When Mother nature calls, there is really nowhere else you’d rather be than in bed, drowning in all your favourite snacks (and cradling a hot water bottle).

Comfort eating is acceptable when you’re bleeding from your nether regions- the clue is in the name- it’s the only thing that brings comfort in the world of pain a period leaves you in.

Believe it or not- there are foods that do actually ease the pain of a period. The question on everyone’s lips: is chocolate one of them?

FOODS TO EAT

Salmon

It’s one of the healthiest foods for you, and goes great with an egg and avocado, but it has actually proven to ease period cramps. The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish have antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties which relax the throb of the uterus, easing the cramps.

Image Source/ The Spruce Eats

Bananas

We’ve all been there with the period runs- they aren’t pretty. One food that can help ease the constant toilet dashes, is bananas. They’re packed with magnesium, potassium, and fibre that will not only ease the bowel movements, but relax your mood. Who knew a banana could have such an impact?

Magnesium is also a muscle relaxer, so will help ease the cramping pain.

Dark chocolate

Finally- the one we’ve all been waiting for. Unfortunately, the more indulgent of chocolate hasn’t made the list, but if you’re a fan of the darker stuff then you’re on to a winner!

Not only is chocolate good for the soul, it’s actually beneficial for your health (to a certain extent). Organic, dark chocolate is the best for easing the pain and is less likely to upset your stomach!

Image Source/ Dr. Axe

Broccoli

Do your periods drain you of all your energy? That’s because there’s iron in the blood that you lose. There are a number of ways to get the green in- you can boil it, grill it, saute it, and you can even include it in a smoothie.

The large amounts of iron in broccoli will help compensate for some of the iron lost while bleeding.

Image Source/ Jessica Gavin

Also, the fibres in broccoli will nourish your body and help to reduce the dreaded bloating that comes with a period. Broccoli also contains magnesium and potassium, which are known to ease the dreaded PMS symptoms.

Lemons

All the citruses, including oranges and limes help to alleviate cramps and even mood swings. They are packed full of fibre and vitamins as well as a lot of water (and when is extra water anything but a good thing?) The vitamins will absorb in to your blood stream quickly, alleviating the nasty symptoms that make life a chore, like tiredness and nausea.

Eggs

Eggs are praised for a lot of things- they’re thought to be a good hangover cure for a start. But, thanks to the iron, proteins and fat soluble vitamins in the egg yolk, they are a life saver when your menstrual cycle is in full force.

Image Source/ The Independent

But, a word of warning- hard-boiled eggs might actually work against you, inducing bloating as well as heartburn to those with sensitive stomachs. So, stick to poaching for the best result!

Chamomile

Chamomile tea doesn’t just calm your nerves, it also does wonders for your uterus. Not only will it relax your uterus, it’ll make falling to sleep much easier.

FOODS TO AVOID

Processed foods

Foods that are pumped with chemicals, like canned foods, processed meat and dairy will contribute to bloating and cause more water retention. The salt count in such foods isn’t good for us at the best of times, especially when we’re on our periods, thanks to the fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels.

Image Source/ The Flavour Bender

Candy and snacks

You likely crave more sugary food when you’re on your period, so usually your firstĀ  option would be chocolate and lots of it. Instead, replace it with fruit (I know, not what you want to hear). Fruit is often overlooked as a snack and always seen as the ‘last option’, but they don’t leave you with the sugar comedown you get from shop bought, sugary treats.

Alcohol

As well as not being in the mood to get your glad rags on and hit the town, you shouldn’t be putting your body through it. Days 5-7 of your period is when you should especially be avoiding alcohol.

Image Source/ Absolut.com

Loss of blood also lowers blood pressure, making you extra susceptible to the effects of alcohol consumption.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods are renowned for causing stomach issues like bloating and cramps, so eating them on your period will only exasperate the problem.

However, it’s not all bad news if you enjoy spice- natural organic spices like fresh chilli are found to contain substances that are anti- and inflammatory anti-cancer and antihypertensive (help prevent the complications of high blood pressure). You do benefit from these foods, as long as you don’t suffer with a sensitive stomach.