You’re a grown-ass woman who’s been getting her period for a long-ass time. And yet… every month you’re thrown off guard with cramps, bloating, fatigue, cravings and a generally sour mood (thanks to the aforementioned physical pains). Next month, reach for one of these nine foods, which have been proven to ease some of the not-so-pleasant side effects of being a lady.

period food oranges1


Studies have shown that women who get larger amounts of calcium and vitamin D experience less intense PMS symptoms. The reason? Calcium reduces depressive and anxious feelings in the brain while vitamin D regulates the enzyme that converts tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods. Another great source of these vitamins is yogurt, which also contains live cultures to promote healthy digestion.

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period food almond butter

almond butter

It’s especially important during your period to get enough lean protein and fiber, which help stabilize your blood sugar, therefore reducing cravings for the bad stuff. Try slathering some almond butter onto a sliced pear when midafternoon hunger (or even hanger) strikes.

period food bread

whole wheat bread

Whole grains are chock-full of health benefits. They’re an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to reduce muscle tension, and have B and E vitamins that have been shown to fight fatigue and depression. Use whole-grain bread instead of white for sandwiches, and remember, it pairs well with almond butter!

period food coffee


What can’t this stuff do? The next time you’re feeling all crampy and lethargic, try drinking a big cup of joe, which just might give you the energy to get up off the couch. (Hey, there’s a reason caffeine is an ingredient in Midol.)

period food tea


If you’re not a coffee person, chamomile tea is a great option, too. It can help relieve muscle spasms and reduce tension that leads to anxiety and irritability. Got nausea and bloating? Go for ginger tea.

period food oysters


Your iron levels naturally dip as you lose blood, so it’s important to replenish your body’s supply with iron-rich foods like oysters, red meat, spinach and kale.

period food bananas1


Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which can reduce water retention and bloating while also keeping you, ahem, regular.

period food watermelon


We know: You want gummy bears. But we promise you’ll feel so much better if you go for the natural sugars found in fiber-rich plums, figs and watermelon, all of which combat bloating and diarrhea.

period food chocolate


Because you’re on your period. Do what you want, dammit.

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