So often I hear women complain about their menstrual cycle because this monthly event is painful and difficult due to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It is estimated that 75 percent of women experience symptoms that occur about a week before a woman’s period begins.
These symptoms are variable and often resolve when menstruation begins. PMS is hard to define because there are so many different symptoms that can show up for women.
Every woman’s PMS can be very personal and very different. Examples of PMS symptoms include cramps, mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, headaches, acne, constipation or diarrhea and depression.
One of the foundational behaviors that can help reduce or eliminate PMS symptoms is your choices of the food you eat every day. Changing your food choices and food lifestyles to a more healthy eating habits can move you from the 75 percent that experience PMS to one of the 25 percent that do not.
Wouldn’t you like to be one of the members of that group? It’s a great group to be in.
Here are examples of how foods can positively impact some PMS symptoms. Increases in inflammation can compound pain and cramping during the first days of menstruation.
Essential fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation associated menstrual cramps. Omega-3 foods are found in coldwater fish, salmon is just one example, ground flaxseed, or flaxseed oil.
Puffiness, breast swelling and breast tenderness and bloating can be reduced with cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables act as a diuretics, which means they flush fluids out of the body, thus decreasing swelling. Examples of these vegetables are kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, arugula, and cabbage.
Vegetables that are high in magnesium also reduces puffiness as well. Artichokes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, black beans, and tofu are high in magnesium.
Any of these plant-based foods allow the colon to be mildly distended, which can prevent muscle spasms in the colon. Fiber also allows water to stay in the colon, relieving constipation.