Many of us suffer from period bloating during that time of the month, likely caused by hormonal fluctuations that happen naturally during the menstrual cycle. Just another uncomfortable symptom to put up with, right? Think again! There are plenty of small, simple things you can do to soothe the bloat. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Cut the caffeine and alcohol. Or at least cut down significantly! Your body has a harder time dealing with hormone fluctuations if it also has to deal with caffeine and alcohol, so be kind and give it a break. Try a soothing herbal tea as an alternative.
- Slow down on the sugar. Sure, you might be craving it like mad, but you do have other options—maple syrup, sugar-free honey, raw coconut sugar—that are likely to be less harsh on a body already dealing with overactive hormones.
- Eat well. This holds true basically all the time, but it’s especially important when dealing with period bloating. Dark green vegetables (broccoli, kale, watercress) and complex carbohydrates (whole wheat, rye, brown rice) are especially good for providing needed nutrients, in particular fiber. You may also want to try up to six small meals throughout the day instead of the typical three to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Try avoiding soy. Soy contains estrogen, which can interfere with the normal balance of sex hormones. This means products like soymilk and tofu can cause problems with bloating during your period. You’ve got other options, though: regular cow’s milk, oat milk, and coconut milk can all be good substitutions.
- Avoid cooking or re-heating foods in plastic. When plastic heats up, tiny traces can leak into the food, which can wreck havoc with your hormones. Better to use ceramic some other material instead.
You mileage may vary on which tricks to use, but in the end, it’s important to keep track of when the period bloating hits, how it interacts with other symptoms, and what the experience is like for you—so you know how to soothe bloat quickly and get back to living uninterrupted!