What is PMS?
PMS is something many women have to go through the every month, as a part of their cycle. Premenstrual syndrome is a name given to a group of physical, emotional and behavioral issues that occurs due to fluctuations in hormonal levels. It occurs a few days before the menstruation and usually subsides a day or two after the menstruation starts.
The usual symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include cramps, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, cravings, sleepiness, bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, depression, melancholy, irritability and anxiety.
There are certain foods that are believed to be able to relieve some of the PMS symptoms and problems.
Foods for PMS relief
Foods that work well in alleviating the symptoms of PMS have such effect thanks to certain nutrients they contain. Those nutrients can also be taken in form of supplements, although minerals and vitamins work best when taken through food.
Calcium is one of the important minerals for women in PMS. Calcium is found in milk and dairy products, like yogurt. This mineral is particularly beneficial for women who suffer from cramps before and during menstruation. It is recommended to eat calcium-rich foods like yogurt, other dairy products, broccoli or bananas a few days before the menstruation in order to prevent cramping. Low fat yogurt can also reduce other PMS symptoms, especially bloating.
Foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids help with emotional problems and moods swings that often occur during PMS. Best foods sources of omega-3 include flax seeds, avocados, salmon and sardines. In fact, sardines are also rich in calcium, so their beneficial effect on PMS symptoms is double.
Foods containing vitamins of B complex, especially the vitamin B6, are also effective against PMS. Those foods include bananas, cranberries, spinach, fish and green beans.
Another beneficial vitamin is vitamin E. It helps especially with tender breasts and fatigue associated with premenstrual syndrome. Foods that contain significant amount of vitamin E include fish, kale, spinach, almonds, walnuts, brown rice and asparagus.
One of the usual problems that occur during PMS is food craving. Most women satisfy it with large amounts of sweet snacks and refined sugars, however, this is not recommended. Complex carbohydrates are a much better choice, they revive and rejuvenate the body and prevent bloating. Such foods include whole grains, oat bran and similar.
Dietary fiber is also very beneficial against PMS. Foods rich in fiber help with moods wings, irritability, fatigue and bloating. Fiber is found in large amounts in almost all fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in kale, spinach, beets, collard greens, which also contain iron, calcium and vitamin E.
Magnesium is another essential mineral that brings great relief for PMS problems, especially fatigue, body ache and depression. It is found in lentils, almonds, wheat bran, brown rice, spinach, peanuts, beans, peas and various seeds.