Diet PMS and Period Pain

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Published: 28th November 2016
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Women looking for natural remedies for PMS are advised to look at what they are eating, some nutrients are found to be lacking in women who suffer from PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps. Increasing your intake of the following nutrients may well serve to fight of cramps, mood swings, breast tenderness and low energy levels.

During and leading up to a woman's menstruation is often a time for food cravings. If you experience food cravings around your period it is worth looking into the nutritional value that the food itself holds. Nature is incredible and it is often the case that your body will let you know what it needs.

Magnesium and PMS

Many women crave chocolate during PMS and there have been suggestions that chocolate helps cramps. One thing that chocolate does contain is fairly high levels is magnesium. Magnesium is important around and during your period as it is believed to aid the levels of serotonin. Serotonin affects the brains messages between cells, and is responsible for emotions and moods.

Here's some top foods to boost magnesium levels and help with PMS / PMT.

Dark, leafy greens (eg raw spinach),
Pumpkin seeds
Beans and lentils
Brown rice
Dried figs
Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
White beans (e.g cannellini beans)

Omega 3 and PMS

Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to relieve inflammation and to help with PMS. A Danish study of 78 women in 2000 showed that those women who supplemented their diet with Omega 3 from fish oils and vitamin B12 found relief from menstrual pain, fatigue and headache. Omega 3 oils can be found in oily fish and fish oil supplements. If you are vegetarian flax seeds, chia seeds and cauliflower contain omega 3. However the breakdown of fatty acids is different so your body will have to do some work in converting them. It is worth increasing your intake throughout the month, and it seems particularly from day 15 of your cycle.

Top Foods Rich in Omega 3 and B12

Sardines (include the bones for extra calcium intake)
Wild Salmon
Prawns / Shrimp
Brussel Sprouts

Calcium and PMS

Low calcium levels around menstruation have been linked to PMS symptoms. Studies have shown that compared with women who don't have premenstrual symptoms, women with PMS have lower blood levels of calcium around their time of ovulation. Increasing your intake of calcium is a must for those suffering with PMS. The main calcium contenders are milk, yogurt, and cheese. But since dairy has it's own implications for aggravating PMS, it may be best to turn to leafy greens, seafood, legumes, and fruit which also contain calcium. Just remember to try and pair non-dairy sources of calcium with vitamin D (preferably from sunlight). The body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium.

Top Calcium Rich Foods for PMS

1. Sardines
2. Kale
3. Salmon
4. Blackstrap Molasses
5. Dried Figs
6. White Beans
7. Almonds
8. Salmon (with bones e.g. canned with bones)
9. Oranges
10. Sesame Seeds

In looking for natural remedies for PMS, tackling your diet is the best place to start. Cutting out junk food and turning to clean foods can help significantly reduce your PMS symptoms and lead to increased well being overall.

It is also well worth changing your sanitary products if you suffer from period pain and other PMS symptoms. Toxins are present in most disposable sanitary towels and tampons and they can leak through into the bloodstream. Washable sanitary pads are a great alternative as they are naturally absorbent and do not use chemicals. Cloth pads are easy to wash and use, there are some lovely patterns available

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