Best Foods for PMS
If you are female and of reproductive age, then you have had PMS or pre- menstrual syndrome. It is an unpleasant time for most women, but for the majority of women, PMS is something that you learn to live with and is just part of your life.
For some women it is easier, of course, they only have few symptoms but for others, symptoms can be more severe.
Symptoms can include, mood changes, such as feeling unhappy, or emotional, or grumpy, and physical changes such as abdominal bloating, headache and migraine and breast tenderness.
It is thought the reason for these symptoms is due to fluctuating hormone levels and a change in brain chemicals.
But what if what you ate could help alleviate some of these symptoms?
Research indicates that diet can play a role in helping you with PMS, here are some of the foods that can help you:
Vitamin D and calcium rich foods are thought to help women lessen the effects of PMS. In a study of college aged women and nurses. The women with the highest amounts of vitamin D and calcium suffered less from PMS.
Good food sources of vitamin D are:
Low-fat dairy, yoghurt, fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, fortified orange juice, fortified cereals, and egg yolks.
Good food sources of calcium include:
Yoghurt, cheese, spinach, kale, okra, collards, soybeans and white beans
Supplements were not thought to be as effective as vitamin D and calcium from food. However, a multivitamin may help to top up levels as well as having 3 servings of calcium rich food a day.
We often crave sugar in the run-up to out period, and even those of us who don’t normally bother with sweet stuff, start turning our head at the chocolate isle. This is due to shifting hormones of oestrogen and progesterone, which also put us in a depressed state since it decreases our serotonin- our happy hormone.
Looking to keep sugar to a minimum or finding something else to replace your craving such as wholegrains and more fibre rich food can help.
Keeping your blood sugar stable
Eating regularly and snacking healthily helps to curb our appetite and reduce your sugar cravings, so don’t skip breakfast or other meals and eat a little and often.
Bloating is a common sign of PMS, which is often caused by water retention from having too much salt, so make sure you drink plenty of water, so you are staying hydrated, but reduce the amount of salt you consume, to prevent the water being retained.
Magnesium or the calming mineral as I like to call it, will help to keep you calm and we need more of it in times of stress and/or increased exercise, it also helps reduce water retention. If you like you can supplement with magnesium during this time, as well as obtaining it from food.
In a study women with higher intakes of Vitamin B1- thiamine and B2- Riboflavin had a lower risk of pms. But this was obtained from food.
Very good food sources include the following:
Asparagus- the best source, sunflower seeds, beans such as navy beans and black beans. Lentils, Peas, flaxseeds, Brussel sprouts, spinach, cabbage, and romaine lettuce, crimini mushrooms.
However, there are many other foods that are also good sources, since B1 is in small amount in a lot of foods.
Very Good food sources of B2 Riboflavin include:
Spinach, beet greens, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, sea veg, eggs, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy and green beans and kale.
There a number of others, but these listed are just some of the better sources.
Other non-food factors to help with PMS
Exercise helps relieve stress, increase your serotonin, happy hormone, and keeps you physically fit, so it is important to exercise before, during and after your period.
A study showed that women who smoked had more severe PMS than those that didn’t, so if you smoke and don’t want to have as bad PMS, look at ways of giving up…and do it TODAY! Capitulating will only lead to more stress, guilt and anxiety.