11. Cut out some foods for a while
As we’ve said, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel better at that time of the month. But there are also some foods and additives that are best avoided during this time. One example is caffeine. If you need a cup of coffee to get out of bed in the morning, this might seem like the end of the world. But the truth is that the caffeine in coffee can make your PMS worse by increasing mood swings, bloating, aching and cramps. Caffeine also raises your anxiety levels so that you feel more stressed. Amazingly, coffee can also cause your menstrual cycle to become irregular.
Other foods to avoid are those that are high in fat and/or salt. This, sadly, includes the good old cheeseburger, fries, chips, pretzels and any other particularly salty or fatty foods. These increase bloating and cause water retention, effectively worsening your period-related symptoms. Although drinking alcohol can temporarily reduce period cramps, it increases estrogen levels, which in turn makes period symptoms worse. Try a virgin mojito instead, or coconut water, both of which are great for keeping you hydrated.
You might be surprised to learn that dairy products should be avoided during menstruation. This is because dairy products such as butter, cheese, cream, and milk are all high in arachidonic acid. This acid can trigger menstrual cramps. Instead, try some of the many plant-based, dairy-free products on the market these days.
Also to be avoided are products that contain refined flour. These include things like cereals, tortillas, bread, and pizza, which can all lead to constipation and bloating. Instead, choose whole grains with a low GI index to keep you fuller for longer. Items like brown rice and whole-grain bread are excellent.