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Yup, Eating the Right Foods on Your Period Can Actually Ease PMS Symptoms

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.

Period cravings are totally normal, but here's what to eat instead

This probably doesn't qualify as breaking news, but when you eat well, you feel good — and the same rule applies for when you are on your period. Yes, for most of us, period cravings are no joke and can cause us to want to spend that one special week every month holed up on our couch, eating junk and binge-watching Netflix. While said junk food eating might seem comforting, we all know that it really only makes us feel worse.

So exactly what should we eat and what should we stay away from? Here's the lowdown.

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: Suffering From PMS & IBS? You Need a New Morning Routine

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: Don't eat too much salt

Originally published July 2010. Updated August 2017.

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