink

Coffee, tea and fizzy drinks all contain caffeine. Caffeine restricts blood flow to those cramping areas which causes your body to produce more prostaglandins the hormone which induces cramps. The artificial sugars in fizzy drinks also make your body retain water, leaving you feeling even more bloated and yucky. 

In fact, pretty much stay away from all junk food

Illustration of various fast foods

Despite the fact all we want to eat is junk food during our period, it really isn’t the best thing for us menstruators. Fried foods and processed foods can increase estrogen levels. This can then worsen your period cramps. High-sodium foods will leave you feeling like a bloated balloon as they retain water in the body. Processed grains such as white bread, pasta, cereal rice etc, don’t help with bloating either. They also cause your blood sugars to spike which is a cause for concern, particularly around your period. 

Now you know what foods can help your period, you can eat your way to an easy-breezy period. Well almost. Making healthier choices will directly impact your menstrual health. Bringing in the right foods before, during and after your period will balance out your hormones, meaning your PMS won’t hit you as hard. You surely can’t say no to that. 

What foods do you eat when the painters are in? Comment below we love to hear them! Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your girl gang know what foods they should be eating while on the rag.

Meet the Author

jess simms

Jess is our Content & Community executive who writes about, well ...everything! She loves talking about period positivity and body positivity and, let's face it, loves a good debate. When she isn't talking about all things BeYou, she has probably got her nose in a book, cuddling her Jack Russell Terrier, Buster 🧚‍♀🐶📖

Added to cart