Let’s face it, for many women, PMS comes with a whole host of symptoms each month, such as anxiety, acne, fatigue, mood swings, upset stomach and headaches, meaning it isn’t really a breeze. But did you know that reducing these symptoms can in fact be tackled by making some simple changes to your diet?!
It’s widely preached that cutting out certain foods and beverages such as; fat, chocolate, processed sugars, caffeine, fizzy minerals and alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms in sufferers, but did you know that there are a whole range of foods which can be easily incorporated into your diet, and while ideal for PMS sufferers, the benefits can definitely be enjoyed by everyone!
PMS ranges in its severity, mildly felt once in a while by some women, to more severe with a whole host of symptoms being experienced by others each month. No matter what category you fall into, simple dietary changes are recommended. While step one is to eliminate the aforementioned foods, step two is the addition of the top foods to your diet to reduce PMS symptoms.
Tip #1: Don’t skip meals
One of the most common symptoms of PMS is food cravings, which leads to many sufferers reaching for processed foods as a quick fix for their hunger, especially if they have not been eating regular meals. The reason many women skip meals is a desire to reduce bloating, cramps, headaches, nausea or irritability, when in fact, avoiding regular meals is actually more likely to enhance these symptoms.
Avoiding cravings can be combatted by eating little and often, which is also known as grazing. Eating five or six smaller, healthy meals will keep your body’s blood sugar levels up, minimising the likelihood of cravings.
Tip #2: Eat vitamin B rich foods
Vitamin B6 is regularly recommended by healthcare professionals to reduce the symptoms of PMS, but rather than reaching for supplements, up your dietary intake. Foods such as bananas, nuts, chicken breast and sweet potatoes are a fab source of your B vitamins.
Tip #3: Choose healthier fats
A diet high in fatty foods is more likely to increase PMS symptoms and as some sufferers can feel the effects up to 14 days before the start of their next menstrual cycle, the best way to tackle this is to reduce or eliminate fatty foods from your diet. Instead, choose healthier fats in the form of tuna fish and salmon and snack on pumpkin seeds or walnuts.
Tip #4: Increase your potassium
Reduce the effects of PMS by increasing your potassium intake. Adding fruit of vegetables to every meal is a great way to easily achieve this or for a quick fix, enjoy 100ml of orange juice.
Tip #5: Avoid refined sugar
If you have opted for smaller, more frequent meals, your body is less likely to crave sugar. It’s a common misconception that sugar will keep you engergised, when in fact, it is likely to leave you feeling tired. Choosing natural sources of sugar found in fresh fruit will keep your energy levels high and sugar cravings at bay.
Tip #6: Up your vitamin E intake
Research has shown that foods rich in vitamin E can alleviate the effects of PMS. Up your dietary intake with good sources such as steamed brown rice, asparagus, nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocados.
Tip #7: Make healthier chocolate choices
One of the most commonly experienced symptoms of PMS is the craving of chocolate. Instead of binging on too much chocolate, ensure your cupboards are stocked with healthier options such as dark chocolate, which has long been renowned for its positive health benefits. Ditch chocolate laden ice-cream for chocolate pudding to satisfy your cravings.
Tip #8: Sip, sip, sip
One of the most commonly recognised side effects of PMS is bloating or water retention and an easy way to fight the bloat is by actually upping your water intake by drinking more water and opting for foods rich is water, such as celery, cucumbers, red peppers and carrot sticks, also doubling up as a perfect healthy snack!
Tip #9: Get your magnesium fix
Go nuts for nuts to get your magnesium fix. Other great high magnesium sources include seeds, brown rice, lentils and bulgar wheat. For a real nutritious comfort food, why not make a pot of lentil soup!?
Tip #10: Drink milk
Getting your daily recommended levels of vitamin C and D are essential! A glass of 2 or 1 percent milk is a perfect source, while non-dairy options include green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and green beans.
Information checked & correct on 16th May 2018.