Ayurveda, the ancient healing science, looks upon reproductive issues in women outside of the vital transitions of puberty, conception, and menopause. Every gynecological condition is linked with the Doshas, namely Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. Various Ayurvedic experts believe that some Ojas are also removed from the female body when a woman is menstruating. Furthermore, during menstruation, a woman has a pitta-dominated state of the body. Just before ovulation, the woman’s body experiences the dominance of Kapha, and during ovulation, Vata starts dominating the female body.  Due to all these factors, a woman must know what to eat during periods.
The Ahara, or to say more precisely, the period time food a woman consumes can restore the Doshic balance during menstruation (periodical or monthly expulsion of the uterine contents) and keep menstrual dysfunctions at bay. The Ayurvedic term for the monthly menses or menstruation is Artava. This article will discuss what to eat in periods and what to avoid. Read on:
Food to eat during period (Pathya Ahara)
Fresh Spices and Freshly-cooked Foods
You need to eat freshly prepared fuming hot food items. You may use hot spices like cumin, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander. 
Hydrate your body with warm teas, such as fennel tea, ginger tea, coriander tea, and lemon tea sweetened with honey. 
Milk + Rice + Ghee
According to Ayurvedic principles, consuming food prepared in clay or earthen pots is best. Sali rice, Ghee, and milk may be boiled in clay pots and served to a menstruating woman on banana leaves.  Milk, Ghee, and rice make the best period comfort food when eaten together.
What should we eat during breakfast? Spinach or Palak is loaded with iron and proteins. Spinach roti may be given at breakfast for the nutritional support the woman needs. 
Grains like Corn and Rice are the best foods for periods. These grains are gluten-free and do not cause inflammation.  This makes them the ideal period pain relief food.
Aloe Vera juice
Juices of Aloe Vera, also known as Kumari, can help manage menstrual cycle symptoms, especially menstrual cramps and irregularities. 
Heavy bleeding during menstruation may cause anaemia . Women should take iron-rich foods such as Beetroot greens, beans, legumes, and fruits like bananas to manage this issue.  Apart from these food items, you can also consider taking other nutritious vegan iron-rich foods such as Rajma or Kidney beans, Peanuts, Raisins, Mushrooms, Pumpkin seeds, Pistachios, Masoor dal or Red lentil, Kabuli Chana, etc.
Omega-3 Fatty acid-rich foods
Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help manage painful periods. Therefore, during the menstrual cycle a woman should eat foods with a high content of Omega-3 fatty acids such as Hilsa fish, Indian Oysters, Kidney beans, Roasted Soybeans, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, etc. 
In case of Oligomenorrhea or scanty, infrequent periods, a woman may consume Guda or Jaggery. Jaggery has a heating attribute and is rich in Iron. That makes jaggery the best period food. In fact, jaggery is one of the best foods to increase bleeding during periods. You can mix the jaggery with haldi, sesame seeds, ginger and jeera, and chew the combination to induce menstrual bleeding. 
Foods to avoid during period (Apathya Ahara)
Katu (spicy), tikshna (pungent), lavana (salty) food products should be avoided as such food may lead to increased bleeding (Rakta Pradara) during menstruation.  In other words, junk food is a strict No-No  So, the current food mantra ‘Junk Food’ including food items like burger, pizza, cheese, chocolate, fried snacks, ice cream, chips, cold drinks, etc. need to be dropped. 
Grains high in Gluten
Grains like Barley and Wheat should not be consumed during the menstrual cycle as these grains contain Gluten, which can increase inflammation during periods. 
Stay away from curd or Dadhi. Curd has a sour/Amla attribute and can aggravate the discomfort experienced during periods. 
White-flour based food items like pasta, white bread, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower need to be avoided as these foods increase inflammation and bloating, and therefore may increase the discomfort during periods.
Red meat should not be consumed. Red meat being high in prostaglandins can increase menstrual cramps. 
Coffee should be avoided as it can lead to abdominal bloating during periods. 
• How does Ayurveda link diet to menstruation?
A wholesome diet has a vital part to play in maintaining the woman’s hormonal balance. In the realm of Ayurveda, all gynecological issues have been allotted a common term ‘Yonivyapad’. Menstrual cycle or Rituchakra and the creation of menstrual blood (Artava) has been considered as the essence or by-product of Ahara. 
• Is a low-calorie diet plan good for menstruation?
No. According to Acharya Sushruta Ahara in Hina Matra (Low calorie food) can weaken a woman’s body during menstruation  as she is likely to bleed for 3-5 days on an average.
• What are the best spices to use during menstruation?
The best spices to use during menstruation are:
• Fennel (Saunf)
• Asafoetida (Hing)
• Ginger (Adrak)
• Carom seeds (Ajwain)
• Jeera Seeds (Cumin seeds) 
This article sheds light on the potential dietary measures to adopt during periods. Knowledge about what to eat during periods and what to avoid is crucial as that can ease the complications and discomfort associated with periods. The role and importance of wholesome diet during periods can be understood through this article. By staying away from the foods to avoid during periods you can escape the issues of premenstrual migraine attacks, waist pain, fatigue, heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps. So, if you wish to have a happy period you must follow the dietary regulations mentioned in this article. Bid a goodbye to the menstrual woes with a proper diet!
This article is written from a health and wellness perspective and is not medical advice. Kindly seek the help of a certified medical practitioner before initiating any treatment.
- MENSTRUAL HEALTH AND AYURVEDA
- Concept of Rajaswala Paricharya (Care for Woman during Menstruation) in Ayurveda: Tool to Enhance Fertility
- Traditional and ayurvedic foods of Indian origin
- Nutritional Considerations for a healthy menstrual cycle
- DIETETICS MANAGEMENT IN UDAVARTINI YONIVYAPAD (DYSMENORRHEA): A REVIEW
- AN INSIGHT INTO AYURVEDA DIETETICS TO FIGHT THE IMPACT OF ABNORMAL DIETARY HABITS ON MENSTRUAL HEALTH: A CRITICAL REVIEW
- ANEMIA IN ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND AYURVEDA
- Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea