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Foods women should eat and avoid during their period

Consuming a healthy diet and avoiding certain food items go a long way in managing cramps and other symptoms during your period

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 29, 2020 4:59:47 pm
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Periods aren’t easy. They can cause pain and severe discomfort in many women. Which is why it is important to eat healthily when menstruating. Agrees Dr Rohini Patil, nutritionist and founder of Nutracy Lifestyle, who says, “menstruation doesn’t hurt itself, but the cramps or other symptoms may be uncomfortable. During this time, girls should take extra care of their diet and sanitation.”

This is primarily because an improper diet can result in pain, headache, nausea, diarrhea among many other symptoms. Ahead, the nutritionist has shared a few food items women should eat and also steer away from during period. Take a look and say hello to healthy periods!

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Things you should eat

Leafy vegetables and fruits

“It’s common to experience a dip in your iron levels during your periods, particularly if your menstrual flow is heavy. Often, this leads to body pain, fatigue and dizziness,” said Dr Patil, adding that green leafy vegetables help combat the same. Make sure you also incorporate water-rich fruits such as watermelon and cucumber. If you have sugar cravings, switch to sweet fruits. “This can help curb your sugar cravings without eating a lot of refined sugar which can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash” she suggested.

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In fact, a warm cup of ginger tea can help you feel better because it has anti-inflammatory effects, which can soothe achy muscles. Ginger may also reduce nausea.

Chicken and fish

A great source of iron and protein, make sure you add these to your diet. Eating protein is essential for overall health and can help you stay full for a longer period of time. “It is rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming iron will counteract the dip in iron levels while menstruating,” said Dr Patil.

Quinoa and lentils

Quinoa is rich in nutrients like iron, magnesium and protein.  “It is also gluten-free and will make you feel fuller. Whereas lentils are great sources of protein and can also be replaced with meat for vegans and vegetarians. They are also rich in iron, making them a great addition to the diet,” she said.

Nuts and dark chocolate

Make sure you include dark chocolate in your diet because it is rich in magnesium and iron. Nuts are equally important, so make sure you have a handful of them every day. “Most nuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a great source of protein. If you don’t want to eat nuts on their own, add them in your fruit smoothies,” suggested the nutritionist.


This does not need an explanation; we all know that drinking water is important. “Staying hydrated can reduce the chance of getting dehydration headaches, which is a common symptom of menstruation,” says the nutritionist.

Things you should avoid

Salt and spicy food

Steer clear of fried food and readymade snacks including packaged food since they are rich in salt and sodium. “Consumption of excess salt causes water retention that leads to bloating during your period,” said Dr Patil. In fact, also avoid spicy food since it can upset your stomach and cause acid refluxes.


“Avoid drinks like coffee, energy drinks etc as they can cause headaches and constipation. It can also cause digestive problems,” she said.


Alcohol has numerous effects on the body ranging from a bad hangover to headaches.

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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