For many women, PMS, otherwise known as Premenstrual Syndrome, can be devastating each and every month. It usually begins about 5-11 days before the actual menstrual cycle, and when the cycle starts, the symptoms go away. There are a lot of symptoms associated with PMS, but the most common are: fatigue, headache, fluid retention, abdominal cramps, weight gain and depression.
There are some ways that you can alleviate PMS symptoms. What you eat can make a big difference in your life. By having a healthy diet, you can help yourself get through the day, and the food choices that you make, can help reduce PMS. There are certain foods and drugs to stay away from such as sugar, alcohol, salt, smoking and caffeine. These tend to intensify the symptoms with PMS.
Eating too much sugar may cause your blood sugar level to fluctuate, which in turn, causes you to be irritable Alcohol tends to make your breasts sore and it can also lower your blood sugar level which can make your PMS symptoms worse. The salt that you eat causes you to have that bloaty feeling because it makes you retain water. Smoking weakens the immune system and it increases your nervous tension. You may have caffeine, but it is a good idea to have no more than two cups a day, because the more you have, the more irritable you become.
- It is best to have several small meals a day. Foods such as pasta, cereal, rice and baked potato are good choices because these carbohydrates will help boost your energy and maintain your blood sugar level.
- Eat foods that are rich in calcium, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli and red kidney beans. This will help reduce the bloatiness and will improve your mood and enable you to concentrate more efficiently.
- Try to eat more green vegetables as these contain Vitamin E and will help decrease breast tenderness associated with PMS.
- Eat plenty of fruit as this will relieve your feelings of constipation.
- Dairy products and red meats have high levels of saturated fats which produces more estrogen and causes an imbalance in your hormones. It is a good idea to decrease your eating of saturated fats to balance your hormone level.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are good sources of nutrition that will help with PMS. Examples of these are sardines, tuna fish, salmon, and walnuts.
- Herbal teas are essential as this will reduce cramps. You can even find special teas in health food stores called 'PMS Tea.'
Sometimes, it is difficult to get all the nutrients you need in the foods that you eat and it is beneficial to take nutritional supplements that contain iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin B. You should speak to your doctor before taking any nutritional supplements.