Affecting up to 90% of women (to some degree), PMS can be extremely debilitating for many of us. With a list of symptoms that include cramps, mood swings, bloating and nausea, it can cause havoc in a relationship and interfere with your day-to-day routine. Thankfully, though, there are natural ways to keep PMS at bay.
There are many great things about being a woman, the menstrual cycle ain’t one of them. PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is caused by hormonal changes and shifts in brain chemistry, but can be exacerbated by poor dietary habits.
The good news is that there are many completely natural ways to help remedy the effects of PMS.
Make Sure You’re Getting Plenty of Calcium
Pre-menstruation, your calcium levels will take a dip. So, it’s a great idea to increase the amount of calcium rich foods you eat. This might encourage you to drink milk and eat cheese. However, fatty food, like milk and cheese will actually make premenstrual symptoms worse. So, try non-fatty sources of calcium, such as spinach, broccoli, almonds, okra, sweet potato and black-eyed peas.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Aerobic Exercise
Not at the same time, though! Often, when you’re premenstrual, your energy levels will fluctuate. Sometimes, you may feel completely lethargic, no matter how much rest you’re getting. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you’re feeling so low on energy, but it will actually help to regulate your energy levels. So, a light workout is highly recommended. In addition, of course, exercise will produce happy hormones that will help level your mood.
Drink Plenty of Water
I know what you’re thinking, you’re bloated, so why on Earth would you want more water? Well, in the days preceding your period your kidneys are retaining water – hence the bloating. Drinking more water actually helps to release the excess fluid. However, it is a good idea to stick to plain-old water, because sugary drinks, such as cola, and caffeinated drinks, like coffee and tea, are likely to make premenstrual symptoms worse.
Try Some Evening Primrose Oil
Used for many years in the treatment of PMS and menopausal symptoms, Evening Primrose oil is extremely high in omega-6, which is used by the body to help regulate the heart and regulate the mood, as well as assisting in the absorption of insulin. It is also high in
gamma-linolenic acid, often shortened to GLA, which can help relieve many premenstrual symptoms.
Increase Your Intake of Magnesium
Found in a range of foods, such as spinach, whole wheat grains (including cereals and bread), pumpkin seeds, oysters and tofu, magnesium is believed to help alleviate mood swings, and prevent bloating and weight gain. Magnesium supplements are available but, whenever possible, ingesting the mineral in its natural state is the preferable method.
However, excessive magnesium (which is more likely when taking supplements than when adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet) can have side effects, including stomach upsets. If you have any kind of heart or kidney condition, magnesium supplements are to be avoided.
Remember, before taking any vitamin or mineral supplement or making a drastic change in your diet or exercise regime, it is wise to seek the advice of your doctor.