What to Eat During Periods ?


During periods many of the girls and women experience severe pain, weakness, stomach pain or lower abdominal pain. These symptoms somehow can be reduced, by taking the adequate diet and proper nutrition. Some of the foods which should be included in the diet are:

  Eat calcium rich foods like beans, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale), milk beverages and products as calcium is needed for healthy bones, reduces menstrual pain and maintain muscle tone.

  Refined foods such as white breads, pastas, and sugar should be avoided.

  Antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, apple and vegetables like bell pepper and squash must be eaten.

  The food should be cooked in healthy cooking oils like olive oil or vegetable oil.

•  If you are a non-vegetarian, then prefer to eat fewer red meats and more of lean meats and cold-water fish.

•  Vegetable protein sources like tofu and beans should be included in your diet.

•  Soy milk is found to be beneficial because it provides relief during menstrual cramps.

  Avoid baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, french fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine because all these foods are prepared using trans-fatty acids.

  Avoid an intake of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco chewing.

•  Regular water intake is advisable during periods. At least try to drink 6 - 8 glasses of filtered water daily.

•  Avoid any physical exercise at least during the first two days of your periods, because it may cause severe back pain and may also make you feel weak.

  It is advisable to take Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish oil, as it will help lower the inflammation. This fact is also supported by studies. According to a health study, women who consumed fish oil had less menstrual pain than those who took placebo.

  Intake of Vitamin E sources in the diet is helpful to reduce menstrual pain.

  One of the mineral which should be consumed during period is magnesium. There should be an intake of around 360 mg daily for 3 days on the day before menstruation starts. One of the studies also supported this dosage and found that it was helpful in reducing menstrual cramps in women. A few other preliminary studies have also suggested that magnesium may help reduce menstrual pain. But intake of too much magnesium can cause diarrhea and lower blood pressure. So ask your doctor incase if you have digestive problems or a heart disease.


Balbi C, Musone R, Menditto A, et al., Influence of menstrual factors and dietary habits on menstrual pain in adolescence age. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2000;91(2):143-8.
Guerrera MP, Volpe SL, Mao JJ. Therapeutic uses of magnesium. Am Fam Phys

Sharvi Rastogi

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