Food swaps to help with PMS

Posted by CarePoint Health on Jan 11, 2016 1:00:00 PM

food swaps to help combat pms and pmdd symptomsWomen have to deal with PMS for much of their reproductive lives. Mood swings, fatigue, cravings, bloating, and cramping can make life uncomfortable or downright miserable for many women.

Instead of enduring this discomfort every month, take a more proactive approach by modifying your diet and eating foods that will help alleviate your symptoms. And of course, you also need to avoid the ones that make it worse.

Instead of coffee, drink tea

Caffeine can add to tension and irritability: not ideal if this is one of your PMS symptoms. If you need a caffeine kick, green tea offers a good amount that is less likely to leave you shaky — and it offers healthful antioxidants too. If you don’t need caffeine, consider an herbal tea such as chamomile to help you relax in the evening. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help ease bloating and cramps.

Instead of crackers, eat seeds and nuts

Women often crave carbohydrates during the premenstrual phase, but processed choices offer little protein or fiber, so they won’t sustain you to help fend off cravings. Instead, try pumpkin seeds and nuts. These crunchy choices offer magnesium — an important mineral that can help relax tensed muscles (and ease cramps). Research has also shown that it can ease premenstrual mood swings.

Instead of chips and salsa, eat veggies and guacamole

Chips are high in sodium, which will only make bloating and discomfort worse. Vegetables, on the other hand, are chock-full of good fiber to keep your digestion running smoothly. In addition, the healthy fats and vitamin E found in avocados may help with symptoms of PMS.

Instead of soda or juice, drink milk

Every woman needs calcium for bone health, but evidence also suggests that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to PMS. Many dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, so drink up.  You can also get it from salmon, tuna, and fortified cereal.

Instead of sweets, eat a banana

Sugary treats may sound good when you’re feeling run down and irritable. But the excess sugar may just cause your blood glucose levels to crash, making you feel more tired and unable to focus. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6, both of which have been shown to help with PMS symptoms. A proper level of potassium can help reduce muscle cramps, and vitamin B6 is essential for proper nerve function.

Finally, in addition to choosing the right foods, make an effort to get out and exercise. A walk, swim, or bike ride releases feel-good chemicals in your brain that can help your mood and energy levels. Together with the right foods, you could be on track to have a much more pleasant premenstrual phase — and set yourself up for healthier habits every day.

CarePoint Health Gynecology

With the help of a skilled gynecologist at CarePoint Health, you can make educated decisions about your health to be at your best at any stage of life. For more information about the comprehensive women’s services we provide, please contact us.

Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.

Topics: OBGYN, Women's health, Nutrition