Most women experience changes in their behaviour, moods and physical attributes every month which takes a toll on their day-to-day lives. Premenstrual syndrome, commonly known as PMS, is the term given to a number of symptoms that strike two to three weeks prior to monthly periods. Some women have to bear a severe batter of PMS while others sail through the cycle without any prominent symptoms. Although the exact causes of PMS are still unknown, it is most commonly attributed to hormonal changes. Some common PMS symptoms are tender breasts, improper sleeping, tiredness, acne, bloating and constipation, headache, backache, joint pain, depression, anxiety, appetite changes, etc. You can beat PMS symptoms with slight dietary and lifestyle changes. Here are some of the best super foods that keep PMS symptoms at bay.
Packed with essential nutrients like vitamins B6, E and folate, and minerals like calcium and magnesium, kale is really a super-food for managing PMS symptoms. Its amazing anti-inflammatory properties help in alleviating joint or muscle pain that women often experience as part of PMS. Kale also contains less oxalic acid which tend to inhibit absorption of calcium by the body.
Oats are high in magnesium and zinc that are required by women to combat PMS. Magnesium calms nerves, reduces cortisol levels and improves functioning of thyroid as well as sex hormones. In addition, magnesium induces sleep, lowers blood sugar, fuels cells, activates vitamin D and most importantly makes hormones. Soaking oats in water helps in neutralizing phytic acid present in oats which otherwise may inhibit absorption of zinc, magnesium and calcium by intestines. Soaking also help in breaking down of enzymes.
Say vitamin A and you cannot find any other source than liver that contains more of it. Vitamin A supports hormonal balance, enhances libido and boosts energy levels. Vitamin A is also crucial for proper liver functioning which in fact is the true regulator of hormone levels and function. Healthy liver ensures proper elimination of excess estrogen from the body and brings a balance in hormonal levels.
Raw honey contains fructose and glucose in 1:1 ratio so you do not have to worry about ‘sugar’ overdose and risks of diabetes. The sugar combination in raw honey is just about perfect for enabling the liver to produce glycogen that stabilizes thyroid hormones and manages stress. Raw honey also relieves pain and menstrual cramps due to PMS.
Another great source of vitamin B6 is wheat germ which can meet up to 75% of daily requirement of vitamin B6 in one’s diet. In addition, wheat germ contains zinc and magnesium that are also effective in alleviating PMS symptoms such as bloating and mood swings.
Although salt is considered bad for your health as it causes water retention, a little salt should not be avoided. Sodium plays a crucial role in hormonal balance and has effective anti-stress properties. It brings down adrenaline rush and lowers blood cortisol level. Also, the extracellular fluid in your body should maintain its salinity so that estrogen receptors are disabled and estrogen dominance could be subverted.
Coconut is a great food for your hormones and it enhances metabolism a great deal. It also aids in weight loss by minimizing untimely cravings and regular consumption of coconut oil keeps you full for longer. Anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil keep menstrual cramps at bay.
One of the best ways to combat PMS is to ditch dieting and start eating proteins. As we all know, eggs are one of the finest sources of protein out there, they can really help you manage PMS symptoms. Proteins are hormone-building blocks. In addition, eggs contain B vitamins, vitamin E, cholesterol, minerals and fat soluble vitamins that are beneficial for hormones.
Detoxifying the liver is a great way to boost hormone health because an unhealthy liver triggers stress response to manage blood glucose levels and store glycogen. Cucumbers help the body get rid of toxins which in turn boost metabolism and hormone regulation. Besides, cucumbers have a great way of fighting acne caused by PMS.
It is one of the many seafoods having amazing health benefits, one of them being relieving PMS symptoms like swelling in legs, breast tenderness, bloating, weight gain and insomnia. The primary components in kelp that help with PMS are calcium and magnesium.
It has an amazing capacity to balance dietary amino acids which in turn minimize stress. Gelatin also reduces estrogen dominance which contribute to bloating and menstrual cramps every month.
Vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium in sesame seeds make it a great food for keeping PMS at bay. Sesame seeds are also great sources of zinc. Vitamin B6 assists the liver in flushing out excess estrogen. It also increases progesterone levels and produces serotonin – the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. Zinc too regulates progesterone levels in the body and checks PMS symptoms.
In addition to high amounts of fiber, sunflower seeds contain zinc and magnesium. Vitamin B6 present in sunflower seeds help in alleviating major PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, depression and anxiety. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine synthesizes neurotransmitter dopamine that helps calm the nerves and offer relief from cramps. Pyridoxine also ensures proper absorption of magnesium and zinc by the body.
Milk contains calcium that is crucial for metabolic hormone homeostasis. Calcium in milk has an anti-stress effect that not only boosts metabolism but also diminishes PMS symptoms. Besides, milk is also beneficial for thyroid as well as progesterone both of which are directly connected to hormonal balance. Milk also contains vitamin D which is a necessary requirement for relieving joint or muscle pain experienced by women as PMS. However, one should be wary of allergies to milk and should avoid milk in such cases.
Foods with low Glycemic Index (GI), like barley, are required to alleviate PMS symptoms as they battle out rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels, which can cause mood swings and frequent food cravings. Barley takes longer to be digested by the body and hence act as constant supply of energy.
The key ingredient in bananas that help with PMS symptoms is vitamin B6 which reduces anxiety and breast tenderness. Potassium in bananas help in reducing water retention in the body. This helps with bloating, one of the common PMS symptoms. Potassium also decreases chances of menstrual cramps.
some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids out there is salmon. Salmon is also packed with vitamin B6 that help in alleviating anxiety, depression, breast tenderness and other such PMS symptoms. Salmon also contains vitamin D which is required by women to combat muscle pain caused by PMS.