If you are one of the 75 percent of women who experience premenstrual syndrome symptoms(6) one week before your period, you might be really interested in learning about how you can use food to reduce your symptoms!
While these symptoms are variable and often resolve when menstruation begins they can interfere with your daily living. Some examples of PMS symptoms that women can have during the month include cramps, mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, headaches, acne, constipation, diarrhea and depression.
A whole foods diet is the best way to eat a week before your period and, really, all month long. Examples of whole foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, poultry and other meats. Whole foods are foods that are close to their natural state. They are nutrient-dense foods that are not highly processed.
Get rid of cravings
Cravings can feel uncontrollable when you're dealing with PMS unless you know the secret of loading up on fiber and proteins during your meals. The combination of protein and fiber helps to stabilize your blood sugar, which lowers and sometimes eliminates cravings.
Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D., a senior dietitian at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York suggests, “snacking on a pear with a tablespoon of almond butter, or an apple with a slice of cheese" to reduce cravings. She says this is especially important when cravings hit their peak during the afternoon hours.”(1)
Eat smaller meals
Eating smaller meals more frequently during the day helps stabilize blood sugar levels. It can also reduce nausea or feeling overfull.
Fiber can reduce bloating because plant-based foods allow the colon to be mildly distended. This can prevent muscle spasms in the colon. Examples of high-fiber food are artichokes, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Reducing sugary foods
Reducing sugary foods and drinks will reduce bloating. The number one substance that I recommend people avoid is refined sugar.