Did you know that your diet directly affects premenstrual symptoms? Gaining weight can make your PMS worse if you give into all the cravings at that time of the month.
The number one nutrient for PMS support is calcium. Getting enough calcium is very important for women because of the risk of osteoporosis, and additionally many studies have shown that adequate calcium intake can greatly reduce discomfort during PMS.
Food is the best place to get calcium. The following foods are all good sources of calcium:
- Diary: milk, cheese, yogurt
- Spinach or other dark, leafy vegetables like collard greens
- Butternut squash
If you are not able to get enough calcium from your diet to meet your needs, try a calcium supplement.
A high-fat diet is suspected to cause breast pain and tenderness. If you experience uncomfortable breast tenderness or even pain, try reducing the amount of fat in your diet. Avoid eating high-fat processed foods or deep-fried foods. Instead, get your daily allowance of fat from healthy sources like fish, lean meats, seeds, nuts, and other foods like avocados.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown in some studies to alleviate breast pain. These beneficial compounds can be found in salmon and flaxseed oil.
Vitamin B 6
Vitamin B 6 may help reduce depression during PMS as well as physical discomfort. The daily recommended intake of B6 is only 3 milligrams per day, so it is easy to get enough from food sources like:
- Prunes and prune juice
Two or three servings of each of these foods per day will be enough to fulfill your B6 requirements. Taking high doses of B6 in supplement form can be toxic over time, and thus is not recommended.
Potassium and magnesium are both beneficial nutrients for PMS support, and can be found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Sodium can cause bloating when consumed in excess, so try to cut back on sodium when possible.
Blood Sugar and PMS
If your blood sugar fluctuates constantly throughout the day, you will not have a balanced mood. Therefore, keeping your blood sugar levels consistent will help keep your energy up and keep your mood balanced.
- Don't skip meals. Eat several small meals throughout the day.
- Even if you are craving chocolate or other junk foods, resist temptation. It will only make you feel worse in the long run when your blood sugar levels crash.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol .
- Choose foods with complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
In addition to all these diet tips, many studies indicate that exercise can help alleviate PMS symptoms, so it helps to go for a walk or a short bike ride. You should remain active all month, not just before your period.
Chasteberry has been shown in some studies to assist in alleviating PMS symptoms. Talk to your health practitioner to see if you can safely add chasteberry to your diet. There are other herbal remedies that can help with the symptoms of PMS also.