Comforting PMS. Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid During Your Period.
WHAT IS PMS?
PMS, otherwise known as pre-menstrual syndrome, is a combination of physical, behavioural or emotional signs that are experienced by people who have a menstrual period. PMS symptoms include:
- Tender or swollen breasts
- Abdominal cramps
- Food cravings (usually for sweet, sugary things)
- Bloating, fluid retention and in some cases a temporary increase in weight
- Skin breakouts
- Body/back aches
- Digestive discomfort
- Difficulty concentrating
You may experience none, some or all of these symptoms. Fun times! *SOB*
WHEN DOES PMS START / STOP?
PMS symptoms are a sure sign that your period is on its way. Symptoms usually start anywhere between 4 – 10 days before your period is due and will stop once the bleeding starts – although, you may still experience some abdominal discomfort.
If you experience any, or all of the above symptoms, we recommend upping the ante on certain nutrients and foods at this time and cutting down, or removing others.
PMS Shopping List
Quinoa is rich in nutrients such as iron, protein, and magnesium. It has a low glycemic Index which means you are likely to sustain your energy levels throughout the day after eating it.
Thirst quenching, water-rich fruits, such as watermelon (yum!) are great for staying hydrated. Sweet fruits can help you curb your sugar cravings without eating a lot of refined sugars, which can cause your glucose levels to spike and then crash. Other water rich fruits include apricot, blueberries, oranges, cucumber and peaches.
- Skyr and Natural Yoghurt
Skyr is high in protein, making it a great go to at this time. Pro-biotic rich foods such as yogurt can nourish the good bacteria in your vagina and may help you fight the infections.
Beautifully Nourished’s Fibre Pro contains Pysllium husk powder, Inulin powder, probiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus 10 billion, making it a great aid to digestion, which can get a little backed up during our period and the countdown to it!
Yogurt is also rich in magnesium and other essential nutrients, like calcium.
- Leafy green vegetables
It is common to experience a dip in iron levels during our periods. This can lead to fatigue, bodily pain, and dizziness.
Make sure you are eating enough protein and dark, leafy green vegetables throughout the day, especially in the week leading up to your period. Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach can boost your iron levels. Spinach is also rich in magnesium.
- Dark chocolate YES!!! Chocolate made the list!!! *happydance*
Dark Chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium. A 100-gram bar of 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate contains 67 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for iron and 58 percent of the RDI for magnesium.
Happy bar snapping!
- Nuts and seeds
Most nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re a great source of protein. They also contain magnesium and various vitamins such as selenium (brazil nuts). Try nut butters and nut-based milks also.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids can reduce the intensity of period pain. For those who experience mood swings and depression around menstruation, omega-3s may be helpful.
Beautifully Nourished’s OMEGA 3,6,9 features Omega 3s from Flaxseed Oil.
Made from soybeans, tofu is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium.
- Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea has been shown to soothe the symptoms of PMS, helping to relieve menstrual cramps, nausea, and diarrhoea.
Drinking a lot of water is always important, and this is especially true during your period. Staying hydrated can reduce your chances of getting dehydration headaches. a common symptom of menstruation.
Drinking plenty of water can also stop you from retaining water and bloating.
For PMS, 5-HTP works to increase serotonin production which can alleviate symptoms of premenstrual depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Pass the Cocoa. Nap, snooze and cosy down.
Foods Best to Stay Away From
While all foods are just fine in moderation, you might want to avoid certain foods that worsen the symptoms of your period.
Consuming lots of salt leads to water retention, which can result in bloating. To reduce bloating, avoid adding salt to your foods and avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of sodium.
Consuming too much refined sugar can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash, which can worsen our moods. When you crave something sweet, try honey, raw-dark chocolate, fruits and dates. A combination of all works well.
Caffeine can cause water retention and bloating and enhance the intensity of headaches. Do not increase coffee consumption more than your usual intake at this time.
Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on your body. Going alcohol free during this time definitely comes with some pluses!
For example, alcohol dehydrates us, which can worsen headaches and cause bloating. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhoea and nausea.
- Spicy foods
If your stomach struggles to tolerate spicy foods or if you’re not used to eating them, it might be best to avoid them during your period.
- Red meat
During our periods, our bodies produces prostaglandins. These compounds help our uterus contract and get rid of the uterine lining, resulting in menstrual flow. High levels of prostaglandins cause cramps.
Red meat is high in iron, but it is also high in prostaglandins and should be avoided during menstruation. Opt for iron rich alternatives such as lentils, dark leafy vegetables and pulses.
- Foods our tummies are sensitive to
We have all been there-knowing we are sensitive to certain foods and reaching for them anyway!
If you do have known food sensitivities, really try and avoid these foods during your period.
We recommend, at this time of your month, look after yourself and create a couple of wellbeing days, just for you.