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Eat These 6 Foods During Your Period to Feel So Much Better

Research suggests that these foods, along with staying hydrated, may help reduce menstrual symptoms such as bloating, water retention, poor concentration, and irritability.

Stock up on these foods for that time of the month

Although there are plenty of period problems you shouldn’t ignore, there are some normal symptoms that just come with the territory. However, it may be possible to help relieve some uncomfortable period symptoms by choosing these foods that are great to eat during your period.

yogurt foods to eat while on your periodNew Africa/Shutterstock

Load up on calcium

Calcium may be a girl’s BFF during her period. Research in Obstetrics & Gynecology Science suggests the bone-boosting mineral may reduce bloating and water retention and soothe PMS-related mood changes. Found in: dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese as well as certain plant-based sources, including almonds, bok choy, broccoli, and leafy greens, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

almonds fiber period foodsNew Africa/Shutterstock

Focus on fiber

The last thing you want during your period is to feel more bloated. Fiber, which keeps your digestive tract running smoothly, can help. Eat plenty of fiber throughout your period to ensure regularity. Found in: almonds, apples, artichokes, beans, blackberries, chia seeds, persimmons, sweet potatoes, whole grains. These are some signs you’re not eating enough fiber.

beans iron foods to eat on your periodYulia Gust/Shutterstock

Incorporate iron

According to the National Institutes of Health, heavy periods can contribute to iron deficiency anemia in women, which can cause brain fog, tiredness, and mood swings. Even if you don’t have a heavy period, eating foods high in the mineral iron during your period is a good idea. Found in: beans, beef, dark chocolate, lamb, leafy greens, nuts, sunflower seeds, tofu. These are anemia symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

avocados magnesium foods to eat on your periodEvdokimov Maxim/Shutterstock

Make room for magnesium

File this under “so now you know”: Carolyn Dean, MD, author of The Magnesium Miracle, explains that women may crave chocolate during their periods because of the magnesium content. Research shows that magnesium helps relieve PMS symptoms such as headaches and cramps. Found in: avocados, bananas, beans, dark chocolate, fish, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, yogurt.

Omega 3 gel capsules. Fish oil pills. Healthy omega-3 in glass bottle. Top view.Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

Fuel up on omega-3s and vitamin B1

A 2016 Cochrane review examined evidence on dietary supplements for period pain. None proved to be “highly effective.” Among those with limited evidence to suggest potential beneficial? Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B1, also known as thiamine (or thiamin). Found in: eggs, seafood, nuts, and seeds. Here are other ways fish oil benefits your health.

eggs vitamin d foods for your periodMasAnyanka/Shutterstock

Don’t forget about vitamin D

A 2015 study published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology found that having low vitamin D levels is associated with irregular periods. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of poor or insufficient sleep or sleepiness. And a 2018 study in Gynecological Endocrinology finds supplementing with D may be helpful in reducing the severity of period pain and other PMS symptoms. Found in: fish oils, fortified milk, egg yolks. Now that you know the period foods you should eat, learn about the period mistakes that ruin your time of the month.

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Medically reviewed by Tia Jackson-Bey, MD, on August 20, 2019