Stories from Menstrual Health

20+ Foods That Will Help You Feel Less Like Garbage on Your Period

Emily Laurence

Emily LaurenceOctober 22, 2019

Food can be… confusing. Should you be avoiding gluten at all costs? Gobbling up avocados as fast as humanly possible? Well+Good's nutrition experts are setting the story straight when it comes to food, cutting through the hype and hand-wringing and getting you the most comprehensive information on what you should (and maybe shouldn't) put in that body of yours. See All

Looking for sweet, sweet PMS relief? Try these delicious foods.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling hardcore cravings for carbs and chocolate in the days leading up to your period. But for true relief—both physically and mentally—from the most annoying period symptoms, registered dietitian and The Better Period Food Solution author Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, knows which foods are scientifically proven to help.

“When you’re dealing with your menstrual cycle, certain remedies probably come to mind. Advil, Motrin, hot water bottles…You might not think food has anything to do with managing your cycle,” Beckerman says in the latest episode of You Versus Food. Spoiler alert: it definitely does. “Eating with your cycle in mind can help balance your hormones, ease period cramps, and help regulate your cycle,” she says.

For example, Beckerman recommends loading up on foods rich in magnesium (like spinach and pumpkin seeds) in the week leading up to your period, a mineral which she says helps fight fatigue and cramping. Oh, and amazing news: dark chocolate has magnesium, too.

As for what to eat on your period, Beckerman says it’s a good idea to add more iron-rich foods like lentils and tofu to your diet, since you’ll be a little lower in the nutrient during this time. Not getting enough can lead to feeling sluggish.

These are just a few of the 28 (!) foods Beckerman says can help make your period more manageable and less…well, terrible. Check out the video for the complete list, and hey, have some dark chocolate while you watch.

These gluten-free brownies are made with PMS-fighting ingredients, too. And this gentle yoga flow can help ease cramps.

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