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Period-Friendly Diet Hacks We Love

Period-Friendly Diet Hacks We Love

Did you know that the secret to hacking your cycle may be in your fridge? That’s right, the foods you eat in the lead-up to and during your period can ease period symptoms like bloating, cramping and water retention. 

Changing your diet may make you feel better and minimize menstrual symptoms. 

At the Center for Women's Health in Wichita, Kansas, board-certified OB/GYN Sharon Breit, MD, and our medical team are dedicated to helping women feel and function their best. 

For some, their periods are little more than a minor inconvenience. For others, the monthly flow brings symptoms that may range from mild discomfort to symptoms that temporarily interfere with daily activities. 

Before you try over-the-counter medication, try making a few simple changes to your diet a few days before and during your period. 

Slash inflammatory foods

Inflammation is at the heart of many menstrual symptoms, and while inflammation is a necessary function, it can cause menstrual pain and discomfort. By limiting inflammatory foods at the start of your period, you can tame period pain. 

What’s more, blood sugar levels and hormones are all affected by foods that cause chronic inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammatory foods results in less pain and PMS the following cycle.

Foods to limit or avoid include:

Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid any food that contains additives, artificial ingredients, or artificial sweeteners.

Load up on anti-inflammatory foods

Once you’ve cut the inflammatory foods, shift your focus to eating anti-inflammatory foods like:

Anti-inflammatory diets are beneficial not only to your period but also to your overall health. By focusing on inflammation-fighting foods, you combat menstrual-related symptoms like fatigue, so you feel and function better during your period. 

Eat lots of fiber

During your period, inflammatory substances can make digestion sluggish and lead to bloating. Fiber-rich foods are excellent at combating menstrual bloating. Foods such as beans, legumes, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and fruit can reduce bloating and improve digestion.

These foods are also high in iron and folic acid (dark leafy greens and legumes), which helps to replenish your body and normalize your menstrual cycle, especially if you have heavy menstrual bleeding.

Have plenty of magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium is an essential mineral with diverse functions. Its ability to relax muscles is particularly beneficial for relieving menstrual cramps. It relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus and also has a calming effect that helps to relieve stress. 

Green leafy vegetables, nuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, bananas, flaxseeds, and chocolates are all rich in magnesium. 

While it’s possible to improve PMS symptoms with these simple diet hacks, dietary changes alone aren’t always enough for everyone. 

Some women experience severe PMS symptoms, and if this is you, it’s best to schedule a visit with us. You may have a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is a severe form of PMS that’s treatable.

If you’re dealing with painful or heavy menses, see us to discuss options that can help. Contact our Wichita office to schedule a visit with Dr. Breit. Telehealth appointments are also available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.

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