Your diet can help ease symptoms of PMS such as headaches, bloating, low energy, irritability, mood swings, cravings and breast tenderness leading up to your period.
And for 85% of us who experience at least one of these symptoms during their menstrual cycle, that's good to know! These symptoms can put a real damper on your daily life, especially on the days leading up to your period, and there are simple changes you make to your diet which can make all the difference!
Get plenty of Calcium
Researchers have found that Calcium levels tend to be lower in women with PMS symptoms, and those women are also at an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Increasing Calcium through foods and supplementation can help ease uncomfortable PMS symptoms, particularly those related to appetite, bloating and fatigue.
Most studies recommend you should aim to get between 1,000-1,200 mg per day and you can reach that by including around 3-5 servings of calcium-rich foods per day.
Great Calcium rich foods: leafy greens like kale and spinach, white beans, chickpeas, lentils, kiwi fruit, almonds, fortified plant-based milks and soy foods including tofu and tempeh.
Top up on Iron-rich foods
Iron is involved in the conversion of the amino-acid tryptophan to serotonin, the hormone related to mood regulation and is commonly referred to as the 'happy hormone'.
Higher levels of Iron are thought to increase levels of serotonin and consequently calm those discomforting PMS symptoms. Various studies have found that boosting Iron levels can help ease PMS symptoms related to mood and lethargy.
Great Iron rich foods: To help you get the recommended intake of 14.8 mg per day, top-up on plant-based Iron-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, lentils, beans, quinoa, brown rice, dried fruit and tofu.
Boost your intake of Vitamin B6 foods
Vitamin B6 helps our body transform food into fuel, keeps our nervous system in check, and is involved in making the mood-boosting and stress-relieving hormones; serotonin and dopamine.
Researchers believe that increasing your Vitamin B6 intake through food and supplementation can help relieve the psychological symptoms associated with PMS including irritability and low mood.
Great Vitamin B6 rich foods: navy beans, walnuts, tofu, sweet potatoes, bananas, fortified cereals and avocados.
Try Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus-Castus)
Chasteberry, the fruit of the chaste tree, has been used for centuries as a remedy for a range of reproductive issues including PMS symptoms.
Because certain hormones drive PMS symptoms, Chasteberry works by rebalancing those hormones and decreasing the negative effects of PMS. You can find Chasteberry in various supplements in the form of capsules and tinctures, or try eating dried Chasteberry to get the same benefits.
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Written by Riya Lakhani, ANutr
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