When you struggle with PMS it can be tempting to reach for the coffee, crisps and sweet treats. As amazing as those things might make you feel in that moment, they could actually make you feel even worse afterwards!
Here are some of the top foods I would recommend adding into your diet and also avoiding at 'that time of the month'.
VITAMIN D & CALCIUM
Vitamin D & Calcium work so well together. So much so, that the body cannot use or absorb calcium without vitamin D.
Why not try having some wild caught salmon during your period. You will get a great boost of vitamin D and if you combine it with some leaft greens like kale, you will get your calcium hit as well.
Vitamin A can help with fluctuating hormones. Give your levels a boost by adding in some bright orange coloured vegetables. Think sweet potatoes, carrots and orange bell peppers.
Fibre can help regulate oestrogen levels and also improve the digestive system. It is well known that most people don't get enough nowadays. Especially with a lot of foods being highly processed and gluten free, they have very little fibre left in them.
Boost your fibre intake with plenty of greens such as broccoli to help balance hormones and also prevent constipation and bloating (because menstrual cramps are more than enough, let alone constipation cramps too!).
Magnesium can help fight water retention and also mood swings as it can help regulate serotonin (the feel-good hormone). We also need healthy magnesium levels to help with sleep. Try sprinkling some pumpkin seeds onto your meals for a magnesium hit - and also a bit of crunch to release that tight jaw we might have got from feeling agitated.
POTASSIUM & B6
When I think of potassium, the first thing I think of is bananas. They are great to help with bloating and can also make you more 'regular'. Either enjoy a banana as a snack or add it to some peanut butter spread on a high-fibre cracker (I love these). Plus peanuts and peanut butters are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6 - just avoid the sugary types and look for butters containing 100% peanuts.
Herbals teas are great for the body. Always look for the caffeine free ones such as chamomile, peppermint and different blends to help with stress and anxiety or PMS.
Chamomile is always a favourite to help calm the mind and reduce muscle cramps in the body.
As much as you want to reach for that big bag of crisps or plate of chips... don't! The high salt content will only bloat you out more and cause water retension.
If you find you suffer from tender breasts when you are due on your period, then avoid caffeine altogether if you can. Studies have shown that caffeine can actually aggravate them even more.
It's one of those cravings I know. Sugar is one of those things you feel like your body really needs during your period, but an imbalance of hormones might actually be related to too much refined sugar and heavily processed foods.
Wanting something sweet? Try a square of dark chocolate and see if it takes the craving away. Otherwise, try a piece of sweeter fruit for more natural sugars instead of the highly refined biscuit variety!
I hope you've found this interesting,
Thanks so much for reading,