9 Foods And Drinks That Affect Your Menstrual Cycle

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. 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. 


Cortisol is triggered during times of stress and high levels of cortisol can increase your blood pressure and fat levels. During menopause, the body experiences high levels of cortisol. 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. 


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.


Choosing vegetables high in fiber, such as broccoli, can reduce the bloating you experience during your period. Since broccoli is mostly water — 91 percent to be exact — it can help with the puffiness, gas, and fatigue you feel. 


Starting your day off with a filling a delicious breakfast may be the best thing for your menstrual cycle. A study found that a high intake of calcium and vitamin D foods, such as eggs and low-fat dairy, may reduce the symptoms of PMS. 


Flaxseeds contain a type of phytoestrogen called lignans. Lignans have both an estrogenic and antiestrogenic effect, which can reduce the severity of hot flashes


As far as grains go, the benefits of quinoa are outstanding. This complex carbohydrate is high in iron and vitamin B12, which can help regulate mood swings and increase your energy levels. 

Refined Grains

Avoiding refined grains and sticking to whole grains can help you maintain a healthy weight. Excess refined grains can cause your body to accumulate abdominal fat, which can lead to insulin resistance


Salmon and other nutritious sources of omega-3 fatty acids can help with menstrual relief. A study found that women who consumed six grams of fish oil every day experienced less menstrual pain while taking the supplements.  

Soy Beans

According to Healthline, soy contains a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones. Isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors in the body. Several studies on soy show that the isoflavones reduce the risk of experiencing hot flashes and also increase vaginal lubrication.