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The best foods to eat on your period — and the worst foods to skip

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

You are what you eat when you're on your period

Feeling tired, irritable and bloated for no good reason can only mean one thing — it's that exhausting time of the month where you want to crawl into a hole and die. But before you do (or before you numb your period pain with a bag of potato chips), consider munching on a few female-friendly foods that could make it all better:

1. Do eat complex carbohydrates

"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.

More: 7 Tools that make tracking your period way too fun

2. Don't drink caffeine

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.

3. Do eat calcium-rich foods

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: Why you shouldn't eat too much salt

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