As the level of hormones in your system changes before the start of your period, you’ll notice you feel more sluggish and irritable. Once your period starts, you may also experience headaches, cramps, and overall soreness throughout your body. The severity of your symptoms can fluctuate month to month, with some months faring better than the others. Though you may think these dreadful feelings are inevitable, the foods you eat also have a big impact on your hormones and subsequent feelings. Choosing the foods you consume carefully can help make a difference in your period symptoms. Here’s a breakdown of the best foods you should eat before, during, and after your period.
1 Week Before Your Period
The cause of your premenstrual symptoms is the imbalance of hormones in your system. The week leading up to your period you may feel more tired than usual as well as slight cramping and nausea. It’s best to avoid sugary and greasy foods (though tempting as it may be) like fried foods and frappuccinos. Foods rich in fiber and healthy fats help tremendously to reduce bloating and also to balance out hormone levels.Fish and avocados are great sources of healthy and filling fats, which can be especially helpful as pangs of hunger become more frequent. As far as snacking, incorporate fiber through fruits like apples and peaches as well as nuts and seeds. Above all, it’s important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water while avoiding beverages high in sugar content.
While On Your Period
Energy levels are usually the lowest right at the start of your period. Thus, it’s recommended to eat iron-rich foods which include red meats, fish,eggs, and leafy greens (think spinach). Foods that are easily digested and lighter are preferable over cold or heavy foods which can increase bloating. Drinking a cup of tea before bed or after a meal can help soothe your stomach and provide a light source of caffeine while steering away from other caffeinated beverages like soda and coffee. As always, try your very best to avoid junk food-- your body will thank you.
After Your Period
Since you’ve lost about three tablespoons of blood during your period, your first few days afterward should focus on replenishing your blood supply. Fiber, protein, and Vitamin B should be your main nutrients. These foods will help boost estrogen production and amp up energy levels, making you feel incredibly active. You could try out different exercises like Pilates, or cycling for cardio and strengthening of key muscle groups. Your appetite will gradually decline so eating more proteins should stimulate hormones once more. Add in a hefty portion of calcium with green vegetables and reduce caffeine intake; you should achieve the ideal balance. It’s important to continue a regular exercise routine and avoid consuming excess sugar and caffeine to ensure you feel your very best.
There are just some months you feel worse than others and others which are virtually pain-free. Following a regular exercise routine and eating a balanced diet is the perfect combination to counteract negative hormonal symptoms. Find what works best for you as it will be different for everyone. What matters most is your comfort and happiness.