Is your PMS getting you down? Are you feeling cranky, emotional, bloated, or just plain “blah”? Do you find that controlling your PMS symptoms is a monthly struggle? You’re not alone. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that at least 85 percent of all menstruating women will experience at one or more PMS symptoms every month. Wahoo! (I’m dripping with sarcasm here).
But instead of reaching for Midol or your drug of choice (and I mean, medicine, not the illegal kind), why not tame your PMS symptoms with a few nutritional changes? Change your diet slightly, and you may find that your emotional rollercoaster isn’t such a wild ride. PMS might not even bother you.
Get some of these good mood foods in your diet – these are foods that may naturally relieve PMS:
* Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Add some omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids sharpen your mind, and they trigger the production of serotonin (the mood enhancing chemical that’s found in dark chocolate and the chemical that’s released when you’re in love). You can find this in fish, such as albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and trout. If fish isn’t up your culinary palette, snack on a handful of walnuts or flaxseed – they’re also great sources of omega-3s.
* Magnesium – Go for magnesium in your diet. Magnesium helps your body regulate serotonin levels, and it’s also your body’s natural appetite suppressor. During PMS, you experience lower magnesium levels, which in turn causes you to experience grumpiness and you experience appetite cravings. Fight your gluttony with magnesium-laced foods, such as artichokes, bananas, spinach, peanuts, brown rice, tofu, and cashews.
* Whole Grain – Another serotonin-raising group of foods is whole grains. These complex carbohydrates raise the serotonin levels, and they’re also loaded with B-vitamins – which help fight depression and irritability. When getting your carb load for the day, choose whole grain breads, pasta, and cereals. Avoid eating foods that are packed with additives and unhealthy preservatives, since this can trigger unwanted chemical reactions in your brain and make you even moodier.
* No Caffeine – While coffee can wake you up, it’s not great for your mood. To keep your crazy hormones at bay, try going caffeine-free when possible. Instead of the caffeine-loaded cup of Joe that you normally enjoy, drink decaf instead. Or enjoy a hot cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Tea will not only warm you up, but it can also relieve tension and ease anxiety.
* No Junk Food – In the weeks before your period is scheduled to start, avoid junk food at all costs. Not only is it bad for your diet, but it can hamper your mood and even make your PMS symptoms worse. Opt for healthier snacks instead.
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