Image via Gather and Feast
We love chocolate. Who doesn’t? So when we stumbled upon articles after articles suggesting women avoid sugary treats while menstruating, our hearts dropped.
Thankfully, we found a solution for all our period cravings—chocolate included. Read through to see what you should (and shouldn’t) eat during that time of month.
Foods to enjoy
🍌 Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium and also contain B6 and other vitamins that help boost your mood. They also help to regulate bowel movements, which is something a lot of women struggle with when they are menstruating.
🌾 Whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, which reduces muscle tension. They contain B & E Vitamins which help to combat fatigue and depression. They also keep you feeling fuller for longer, so if you eat them every few hours you won’t end up hungry and cranky by the end of the night.
🍫 Dark chocolate. OK, we'll admit. We’re not talking about milk chocolate or chocolate cake or those delicious chocolate chip cookies from your local bakery. We’re talking dark chocolate here! The higher percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the better. This is because it won’t contain as much added sugar, which spikes insulin levels and leaves you craving more processed foods. Dark chocolate has antioxidants and magnesium, which reduces mood swings and helps regulate serotonin, the happy hormone! Munching down on a few squares a week will also help to satisfy your cravings.
🐟 Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which play an important role in relaxing muscles and steadying nerves. This will also help manage those uncomfortable period cramps. If you don’t like fish, reach for walnuts or avocados which are also full of Omega-3s. We love a good grilled salmon with a squeeze of fresh orange juice on top of rice, spinach and kale. Here’s a recipe we can get behind.
🥗 The time is now to eat all your leafy greens! Foods like spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard are best when menstruating because they’re all filled with iron, which decreases as you lose blood. Incorporate these leafy greens in salads or sauté them in risottos and stir fries (with healthy fats, of course). The options are endless. If you don’t like the taste, throw a handful of spinach into a berry smoothie to mask the flavor. We promise you won’t even be able to taste it. Here’s a fool-proof recipe we love.
Foods to avoid
🙅♀️ Processed foods are usually loaded with sodium and trans fats, all of which can worsen period pain, cramps, water retention and bloat. Keep your salt intake at a minimum!
🙅♀️ Sodas and carbonated drinks (yes, that includes your favor La Croix!) increase swelling and bloating. Stay hydrated with water instead.
🙅♀️ Dairy is a tricky one, but the cons outweighs the pros in this case. Dairy contains acids that stimulate prostaglandins, which can worsen cramps and pain, so try staying swapping your yogurt or creamer with a dairy-free alternative.
As with everything, we believe in moderation and self-control. If you insist on that donut or crave that burger, don’t deprive yourself so much that you can’t stop thinking about it and overindulge later in the day.
As Donna from Parks and Recreation would say, treat yo self (every once in a while).