For some of us, period cravings can be intense enough that we spend a good week out of each month holed up on our couch, eating junk and binge-watching Netflix. While said junk food eating might seem comforting, in reality it can make you feel worse.
Potato chips and a pint of ice cream taste amazing when you're PMSing like crazy, but you can actually manage some of your worst menstrual symptoms by eating healthier alternatives instead.
"Fruits, vegetables and whole foods are your friends always, but especially during menstruation. The fruit from sugar may help alleviate sugar cravings," explains health and fitness consultant Tari Rose. Try adding apricots, oranges, plums, pears, cucumbers, artichokes, corn and carrots to your diet.
Cutting back on caffeine intake can help reduce bloating and calm an irritable stomach. "Caffeine can increase stomach acid and be rough on sensitive intestines. If you want a rich-tasting coffee substitute, try my traditional Indian chai," professional chef and healthy living expert Jennifer Iserloh says.
According to certified holistic health counselor and nutritionist Latham Thomas, women need at least 1,200 mg of calcium every day. "Some good sources of calcium include kale, collard greens, broccoli and yogurt."
Next Up: Don't eat too much salt
Originally published July 2010. Updated December 2016.
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