How to Eat Healthy During My Period?

DATE: August 23, 2017


Many health-conscious women face the problem of keeping the right diet during their period. Food cravings during PMS may make all of your dietary efforts useless. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

The menstrual period is a necessary physiological function and it is normal for healthy women’s reproductive system. However, it is something that is far from being enjoyable. Women on their period often face unpleasant problems like mood swings, lack of energy, or even pain. And one of these problems, probably not the worst but yet disappointing for health-conscious women, is PMS food cravings.

These cravings for certain foods (unfortunately, completely unhealthy in most cases) may occur some days before the period starts. Most commonly, women crave for high-calorie sweets and salty foods. The first are really bad for those who try to control their weight or blood sugar levels while the latter may result in swelling and additional load on kidneys.

Useful Tips on Diet During PMS

The reasons of mysterious PMS-related food cravings are not clear. They occur in some women while the others are lucky enough to not even know about the existence of such problem. And if you are of the first kind, here are some tips that may be useful:

  • Eat more often in smaller portions. This way, you will not let your blood sugar levels change rapidly, avoiding hunger and overeating. Such diet strategy is considered the healthiest of all by some nutritionists, it helps your digestive system work well and it allows consuming fewer calories. And even if all these advantages didn’t exist, this way you would know that your next meal is not hours away from you — this way it will be easier for you to deal with your cravings.
  • Look for fiber-rich foods. It’s needless to say that fiber is healthy. It helps your digestion, makes you feel full longer, and slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. Of course, no one promises that fiber will help you get rid of dreaming about that extremely tasty cake, but at least, it will help you beat the cravings.
  • Consume more protein. Surprisingly, protein-rich products may also help you beat your food cravings. The thing is that protein is digested slowly and it gives the long sense of fullness. To this, many protein-rich products are also rich in calcium and other essential nutrients, the lack of which may be the reason of your cravings.
  • Drink more water. This common advice works when it comes to PMS cravings as well. And even if it won’t work for you, it is always better to think about your daily water consumption to stay healthy and feel well. Also, water with some additions like cucumber of berries may be a nice replacement for sugar-rich beverages.
  • Do some exercise or go for a walk. Some extra exercise would do you no harm. A light workout or a walk may reduce your cravings for junk food and help you not to think about calorie bombs.
  • Try not to store sugary and salty foods in your house. Do not buy junk food for future use. Instead, have fresh fruits and vegetables in your fridge. Some grapes or a banana won’t hurt your diet and by eating them you may get rid of your sugar cravings completely.

Eating Right During Your Period

Your dietary needs during your period are basically the same as they always are. This means that you have no excuses for eating more as you need just the same amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber as during the rest of the month. The only exception is too heavy blood flow — in this case, you should consult your doctor as you may need some extra iron. It is especially relevant for those, who do not like eating meat and other iron-rich products. Also, you may want to eat more fresh fruit for more Vitamin C, as this nutrient makes iron absorption easier.

Some Perfect Period Foods

Here are just some examples of foods with a perfect combination of healthiness and flavor. They are not all low in calories so be careful with portion sizes if you are trying to lose weight. Still, all of them are truly comforting and helpful during PMS cravings:

  • Apple slices with caramel sauce and some nuts.
  • Fruit or berries smoothie.
  • Sliced banana with chocolate syrup and some nuts.
  • Greek yogurt with honey and nuts.
  • Some hummus with vegetables or whole grain crackers.
  • Oil-free tortilla chips

Remember: increased appetite = extra calories. Your possible food cravings during your period can lead to a huge increase in caloric intake you won’t even notice if you are not careful. Keep track of the foods you eat using a food diary and don’t forget to watch your beverage intake as well.

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