Diet for menstruation: list of foods to eat and avoid

Making mindful food choices during menstruation can significantly impact your well-being. Here are some guidelines on what to eat and avoid during this time:

Menstruation Diet: Expert Lists Foods To Eat And Avoid

“Have you ever observed how certain foods can worsen menstrual symptoms, while others might alleviate menstrual cramps? Indeed, your dietary choices play a crucial role not only in managing symptoms but also in enhancing your overall well-being during menstruation. Recognizing the impact of your food selections can guide you in making healthier choices during this time. We consulted with Dr. Ekta Singhwal, MSc Dietician at Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, who provided insights on foods to include and avoid during menstruation.”

What to Consume During Menstruation

What to Consume During Menstruation


Foods High in Iron

During menstruation, iron is often lost, thus incorporating foods rich in iron into your diet becomes crucial to restore these levels. Opt for choices such as lean meats, beans, lentils, and dark green vegetables such as spinach.

Beneficial Fats

Dr Singwal suggests, “Fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, can aid in easing menstrual cramps and mitigating inflammation. Moreover, avocados and olive oil are superb providers of wholesome fats that enhance general health”.

Intricate Carbs

Throughout your menstrual cycle, opt for whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats. These intricate carbs deliver a constant energy flow and aid in managing mood fluctuations typically encountered during menstruation.

Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables


Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables

Dr Singhwal suggests a generous intake of fruits and vegetables during your menstrual cycle. He says, “These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, aiding in nutrient enhancement and curbing cravings. Items like berries, citrus fruits, kale, and broccoli are ideal. These foods contribute to the immune system and battle tiredness.”

Drinks for Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial, particularly during your menstrual cycle. This can help in diminishing bloating, decreasing water retention, and lessening the likelihood of dehydration related headaches during your periods. Moreover, it’s advisable to limit your caffeine intake, as it may heighten feelings of anxiety and irritability.

Bitter Chocolates

This delicious indulgence can assist in regulating your emotional fluctuations and providing a surge of energy. Bitter chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium, and as per a researchconducted by the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, it was discovered that magnesium can help in reducing the intensity of PMS symptoms.

Edibles to Restrict or Evade


Intake of Overly Processed Foods

“It’s crucial to avoid falling into the trap of consuming overly processed foods such as crisps, biscuits, and sweet snacks, which can instigate inflammation and bloating. These types of foods typically lack vital nutrients and can potentially cause energy fluctuations”, underscored Dr Singhwal.

Coffee and Fizzy Beverages

For those who love coffee, it’s recommended to cut down on its intake as it can intensify feelings of anxiety and irritability. Similarly, fizzy beverages can increase bloating, so it might be a good idea to restrict them during your menstrual cycle.

Sodium-Rich Foods

Were you aware that excessive sodium can result in water retention and bloating? As a result, it’s advisable to limit your consumption of salt-laden snacks, processed foods, and meals from restaurants during this period.

Greasy and Deep-Fried Foods

Greasy and deep-fried foods might aggravate inflammation, causing discomfort. Hence, opt for healthier preparation techniques, like baking, barbecuing, or steaming.

Guidelines for a Balanced Diet During Menstruation


Dr SInghwal has provided a few healthy eating suggestions to adhere to during your menstrual cycle: 

Harmonious Diet

Strive for harmonious diets that incorporate a mix of proteins, wholesome fats, and complex carbs. This aids in regulating blood sugar levels and preserving energy all day long.

Natural Infusions

Natural infusions like chamomile or ginger can provide relief from menstrual discomfort and foster tranquility. Peppermint infusion might assist in improving digestion and minimizing bloating.

Regular, Petite Portions

Consuming regular, petite portions can assist in controlling appetite and avoiding energy dips. This method can also contribute to better digestion, minimizing the chances of feeling bloated.

Mindful Eating

Dr. Singhwal emphasized the significance of being attuned to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Being mindful of these cues enables you to regulate your food consumption and uphold a balanced diet. By practicing mindful eating, you can make healthier choices and cultivate a positive relationship with food throughout your menstrual cycle.