One internet search and three million results explaining what you should and shouldn’t be eating when it’s that time of the month. Yes, the time when you are on bloody fire because there really is no better way to put into words the agony of the sensation of thousand exploding knives in your uterus.

Growing up in an Indian household, you sure do hear about innumerable dos and don’ts when it comes to health and hygiene while you are menstruating. While one classic taboo attached with menstruation is not touching pickle bottles during your periods every month, we now clearly realize how utterly absurd and illogical this whole belief is. Sans any reasonable base to the taboo, our generation has been glad to have questioned, and hence discarded this outrageous practice.

Coming over to the more practical facets of periods, there is definitely a prescribed diet. A diet which includes healthy foods, and that which dismisses anything that could worsen the cramps or aggravate the pain. While food cravings are hard to not give in to and cramping and bloating are commonplace, avoiding some foods can help alleviate much of the period pain. Ironically, the foods you reach out for as comfort foods may well be the reason behind your pesky emotions, unbearable cramps and bloating.

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet on what not to eat when you’re that weepy, irrational being. Because well, these just make your period worse, and who’d want that?

1. Dairy Products


Photo by Yatin Arora

Dairy foods are responsible for everything: bloating, cramping, pain. Foods like milk, cheese, and ice cream contain arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid which can increase inflammation and can cause cramping.

2. Caffeinated Beverages


Photo by Sabhyata Badhwar

We might be in love with coffee, but knowing that drinking caffeinated beverages is linked to an elevated frequency of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), we might want to refrain from over-indulgence. Caffeine intake in excessive amounts could lead to anxiety, and symptoms of cramping, mood swings, etc. become more pronounced because of caffeine consumption. You don’t want flavored poison, do you?

3. Sugary Foods


Photo by Mehak Dhawan

Sugar cravings are the most pleasing temptation to give in to. And it is not uncommon to see women and girls hog wildly on sweets. Dark chocolate does not count, for it is one of the best foods to relish without guilt. Just don’t seek doughnuts, cakes, and processed sweets.

In addition, relentless sugar intake is also related to ageing. World-renowned anti-ageing expert Dr Daniel Sister shares: “Eating too much sugar over time ages the skin, making it dull and more prone to wrinkles. This is due to a process called glycation. Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins and forms harmful molecules called ‘advanced glycation end products’.”

Let’s have a general rule: no refined sugars.

4. Fatty foods


Photo by Sarah Silbiger

Avoid fatty foods like the plague when you’re on your period. The fatty foods are not kind with the hormonal changes that your body undergoes. High-fat foods have a strong influence on hormonal activity in your body, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. So no burgers, fellas!

5. Salty/Processed Foods


Photo by Tarunima Kumar

Salt cravings are at a hilt while you’re PMSing. The first instinct in most cases is to resort to processed foods because they are the most easily available, but giving in to this temptation is the worst thing to do to your body. It can end up making you feel bloated and puffy to no end. Instead, use spices to flavor up your food.

Thank me later.