This post is sponsored by Flo.
I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to your period, sometimes you can have some major cravings to eat ALL the things! If you look closely at those cravings, it’s likely that it’s your bodies way of letting you in that there may nutrients that your body needs. While periods can be uncomfortable and exhausting sometimes, there are many foods that you can eat (and avoid) that can have an effect on how you feel when on your period.
These foods can help alleviate symptoms, such as cramping and bloating, as well as address issues such as decreased energy levels and mood swings. Below are the best foods to indulge in and those to avoid!
While you might feel like a glass of wine can take the edge off an angsty, crappy mood, alcohol can also cause you to retain water and lead to additional bloating. Alcohol is a diuretic which can lead to more dehydration, so if you do drink be sure to alternate drinks with a glass of water to help counter the effect.
Caffeine can cause increased anxiety and irritability which are already some issues that women may struggle with around their period. Also, caffeine can cause blood vessels to constrict which can lead to increased cramping. Nix the caffeine and switch to decaf or at least lower caffeine options if you really need a morning cup of joe.
Processed foods are full of preservatives which can have adverse effects on your hormones and usually high in sodium which leads to increased bloating so stick to fresh, homemade meals if you can.
Fresh Fruits & Veggies
Fresh fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth while also giving your body a great boost of nutrients, minerals and fiber (which may help with any bathroom troubles you’re having). A few specific fruits and veggies to add to your diet during your period are:
- Bananas: High in magnesium and vitamin B6 which are great for boosting energy and help with water retention.
- Leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens are loaded with iron. During menses iron levels drop with the loss of blood so eating lots of foods high in iron are great for amping up your iron levels. Broccoli is another great source of iron!
- Melons: Chock full of water and also have compounds that can help avoid water retention.
Foods Rich in Iron
Blood loss leads to lower iron levels so increasing your intake of iron rich foods during this time will help replenish your iron levels and energy as well. Some healthy, iron rich foods to eat while on your period are:
- Lean meats
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Grains and cereals that are fortified with iron
While on your period you often lose more fluids, so be sure to drink at least 8 ounce glasses of water a day (and more is better). Water will also help with excess bloating and can be energizing as well. Infuse with fruit to add a little something special to entice you to drink more.
Some studies have shown that Omega-3s can help take the edge off mood swings by making the effects of serotonin more powerful. Some foods that are rich in Omega-3s are flaxseeds, chia seeds, salmon and walnuts.
Being on your period doesn’t have to be terrible. Listen to your body and nurture it. It’s giving you cues as to what it needs. Your cravings often can clue you in on nutrients that you need for optimal health.
For all your period needs, check out Flo! Flo has a great app that allows you to track your period as well as has an ovulation tracker. It’s an easy and simple way to take control of your period health, track symptoms and even has a pregnancy mode. My favorite feature: the reminder! Mama life is busy and the last thing I want to be surprised with is my period when I’m not prepared.
For all things periods, Flo has a ton of great information and resources on their website. Whether you’re looking for yoga poses to alleviate cramps, need help with fertility tracking and more, check out Flo!