Sometimes when you’re on your period, going to work can seem unimaginable. You’re feeling irritable and sad at the same time. Your uterus is cramping every five minutes and energy levels are running low. Sometimes, being a woman sucks.
Luckily, there are ways you can make the deadly combination of work and menstruation more survivable. Making small changes to your diet is a great place to start.
What you eat on your period can make a huge difference with how you feel and how your body copes.
In this post, we’ll be looking at the best foods you should eat to stay energized at work during that time of the month — read on for some top tips for the perfect period diet.
Recommended reading: Four Ways to Nourish Your Whole Self with The Rainbow Diet
It’s true what they say about berries: they’re superfoods jam-packed and full of delicious goodness in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to run at full capacity.
In particular, berries are rich in antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to feelings of fatigue, so if your energy is low, then snacking on some berries could be the answer you’re looking for.
Plus, berries have brain-boosting superpowers! They can even help with enhancing your brain function, learning, and memory. These are the perfect snack, especially if your period cramps are giving you brain fog and you can’t concentrate on your to-do list.
So the next time you’re packing for work, pop in your bag some blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Nuts and seeds are perfect for battling against low energy levels while you’re on your period. Ditch that bag of chips (the salt can make you even more bloated) and get yourself some nuts to munch on at work instead! That’s because these mighty little warriors are full of protein, fiber and healthy fat to keep you full and energized throughout the day.
Nuts also contain plenty of minerals that you need when you’re menstruating such as magnesium and zinc. Magnesium can have a super positive effect on period symptoms such as cramps and mood swings. Snacking on magnesium-rich nuts such as almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts can help reduce your cramps and restore your energy.
It wouldn’t be fair to deny you of chocolate in your time of need, so we’ve included it on this list. Now, it's not just any chocolate, however: we're talking about dark chocolate.
The high sugar content in normal milk chocolate is sky high, which can exacerbate your cramps, can also cause sugar crashes and exaggerate mood swings. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate is your friend.
Any bar above 70% cocoa is low in sugar but high in healthy antioxidants (which reduces fatigue and improves brain function, remember?) and mood-boosting magnesium. Dark chocolate also helps to boost energy levels and alertness without giving you the sugar crash that other candy bars normally would. So there you have it: dark chocolate is a keeper.
Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are perfect for fighting period symptoms like cramps and headaches. This means you can focus all of your energy on doing your job as best you can.
To dive into the science behind how fatty fish can help with period pains, we must understand that period symptoms like cramps, nausea and headaches are caused by an inflammatory chemical called prostaglandin. Oily fish like salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, and can help to counteract these problems. This is perfect if you want to get rid of period cramps fast. So if you’re wondering what to eat on your period, then you should definitely include this awesome fish in your diet. We salute you, salmon.
We’d probably advise against this one as a desk snack (unless you want to stink out the office and annoy your coworkers, that is), but you could easily incorporate it into your lunchtime meal.
Spinach and other leafy greens
As you probably know, your iron levels tend to be low when you’re on your period; after all, you’re losing a lot of blood! Low iron levels can leave you feeling drained and exhausted, which is going to make working at full capacity hard. You need to fight this by eating iron-rich foods.
Spinach and other leafy greens such as kale or chard are great sources of iron, which will tackle any tiredness and dizziness you’re feeling. Plus, they are also packed with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 — all of which help with alleviating cramps and give you plenty of strength to beat that period.
So there you go — you’ve got the perfect side of veg to pack them into your lunch along with your salmon!
Aunt Flo doesn’t have to make going to work difficult. If you’re in the know, you can easily manage menstruation while still feeling energized and refreshed. Just remember to stock up your kitchen with the above ingredients!