by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Your food choices can be one of the most powerful tools you have to eliminate symptoms of PMS. There’s no doubt that the foods you eat have a direct impact on the way you feel.
If you find yourself sluggish, irritable, anxious, bloated coping with increased food cravings or unusually hungry in the days before your period – read on. There are some simple steps you can take and food choices you can make which will help decrease – or possibility eliminate your PMS symptoms.
- Be sure to eat regularly. Eat three meals a day and two snacks to keep your metabolism steady and help stop cravings.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates, white sugar, alcohol, gluten, processed foods, additional salt and non-organic dairy.
- Eat a variety of foods, including protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates at with every snack and meal.
- Supplement your diet with a high quality multivitamin and Omega-3 fish oil supplement to give your body the extra support it needs.
- Women who have PMS symptoms are more likely to have more and frequent peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. Balancing your hormones now could very well pay off in the future.
- If you’ve always thought of breakfast as a bowl of cereal, think outside the box. Leftover chicken and vegetables can be a breakfast food. What’s important is for you to get the protein, fats and carbs you need to start your day off right.
- You may want to consider decreasing your caffeine intake. Some women will have one caffeinated drink followed by a decaffeinated drink – others will replace a caffeinated beverage with a large glass of water. Caffeine can put additional stress on your body – during this time of hormonal fluctuation, you want to be gentle with your body – support it, not stress it.
- If you are craving sugar, don’t overlook fruits. An apple spread with nut butter can calm a sugar craving. A bowl of fruit salad can be refreshing and filling. Chocolate isn’t totally out. Choose a piece which is 70% dark chocolate.
- When you just need to ‘crunch’ reach for nuts. Cashews, almonds and brazil nuts are all good choices. They provide a good blend of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
- If you’re a vegan, now is the time to focus on your protein intake. Lentils and nuts are easy ways to increase your protein.
Choose foods that work for you and your lifestyle – and be sure you choose foods that you really enjoy. Simple changes can make a huge difference in your PMS symptoms.