Food during Menstruation


When Rima first got her period, her grandmother told her to never eat fish during menstruation days. It will lead to a bad odor “down there”. Rima’s mother staunchly said not to put such superstitions into her daughter and that fish doesn’t cause a bad smell.

We all have heard more or less advice like this -“Don’t eat that during your period but eat this food in abundance”. Most of this information is not based on facts.

Did you know that fish is actually beneficial to eat during your period?

There are foods that will help you during these days. Period doesn’t mean bleeding only. It also brings cramps, mood swings, bad digestion, nausea and bloating. So, maintaining a good diet when you’re menstruating can help to lessen these issues.


Firstly, you need plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated is always necessary but when you’re already releasing blood, it’s more important than ever. Dehydration can cause bloating, headache, and water retention in arms and feet.

Similarly, you need to eat fruits and vegetables which are high in water percentage. Fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber, melon, orange, pineapple, celery, grapefruit, peach, lemon, citrus and more are both refreshing and helpful. They also help to fight off cramps.

Fiber Foods

Moreover, you need to eat fiber-high food like cauliflower, broccoli, bokchoy, chia seeds, flaxseed, strawberries, apples, etc. to lessen PMS problems like cramps. Plus, they are the perfect solution to the digestion issues we face during the period.

Foods High in Iron

Other than water, you will be low on iron during the period as well. A lower iron level means dizziness, tiredness and nausea. To counter this, you need to add leafy green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, broccoli and more. Good options for leafy greens in Bangladesh are palong shak (malabar spinach) and lal shak (red spinach).


During menstruation, it’s best to stay away from red meat. It increases the already high level of prostaglandins and causes painful cramps. Instead, switch to lean meat like chicken (high in iron and protein).

Fish is one of the best protein options as it contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids which lowers cramp pains, and helps to fight mood swings and irritable thoughts.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, good protein alternatives are lentils, beans, and nuts. They are rich in protein, iron, and vitamins.


You should include foods, such as ginger, turmeric, and peppermint. They are best taken in tea form. They help to reduce inflammation and muscle pain.

Cut down salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake. They elevate muscle pain, cramps, mood swings, bloating and dehydration.

But, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on all fun foods. Dark chocolates, tofu, yoghurt, kimchi, and peanut butter are all beneficial for you! They help to manage the pain and digest better.

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