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A Comprehensive Guide To What To Eat During Periods

Women shed uterine walls in the event of non-fertilisation of Ova generally referred to as ‘periods’ or ‘menstruation’. This phase of bleeding lasts for 2 to 7 days. Women experience numerous issues during this period. Women face symptoms such as abdominal cramps, head and backache, fatigue, etc. during the menstrual phase of the month. However, the symptoms are not the same for all. 

Controlling pain and stress is very important to improve your well-being during menstruation. Having a balanced diet with rich nutrients can be the first and most effective step you can take during periods to boost your health. Let’s go deeper into the study of what to eat during periods and things that can be avoided during this phase.

A] 10 Healthy Foods To Eat During Periods


1. Fruits

Fruits can be an ideal choice for alleviating period cramps. Oranges, Grapefruits, and muskmelon can help you stay hydrated as these are citrus fruits with high water content. Muskmelon and oranges are the best solutions to reduce cramps and regulate period flow.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables

Doctors recommend green leafy vegetables for any health-related issues in the body as they bolster the immune system. These vegetables are rich in iron which is required to energise and ease up period pain. Spinach and cabbage can be consumed to compensate for the blood loss that has lowered iron levels.

3. Ginger

Ginger is said to be a popular spice and herbal medicine that helps in relieving menstrual pain and nausea. As it warms the body, consuming too much ginger can cause stomachaches and heartburn.

4. Fish

You can include fish in your diet in search of a healthier menstrual cycle. Fish is rich in protein, iron, and Omega-3 which helps you to aid menstrual pain. Consuming fish also assists you in providing the required amount of protein to your body thereby reducing depression and mood swings.

5. Quinoa

Quinoa is a plant-based food suggested during periods to give you energy for a longer duration in a day. One can also counter digestive issues by consuming Quinoa. It contains protein, iron, and magnesium in rich amounts.

6. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is useful in combating symptoms such as cramps, stomachaches, nausea, etc. that start one or two weeks before your period also known as PMS (premenstrual syndrome). This tea also relaxes muscles during menstruation.  

7. Dark Chocolate

Is chocolate good for periods? You also might have come up with this question at some point. The answer is “Yes. it surely is.” Dark chocolate is effective for those facing severe PMS symptoms. Its rich iron and magnesium content helps to fight problems like menstrual cramps. 

8. Nuts

Nuts are preferred for women facing severe problems during periods to reduce pain and inflammation. Almonds, walnuts, and cashews are some of the nuts you can consume during your periods to improve your protein and vitamin intake.

9. Lentils and Beans

During periods, you may experience heavy blood loss due to which iron levels can diminish. To regain or increase the level of iron in your body, you can consume lentils and beans in good amounts. Lentils are one of the nutritional supplements for periods and possess a healthier option than meat. 

10. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics that are useful in resolving many issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and yeast infections. Yogurt is rich in magnesium and calcium and you must consider including it in your healthy diet during menstruation.

B] 5 Food For Period Cramps


1. Milk and milk products

Period cramps are hard to deal with, but one can do it with ease by consuming milk. Milk products can work as a pain relief for you as they contain calcium required for exterminating menstrual symptoms, like period cramps, as well as mood changes and fatigue.

2. Oranges

Fruits keep you hydrated. The water level in the body should be high to maintain the length of your periods. Fruits like oranges are rich in vitamin C which helps you boost your immune system. Studies also show that oranges are powerful antioxidants that treat period pain and cramps.

3. Strawberries

Eating strawberries can reduce period cramps and improve blood flow in your body. Strawberries contain vitamin C just like other citrus fruits, offering relief from menstrual symptoms. However, the statement that “strawberries help with period cramps” is not scientifically or statistically proven.

4. Oats

Oats are another food item that is rich in fibre mostly used in breakfast to kick start the day vigorously.

You can use oats in a supplement form to repair period cramps and pain. However, choosing good quality oats that can provide the nutrients promised is a task.

5. Avocados

With Omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium, Avocados are an excellent choice to reduce period cramps. Despite being filled with some good nutrients, Avocados are not scientifically tested or examined to become the food for period cramps.

C] 5 Foods To Avoid On Period


1. Spicy and Salty Food

Along with the above-recommended foods, it is necessary to see what not to eat during your period. Spicy and salty food is to be strictly avoided during periods. Spices and salt can only add to your problems as they give rise to water retention and bloating.

2. Refined Grains

Refined grains such as white flour and white bread increase sugar levels which is not good for periods. Consumption of refined grains or processed foods results in stomachaches and constant mood swings during periods.

3. Coffee

Caffeine intake is not good for your health, especially during periods. In order to reduce the risk of bloating and water retention, one must lower coffee consumption. Though coffee helps in dealing with headaches, excessive consumption can create a huge impact of heavy periods.

4. High-fat Food

Pizzas, burgers, and pasta create an impact on women’s overall well-being during periods. These saturated fats can give rise to problems such as stomach inflammation and cramps. Thus, high-fat foods are the foods to avoid on periods

5. Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is to be strictly avoided as it causes heavy periods which can only be cured through treatments of Menorrhagia. Alcohol can make you bleed more during your menstruation which also leads to problems like dehydration and stomach bloating.

D] Nutrients to Focus for a healthier menstrual cycle


1. Iron

During periods, iron levels often get diminished. Lower iron levels give an invitation to numerous problems such as depression, tiredness, and dizziness. To avoid these problems, you must choose more iron-rich foods like Lentils, green leafy vegetables, fish, etc.

2. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 reportedly balances hormonal balance resulting in the production of red blood cells which is required for maintaining your overall health during periods. Fish, almonds, and milk products can help in increasing the Vitamin B12 content inside the body.

E] What to Eat During Periods to Increase Flow

1. Emmenagogues 

These are herbs that help in increasing the flow during periods. Increasing flow can help boost your menstrual health. Emmenagogues are one of the herbal remedies for periods that include ginger, turmeric latte, and cinnamon to help repair irregular periods and regulate the flow.

2. Vitamin C-rich Fruits

Fruits like papaya, kiwifruit, and oranges are vitamin C-rich. These fruits help in inducing period flow. Vitamin C has to be ingested regularly to cancel out irregularities in periods.

3. Beetroot

Beetroot contains many nutrients which help in producing red blood cells. Beetroot raises hemoglobin levels to assist proper blood circulation inside your body. Some of the common period issues such as bloating and water retention are reduced by consuming beetroot.


Menstruation is tough to deal with. Various related symptoms can worsen its effects for women. It’s important to include nutrients in your diet to tackle period cramps and other related symptoms. Adopting a balanced diet is essential for overall menstrual health. With our experienced healthcare professionals, you can maintain a healthy diet during menstruation to improve your complete well-being. 

Our private gynaecologist in London can also guide you with some foods to eat during periods that will upgrade your eating habits, resulting in less pain and more comfort.

Neha Goel

Neha Goel, a Psychology alumna and MBA graduate from CASS Business School, London, brings together her expertise as a Reiki Practitioner and Practice Manager. She integrates psychology and business strategies to foster holistic well-being and personal development.