Say Goodbye to PMS With These Wonder Foods
We don’t mean to sucker-punch you with facts during your monthly tour of the emotional minefield that is PMS, but the truth remains: Pretty much anything you’re reaching for as comfort cuisine is making matters worse. Foods that include sugar, caffeine, complex carbohydrates, processed ingredients, or anything spicy ramp up inflammation in the body and send hormones flying. The good news is, if you suffer from PMS symptoms (read: bloating, fatigue, cramping, headaches, irritability), aligning with the proper diet one to two weeks before your cycle can have a huge impact. Summon the discipline to sub in these wonder foods for your go-to splurges, and you’ll be ready to take on anything.
A traditional folk remedy, this herbalist favorite comes from a shrub indigenous to the Mediterranean and Asia. Chasteberry lowers the secretion of estrogen and progesterone in the body, thus lessening the hormonal turmoil of PMS. Take the supplement orally, either as a homeopathic or as a pill.
Calcium deficiency shares many of the same symptoms as PMS. It’s crucial to get enough vitamins and minerals in your system to compensate for hormone imbalances. Since dairy can be a source of inflammation, take a calcium supplement or reach for it in other sources like cruciferous greens. Kale is a great plant-based source of calcium. It’s one trendy superfood that lives up to the hype.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fats. Magnesium helps to soothe nerves, alleviate stress, and assimilate calcium in the body. One-quarter cup of pepitas contains nearly half the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Full of healthy fats and valuable minerals, pumpkin seeds are also naturally anti-inflammatory, so they’ll help with bloating. Be sure to go organic to be sure they are free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Naturally high in calcium and magnesium, broccoli is among the best supporters for cramps. A serving a day of the green vegetable for the weeks leading up to your cycle will boost your vitamin and mineral content, so when your hormones spike, your body can stay on a more even keel.
If you suffer from cramping, your morning cup of joe routine is making matters works. Drinking caffeine-laden drinks is like pouring gasoline on the fire. In fear of sounding like your grandmother, switch to herbal tea. Dandelion root tea is caffeine-free and, bonus, a natural diuretic. It will help alleviate any inflammation or water retention you may be experiencing during PMS.
Hormones are broken down in the body in the liver. Thus, a clean liver is your best ticket to a struggle-free PMS. If you find yourself routinely poised in the Sophie’s Choice of a glass of red wine versus over-the-counter painkillers (your liver can only handle one), white willow bark extract might be for you. The natural pain-relief remedy is safe to mix with a little alcohol, unlike Tylenol.
High-fiber foods will fight the ever-so-delightful cherry on the hormone-fueled Sunday that is bloating. Artichokes help to cleanse the liver. A healthy, happy liver will relieve stress levels and anxiety along with eliminating muscle cramping and headaches.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to reduce the psychiatric symptoms of PMS like depression, anxiety, and lack of concentration. The good fats can also help with bloating and headaches. Organic eggs are a great natural source of omega-3s. Add them into your breakfast routine for the weeks leading up to your time of the month.
Alright, let’s be real. With hormones in overdrive it’s probably not the time you’re most stoked for a kale-centric meal. If you’re reading this thinking, Broccoli and pumpkin seeds? That’s a pipe dream, let’s get grounded here, we have a moderate solution for you. It’s our fave non-GMO snack: popcorn! While complex carbs can exacerbate inflammation, the savory snack is a safe go-to. Nosh away.
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Have a holistic remedy for PMS we should know about? Tell us in the comments.