Every woman (and every man) knows when the dreaded PMS is rolling through, and some women are affected more than others. But before you turn to the ibuprofen, relief can be found in a diet high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and calcium, and one that is low on alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt and fatty foods.
Fresh juices and smoothies can also help any women meet her daily minimums of important vitamins and minerals that will help to alleviate symptoms of PMS.
- Low Fat Dairy
Probably the strongest potential PMS helper is calcium. Studies have suggested that PMS sufferers tend to have an altered calcium balance. Other studies have linked adequate intakes of milk and calcium with reduced PMS symptoms.
A recent study on PMS symptoms in adolescent girls found that higher milk consumption was associated with reduced bloating and food cravings. By increasing calcium intake, women can decrease bloating; calcium is also said to reduce the severity of cramps. Adding Greek yogurt or skim milk to a smoothie is fantastic way to get the calcium needed.
- Broccoli and Kale
Broccoli is abundant in calcium, magnesium and high fiber, and it helps to regulate estrogen levels. Calcium and fiber-rich kale includes vitamin E, which has been proven to reduce breast tenderness.
- Water and Salt
Be diligent to increase water intake after ovulation (about 14 days after the start of your period). Most women should limit salt intake, but many slender women with low blood pressure may lose salt before their periods rather than retaining it. So if you feel dizzy or weak during the premenstrual week, you may need to increase your salt intake.
During a woman’s years of menstruation, iron needs are a special nutritional concern. On average, women lose about ¼ cup of blood at each menstrual cycle, while women with a heavier flow may even lose more. Since iron travels through the blood, some of it is lost with the loss of blood. Iron-filled beets keep energy levels refreshed, as low energy is a common complaint of menstruating women. They also serve to boost a woman’s iron levels.
Ask any female and she will tell you that her period is one of her worst weeks of the month, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. By consuming a diet rich in the vitamins and minerals that are essential to PMS reduction, women of all ages can find relief – the natural way!