December 14: There are a lot of misconceptions about how to take care of yourselves when it’s ‘that time of the month’. Eating right is extremely important while you are menstruating, as food can regulate the levels of hormones in the body, ensuring the right amount of flow. It’s also difficult to eat healthy during these five days as period hormones make you crave things you really shouldn’t be having. What SHOULD you be having?Also Read - Forget Free Ka Khaana! Bride Asks Guests to Pay Rs 7370 For Food at Wedding & We've Lost Our Appetite

You don’t need to worry too much about these cravings and eating unhealthy food, as you can achieve the perfect diet by making minor adjustments to what you eat. There are certain foods that will ensure that you remain on your diet schedule and never miss a day of eating healthy. These foods also ensure that your body gets its supply of nutrients that are important for keeping you hearty and healthy, and maintaining optimum energy levels. Also Read - Menstruation: Top Menstrual Myths And Facts We Need To Unlearn Today, Watch Video

These foods will also keep the troublesome period pains at bay, by relaxing your abdominal muscles resulting in reduced cramps and hence, improve your mood and ability to perform in life. ALSO READ: Foods to Eat After Gym: 6 best and yummy post-workout foods Also Read - How to Eat Nutritious Food This Festive Season, Chef Vikas Khanna Shares Tips

Here are the best period foods which will help you get through the painful days of the month with relative ease:

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables have plenty of iron, which your body is short on, while you are on your periods, because of the loss of blood. Vegetables like spinach and kale should be consumed during menstruation as they bring the iron reserves back to optimum levels. Nosh on plenty of green leafy salads, or add them as sides to your chicken or fish dishes to increase the nutrition value of these dishes.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in fiber, which is important for your body during periods as it offsets your craving by making you feel fuller for longer. So the next time you feel like eating chocolate, broccoli should be your go-to food, if you want to remain on schedule with your diet. Other foods high in fiber content include peas, lentils and Brussels sprouts. Stir fry some broccoli to eat it with your meat or just eat it raw in your salads.

3. Salmon

Fish like salmon and tuna are a source of lean protein as they are low on calories and the fat that they do have is beneficial to the body. Dark skin fishes are usually rich sources of such protein. Salmon is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which relaxes muscles reducing pain from menstrual cramps. But if you are not into sea food, you can consume avocados or walnuts, which are also packed with Omega-3.

4. Dark Chocolate

Just because you read chocolate, don’t reach for the first slab of chocolate you find lying around you. Milk Chocolates or chocolate chip cookies are still bad for you. However, dark chocolate is your friend during these five days of the red goddess. But make sure you only buy the chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa (70 per cent or above) and opt for the organic options, instead of the processed ones. Make sure this chocolate doesn’t have a lot of sugar. Chocolate helps release serotonin- the happiness hormone- in the blood, improving your mood. It is also rich in anti oxidants which relax muscles.

5. Bananas 

Bananas are rich sources of potassium and contain Vitamin B6 among other vitamins which are capable of enhancing your mood. Bananas also help regulate bowel movement, which might or might not get erratic during menstruation period. Munching on bananas can normalize bowel movement, leaving you feeling stress free about at least one thing. For better results blend some bananas along with milk to make a delicious smoothie and gulp it down.

6. Yogurt

Full fat yogurt is a great source of calcium, which helps reduce PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome) and also relaxes your muscles. So be sure to get some yogurt loving when on your periods. You can make a quick nutty yogurt bowl for breakfast or eat it with lunch. You can also opt for yummy frozen yogurt with berries. But be careful not to add to much sugary syrup or other sugary ingredients in your frozen yogurt.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is your companion during period days, if you have planned to stay off caffeine. Whenever you feel like having coffee, opt for green tea instead. The drink is loaded with anti oxidants, which will relax your muscles, giving you the much needed relief from cramps. Although coffee is a also known to be a great way to alleviate period pains, green tea is the better and healthier option that does the same thing.