9 Foods and Drinks That Affect Your Menstrual Cycle

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When that time of the month arrives, keep certain foods and drinks in your refrigerator to make your experience more manageable
PMS cramps

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When that time of the month arrives, keep certain foods and drinks in your refrigerator to make your experience more manageable.

Most women would describe their menstrual cycle as a series of cramping, bloating, and mood swings. In addition to unpleasant premenstrual symptoms, energy levels deplete and food cravings increase.

Click here for 10 Foods and Drinks That Affect Your Menstrual Cycle slideshow.

When the time of the month strikes, reaching for junk food may seem natural, due to fluctuating hormones. Although your mind and your body are not communicating fluidly, the craving for unhealthy food is a signal that you should be getting certain nutrients your body needs. Fitting these nutrients into your diet means finding balance and eating from a varied list of food groups. Balancing your diet will help provide a sense of stability when your hormones are all over the place.

Adding healthy foods to your diet to combat unhealthy cravings will help you prevent and cope with PMS symptoms. In addition, eliminating certain foods and drinks could alleviate your symptoms.

Alcohol

wine

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Wine can trigger uncomfortable PMS symptoms.

Cortisol is triggered during times of stress and high levels of cortisol can increase your blood pressure and fat levels. To keep cortisol levels in check, the amount of alcohol you consume should be limited, as it has been shown to cause mild increases in cortisol in the body. Caffeine can be a problem for the same reason.

Bananas

bananas

Photo Modified: Flickr / torbakhopper / CC BY 4.0

Bananas offer double the benefits when it comes to your menstrual cycle.

Eating magnesium-rich bananas will not only decrease the water retention you experience during PMS, but it will help regulate your mood and boost serotonin levels. In addition, bananas are known to aid with sleep. When your body’s irregularity affects your sleep, bananas could help reduce the pain and allow you to rest easy.

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