Bloating – that uncomfortable tummy sensation that makes it difficult to fit into your normal jeans – might be one of the most bothersome symptoms women experience during their period. But the good news is that you don’t have to suffer as much. Instead, revisiting what you eat and drink during this time of the month will be a big help. So, without further ado, here are some food and drinks that minimize bloating.
Potassium has an important job in the body: It helps reduce sodium through increased urine output. When constantly pushing out water and salt, the belly begins to deflate, ultimately reducing water retention. Common potassium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, and sweet potatoes.
…NOT Foods That Cause Gas
You should avoid foods that cause you to burp or fart (think: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, and beans) when on your period because they will make bloating worse. Why? These foods contain a complex sugar known as raffinose, which is difficult to break down, making your digestive system produce excess gas and bloat.
Eating foods high in protein while on your period will help curb cravings, as they’ll keep you full for longer. Proteins such as chicken and fish promote overall health while giving your body extra iron to replenish its lost supply through heavy bleeding times. Eating them once or twice a day will do you plenty good.
…NOT Caffeinated or Alcoholic Beverages
Caffeine and alcohol are two bloating culprits that should be heavily avoided while you’re on your period. In addition to causing bloating, alcohol increases symptoms like breast tenderness and mood swings, while caffeine irritates the digestive tract and bowels. Not to mention, they both dehydrate you, increasing water retention and contributing to other unwanted symptoms like dry mouth and headache.
Foods Acting as Diuretics
A diuretic can help increase urine output, which assists the body in disposing of extra water. As the process goes, less water equals less water retention, ultimately minimizing bloat. Foods that act as diuretics, such as asparagus, pineapples, garlic, cucumber, and peaches, are the best at providing relief during that time of month.
…NOT Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages may make your tummy feel good for a moment, but you’ll see more bloat minutes later. Experts suggest avoiding anything fizzy or sugary while on your period. That includes soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, and juices. Instead, stick to tried-and-true water; it won’t let you down.