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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

Top 7 foods to eat during your period

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Men, husbands, boyfriends take notes if you want brownie points.

For many women, that time of the month can be an unpleasant experience - both physically and emotionally. New evidence shows the secret to easing period symptoms may lie in the Mediterranean living (no surprise there as the Mediterranean dietary pattern keeps coming out on top and I keep bringing it up!).

A recent study in Spain has found women who ate less than 2 serves of fruit/day were 3x more likely to suffer with period pain! Furthermore, women who consumed Extra Virgin Olive Oil daily had lighter periods! Now there's a compelling reason to include EVOO in your diet ladies. If you're still not sure about cooking with EVOO, read my previous blog here!

In are you need a refresher on what the Mediterranean diet looks like

Wholefoods: fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, legumes and lentils, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices (daily)

Use EVOO as main source of fat (daily)

Moderate intake of meat, fish and alcohol (think 1-2 times weekly)

Lower intake of added sugars and red or processed meats (think monthly or less)

What we eat impacts our mood, the severity of our cramps and how tolerant we are during PMS. Overall keep in mind some foods can help you feel better when on your period. Furthermore, it is actually the week leading up to our period we should pay more attention to our body. Yes, we may feel a bit hungrier because we actually use about 100-200 calories MORE during that week pre-priod. This is equivalent to a small tub of ChobaniFit or YoPro yoghurt and a slice of toast, which is a great option for an afternoon snack. Top the toast with Avocado or Smoked Salmon for a mood boost.

Here are my top 7 foods to be eating during your period:

1) SALMON - Omega 3s are anti inflammatory and will help reduce the intensity of period pain (other sources include Walnuts, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds). Omega 3s have also been found beneficial for mood regulation.

2) LEAFY GREENS - packed with IRON which we are losing. Pair with Vitamin C from citrus fruit or capsicum for better absorption (Eg. Kale or Spinach)

3) BLACK BEANS - a 1 cup serving of cooked black beans delivers an impressive 120mg of magnesium, which is 30% of the RDI. Magnesium deficiency has been found to be associated with conditions such as dysmenorrhoea and PMS.

4) POTATOES - POTASSIUM which helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals

5) DARK CHOCOLATE - loaded with antioxidants, ZINC, POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM. Enjoy 2-3 Squares of Lindt Excellence (+85% dark chocolate)

6) BANANAS - one of the best mood-boosting foods you can eat thanks to its high dose of vitamin B6. Researchers think vitamin B6 relieves PMS symptoms for two reasons: B6 helps make "happy neurotransmitters" like serotonin and dopamine. Bananas are also rich in potassium and magnesium, which can reduce water retention and bloat

7) EGGS - Eggs can help fight PMS because they are good sources of vitamins D, B6, E, Omega 3s

Get creative. Remember, these foods don't have to be consumed by themselves for you to reap the benefits. the idea is to follow the Mediterranean dietary pattern of eating using these foods! Some meal and snack ideas to including in the week leading up to your period, remember to use EVOO wherever you want:

  • Poached eggs with smoked salmon and potato rosti

  • Banana, mango and spinach smoothie

  • Taco bowel with black beans, mixed greens, capsicum, brown rice and avocado

  • Coconut yoghurt with strawberries, topped with dark chocolate bits and a tablespoon of raw oats (my favourite)

Other tips to help soothe symptoms:

  • Stay active but listen to your body. It might feel hard to do your usual workout so plan for that time of the month. Perfect timing for deload weeks and extra stretching

  • Drink lots of water, and herbal teas including ginger, fennel, lemon

  • Prioritise self care whatever that looks like for you: naps, journaling, few episodes of your favourite tv show, cinema, walks, meditation, breathwork, candles, oracle cards and crystals.





Did you find this blog helpful and informative? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. Promoting consciousness in food choices helping people heal. Dietitian & Wellness Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.




KEYWORDS: Period Pain, Foods, Mediterranean, Wholefoods, Cramps, Bloating, Discomfort

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