Eat to beat PMS
Monday 25 June 2012
Premenstrual Symptoms can turn even the most placid lady in to a monster come that certain time of the month, and it doesn't end there. Up to two weeks before their period, women can suffer sugar cravings (ruining any chance of sticking to that diet!) stomach cramps, mood swings, bloating and back pain.
With around 90% of women experiencing some form of premenstrual symptoms in their life, it’s a very common problem. The good news is incorporating certain foods into your diet in the lead up to your time of the month can reduce or even alleviate these symptoms.
According to Emma Vanlint from The Nutritional Clinic in Harley Street: “The key to treating PMS is to regulate hormone and blood sugar levels, by balancing hormone levels you can lessen and control symptoms.
“The body’s hormone system works as one, so if one part is out of kilter the whole system will be affected”.
To keep healthy, slim and PMS free Emma recommends eating plenty of whole-grains, such as brown rice, oats and wholemeal, as they help regulate blood sugar levels, and filling up on fruit and vegetables to ensure you get all your daily nutrients.
Buy only organic food where possible to help reduce the amount of toxins you consume and eat phytoeastrogens, such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, which help regulate hormones.
Eat only good fats, such as a handful of nuts every day, seeds and oily fish.
It’s also important to reduce red meat and dairy, which can block absorption of good fats, creating a hormone imbalance. Avoid processed foods as they contain additives and sweeteners.
Skip your morning coffee as caffeine causes blood sugar imbalances and refrain from consuming alcohol, but if you must, do so only in small doses.
Emma adds it’s important to eat little but often to keep blood sugar level even, which will reduce cravings and help speed up your metabolism.
In addition to eating a hormone balancing diet there have been some small studies that suggest supplements such as vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium and Agnus Castus can be helpful too.
Bridget O’Connell from mental health charity Mind also suggests: “Any form of physical activity that you enjoy doing will either relax or invigorate you and make you feel less depressed.”
Sounds good to us! Anything that can help alleviate those dreaded monthly symptoms and encourage us to eat a healthy balanced diet has got to be a bonus!
In addition to this the National Association for Premenstrual Symptom recommends: going no longer than nine hours overnight without eating, reducing stress and keeping a two month diary tracking symptoms.
By Heidi Vella
Do you have any tips of your own to beat PMS?