12 Foods to Avoid During Period

When a woman has her period, the uterine lining sheds from the body, resulting in bleeding. A host of awful symptoms accompanies this, including bloating, breast tenderness, painful cramps, irritability, and a depressed mood. The good news is that a healthy diet can help minimize these problems. Knowing the food to avoid during period can go a long way toward helping you feel better.

Foods to Avoid During Period

There are some foods that can make your symptoms much worse. Avoid these if possible:

1.   Processed Foods

Loaded with sodium, they are the last thing you want when you are already retaining water and bloating. More sodium in your diet can make you feel even worse, so stick with low-sodium options like fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry and olive oil.

2.   Fatty Foods

In addition to feeling "heavy" and bloated, fatty foods can also change your hormone levels, which might exacerbate your symptoms. Avoid burgers, whole milk dairy products, sausages, and fatty cuts of meat. Focus instead on fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean meats.

3.   Lots of Carbs

High-carbohydrate meals are a sure way to make you feel irritable and sleepy, especially as they wreak havoc with your blood sugars. But since many women crave carbs during their period, it might be okay to have a small bit along with a large green salad to offset the potential problems. Load up on veggies and fruits before reaching for the pasta.

4.   Sugary Foods

When it comes to a food to avoid during period, sugary treat is on the list. That extra sugar can create more mood swings and tension, as well as fatigue and immune system imbalances. If you carve something sweet, opt for a fruit salad topped with low-fat yogurt.

5.   Refined Grains

Refined grains lose a great deal of nutritional contents during the refining process, which means they are more likely to mess with glucose levels in the body. Pasta, white rice, and white bread are all serious culprits that can affect your appetite between meals as well as make blood sugar levels go a little haywire. Avoiding them can help reduce menstrual cramping.

6.   Foods Known for Bloating

Sodas, carbonated beverages, frozen dinners, canned soups, bacon and anything else with high sodium that often lead to bloating should be avoided. The hormones in your body are already making you bloated, and eating these foods will make things worse.

7.   Baked Goods

Commercially baked goods often contain high levels of trans fat or trans fatty acid, both of which will drive up estrogen levels and increase the pain in your uterus. So avoid those baked breads while on your period.

8.   Anything Fried

Food to avoid during period includes anything that has been fried in fat and oil, as it increases estrogen levels. Some examples include onion rings, French fries and fried chicken. Avoid the fried stuff, regardless of what oil it is fried in, to reduce cramps and pain.

9.   Some Fruits

Though many fruits are great to have, some "cooling" fruits will increase menstrual flow or make you feel much worse. The biggest offenders are watermelons and pineapples.

10.   Dairy Products

Many dairy products contain saturated fat which leads to irritation and inflammation that make period pain worse. Dairy also triggers more prostaglandins, which can make you cramp. If you do go with dairy products, make sure they are fat-free or very low in fat.

11.   Caffeine

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as sodas, chocolate, coffee and tea, can actually worsen the symptoms of anxiety, depression and even breast tenderness. Avoid these items, and stay away from energy drinks, too. Look for herbal teas that contain no caffeine and load up on water to stay hydrated.

12.   Alcoholic Drinks

Your liver breaks down estrogen, but alcohol works to prevent that by making your liver work harder; the result is a buildup of estrogen and painful menstrual problems. Alcohol can also make you retain water. It can also slow stomach emptying, which makes you feel "heavy".

More Things to Avoid During Period

Beside the foods, here are more things to avoid during period.

  • Eat large meals. Large meals can make you too full, which then leads to bloating and increased cramping. Wait at least 20 minutes to decide if you are still hungry.
  • Skip meals. If you don’t eat meals on time, you will become quite hungry, and that adds to irritability. This can also add to depression or a blue mood.
  • Have physical work. Back or stomach cramping can be very bad during a period. To avoid making matters worse, try not to do any physical work.
  • Stress out. Your menstrual symptoms will always be worse if you are anxious or upset. Find ways to relax, such as deep breathing, meditation and sleeping to make up for the fatigue.
  • Smoke. Knowing the food to avoid during period is good, but the savvy woman knows to avoid smoking at any time. If a woman begins smoking in her teens or early 20s, she might have moderate to severe period symptoms for the rest of her life.
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