Do you pay attention to what you are eating during your menstrual cycle? When it’s that time of the month, you might be feeling overly emotional, highly irritated, and essentially making it a priority to grab some junk food to fulfill that seemingly perpetual craving. However, hold off just yet on diving head first into a bag of potato chips and instead focus on your options. Follow on below if you are looking for some quick food alternatives to ease bloating/discomfort and essentially improve your overall mood during your menstrual cycle:

Fruits and veggies are your friends

When you are menstruating, your body needs an extra dose of vitamins and minerals to keep you in balance with your hormones. That being said, focus on fresh fruit for that natural sugar rush. SheKnows adds, “The fruit from sugar may help alleviate sugar cravings. Try adding apricots, oranges, plums, pears, cucumbers, artichokes, corn and carrots to your diet.” Bananas are also a superb fruit to eat during menstruation, as the high levels of potassium as well as B6 can help soothe the stomach lining to release cramps, balance glucose levels, and formulate a somewhat boosted mood. Add a handful of leafy green vegetables to your banana and make it into a yummy smoothie for an extra amount of iron to help with oxygen flow within your body.

Don’t forget the dark chocolate

Yes! You can still pig out, slightly. During your menstrual cycle, you might discover your cravings get more and more powerful by the second. Here is the perfect time to munch on a piece of dark chocolate. SheKnows suggests that the dark chocolate should be specific, “with 60 percent or higher cacao bean”. This will help reduce those stubborn cravings, satisfy your sweet tooth, and give you that burst of energy all at the same time. SheKnows adds, “Dark chocolate has helpful antioxidants and is linked to boosting serotonin, which can help improve your mood.”

What about fluids?

Caffeine might need to take a back seat for the time being. Yes that might seem difficult to gulp down, yet when you are menstruating, caffeine can irritate the sensitive stomach lining and create more bloating and discomfort. Trade in the coffee for water, and lots of it. Drinking water might initially seem irritating, but during menstruation, your body might retain water simply because it is not receiving a sufficient amount if it. So, when you drink that extra water, you can help your body essentially release the excess water that might be the culprit of your menstrual annoyances.

Make fish into a dish

Menstrual cycles generally create tension in your muscles, with added cramps and temporary discomfort. Fish, including tuna and salmon, both contain a great source of omega 3’s and additional fatty acids that may calm your nerves and muscles and improve your cramps too.

Bring on the raw, unsalted nuts and seeds

Go nuts for raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds! Make sure they are also unsalted, since extra salt can cause major discomfort during your menstrual cycle. Nuts and seeds are loaded with great nutrients for your body to enjoy and bonus, they are an easy snack you can eat anytime.

The next time you are reaching for some junk food during your menstrual cycle out of pure desperation, remember that you have healthy options to choose from to calm your nerves, soothe your cramps, and boost your overall mood (to an extent ladies). Carry fresh fruit with a side of nuts/seeds and dark chocolate in your purse, have fish with leafy greens for lunch, and wash it all down with a generous amount of water. Happy menstruating!

LavitaWritten By:  Levita Galinsky