Menstruation: Foods That Could Make Symptoms Worse

Many women suffer from various symptoms during menstruation, from headaches, abdominal cramps, and bloating, to mood swings. Although each case goes by itself, there are some foods that, if taken in conjunction with menstruation, can worsen the symptoms.


The overconsumption of salt leads to water retention, which can cause swelling. To reduce symptoms, it is recommended not to add salt to foods and avoid highly processed foods containing a lot of sodium, preferring the use of spices and aromatic herbs.


It’s fine when taken in moderation, but abusing it can cause an energy spike that a slump will inevitably follow. This can worsen the mood. If you tend to feel moody, sad, or anxious during your period, being careful about consuming sugar and foods that contain it can help regulate mood swings.


It reduces the absorption of magnesium, a precious mineral for circulation and to counteract fatigue. In addition, coffee promotes dehydration. Caffeine can cause water retention and bloat. It can also make headaches less bearable and cause digestive and intestinal problems, especially if you tend towards diarrhea. However, if you are a regular coffee drinker, it is better to limit your consumption rather than eliminate it: in fact, even caffeine abstinence can cause headaches.


Alcohol can have a series of adverse effects on the body, which can exacerbate the symptoms of the cycle. For example, alcohol dehydrates, which can make migraines worse and cause swelling. It can also lead to intestinal and digestive problems, such as diarrhea and nausea. Additionally, a hangover can cause some of the same symptoms during your periods, such as headaches, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Spicy Food

In many people, spicy foods upset the stomach, causing diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. If these dishes usually strain digestion, it is better to avoid them, even more so, during the cycle.

Red Meat

During your period, the body produces prostaglandins: these compounds help the uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining, resulting in menstrual flow. However, high levels of prostaglandins cause cramps. Red meat is rich in iron but also in prostaglandins: why it is better to avoid it and prefer legumes, fish, or white meat.

Snacks & Co

Snacks, biscuits, and sweets, in general, provide lots of simple sugars that promote inflammation of the tissues and slow down blood circulation.

Pizza & Co

Baked products, especially those made from non-whole meal flour, contain refined sugars, which promote inflammation of the tissues.

Salty Snacks

They bring large amounts of sodium, which affects proper blood circulation and promotes retention.

Aged Cheeses

They should be consumed in small quantities. They contain saturated fat. They also have high-calorie content. In addition, they are rich in salt, which favors the feeling of heaviness typical of those days.

Cooking Sauces And Nuts

They provide sugars and fats that slow digestion and make swelling worse.

Smoked Salmon

Compared to frozen or fresh, smoked salmon provides an essential amount of salt, both in sodium and sodium glutamate, which promote swelling.

Canned Legumes

Compared to dry ones, canned legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas) may contain added sugars, additives, and preservatives such as salt. When consumed in excessive quantities favors the accumulation of liquids in the tissues.

Foods That, As A Rule, Are Tolerated With Difficulty

It might seem obvious, but it is worth pointing out: in case of food intolerances, not taking these foods during the cycle becomes essential: For example, a lactose intolerant person may eat ice cream or mozzarella now and then and maybe accuse some slight ailment. It is essential to avoid foods to which intolerances occur during menstruation as the symptoms could be more pronounced, causing annoying discomfort to the body.

Some Tips To Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Avoiding certain foods isn’t the only action you can take to relieve your period symptoms. In fact, in case of painful cramps, you can:

  1. Take over-the-counter medications, starting with ibuprofen;
  2. Exercise: activities such as yoga, for example, can help reduce cramps, as can some postures to ease back pain.
  3. Prepare warm compresses. Hot water bags or hot packs can soothe pain in the abdomen and back;
  4. Massage your back, stomach, and belly. Massaging the stomach or back can reduce menstrual pain. 


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