Menstruation Cycle or Periods is a natural phenomenon, and a regular cycle is a way for us to know that things are working well down there. Some have a period cycle of 3 days, while others battle anywhere between 5-9 days of menstruation which is grueling. I fall in the 5-day category, and for most days, I have little to no discomfort during my cycle. On days that my cramps or bloating feels really bad, I might have eaten or drunk something that I should have avoided during this time but forgot to. So today, I’m going to list out some of the foods that I generally avoid having:
Foods To Avoid During Periods
These foods are generally ok to be eaten in moderation, but these might worsen the existing symptoms during periods, so it is best to avoid such foods during your period. There are several symptoms and effects you might endure before and during the period cycle. When consuming these foods, it can be one or more of these symptoms:
- Mood Swings
- Stomach Cramps
Salt: Eating foods with high sodium or adding excess salt not only results in a puffy face because of all the water retention but can also lead to bloating. Water is one of the main factors of how you will feel during your periods and that last thing you want to be dehydrated. To get rid of bloating, try to avoid foods that contain a lot of sodium like salted nuts, soy sauce, smoked or cured meats like bacon, ham, canned meats like spam, fish or poultry, and sausages. Usually, during periods, I go for more salads and fresh fruits kind of dishes as while these are filling, they contain no salt and are much healthier.
Sugar: Sugar causes inflammation in the body and creates terrible mood swings, which leads to breakouts and anxiety. It is completely ok to treat yourself with sugary treats sparsely, but if you do not keep a tab on your sugar intake, it could lead to numerous other health problems like higher blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, fatty liver disease, which are all linked to an increased risk for stroke and heart disease. Cutting out sugar will not only help regulate your mood but will also curb any unnecessary cravings. Instead of reaching for foods with refined sugar like pastries, cookies, chocolates, cold drinks, opt for eating fresh fruits and juices, which will provide a good amount of fiber and natural sugars.
Coffee: Coffee is one of the main culprits for bloating and fatigue since it is a diuretic. Coffee can also exacerbate blood pressure, headaches and could cause digestive issues. If you are prone to diarrhea during your menstrual cycle, try reducing the coffee intake as it could stop this from happening. Personally, I tried to reduce coffee during my periods but being a typical south Indian, that was something I could not do, so I compensated by drinking lots of coconut water to settle the stomach. If you are not addicted to coffee, you can have camomile tea or ginger tea instead.
Alcohol: Alcohol can worsen the symptoms of your period by giving you the worst hangovers. Not only that, but it can also cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and other digestive issues. It will make the body extremely dehydrated and fatigued, which will lead to migraines. The best thing to drink during this time is plenty of plain water and fresh juices.
Spicy Foods: I am one of those people who cannot tolerate spicy foods even on a regular day. I will end up getting severe cramps, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. This is why I can never try most spicy foods even though they look so yummy. And this is also the reason why I stick to cooking continental dishes. If you do not tolerate spicy foods well, then it is best to avoid such foods during your periods.
So the next time you are on your periods, make sure you avoid these, and I can guarantee that you will get through it with much less discomfort than I do. Do let me know in the comments below what other foods you try to avoid during your periods to make it easier to sail through the cycle. I would love to know. Until then, stay healthy!