Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) >>  Premenstrual Syndrome Diet

Diet, Supplements for Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to emotional and physical symptoms caused by hormonal changes in a woman’s body 5-10 days before she starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms of PMS include abdominal bloating, tender breasts, clumsiness, headaches, constipation, irritability and lower level of tolerance for noise and lights. Studies have shown that good PMS diet nutrition plays a key role in relieving the symptoms of PMS and helps women manage hormonal fluctuations better. A good PMS diet plan stresses on reducing intake of saturated fats, consuming less sugar to manage glucose levels, controlling salt intake to reduce bloating, eating more vegetables to balance hormones and cutting down caffeine intake. PMS diet supplements which contain zinc, magnesium and potassium are recommended to correct nutritional deficiencies which may occur during this phase.
PMS diet and weight loss are also inter-related. PMS can make it very difficult for women to lose weight as it usually gives you food cravings that are hard to resist and also manipulates your willpower. The appetite and metabolism both get stimulated during PMS making it harder for a woman to stick to a healthy diet and lose weight. Women who combine a healthy PMS diet and exercise generally show fewer physical and emotional symptoms as compared to those who don’t.

PMS Foods

What you eat during PMS plays a big role in relieving or increasing the symptoms of PMS. Doctors recommend eating calcium rich PMS foods like yogurt, cheese, milk, kale and broccoli which help in balancing estrogen levels in the body. Some of the other PMS foods to eat include sardines, salmon, bananas, nuts and seeds, brown rice, pineapples, raspberries and garbanzo beans. These PMS food types are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and other vitamins and minerals which can help in reducing the symptoms of this condition. Eating good PMS food cures the physical and mental symptoms of this condition and makes you feel better. On the other hand the list of PMS foods to avoid includes red meats, fatty dairy products, salty and sugary foods and caffeinated beverages. These foods can actually increase the levels of estrogen in the body causing symptoms like irritability, depression and mood swings. High salt intake can cause swelling and bloating while caffeinated drinks can increase breast tenderness and also cause fibrocystic breast disease in some cases.

For many women with PMS food allergy is a common complaint that can be attributed to hormonal changes in the body. Eliminating allergy causing foods from the diet can directly help in eliminating some of the symptoms of PMS. While following a PMS diet, experimenting with different types of PMS diet recipes can also prove to be very helpful in obtaining good nutrition for the body. It is also important to remember that vitamins play a vital role in managing and controlling the symptoms of PMS. Essential vitamins for PMS include vitamin E, vitamin B6, other B-complex vitamins, essential fatty acids and magnesium. Vitamin E helps in reducing PMS symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, headaches and even sugar cravings. Vitamin B6 and most other B vitamins help in reducing other symptoms like water retention, breast tenderness, edema and bloating. Magnesium and essential fatty acids like gamma linoleic acid also help in reducing PMS symptoms. GLA in particular can be found in black current oil, borage oil and primrose oil. Manganese helps in increasing serototin levels in the body and acts like a natural anti-depressant. These vitamins can be taken in the form of supplements or in whole through foods like pineapple, bananas, brown rice, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, chicken, turkey and tuna.

Herbs for Premenstrual Syndrome

There are also a number of herbs which help in reducing PMS symptoms naturally. Some of the useful herbs for premenstrual syndrome include dandelion root, artichoke, licorice, Reishi mushroom, Valerian, cramp bark and fringe tree root and bark. These herbs are very helpful in relieving symptoms like irritability, abdominal bloating, pelvic pain and cramping and depression. A combination of ginseng and ginger is also considered to be helpful in reliving fatigue, cold and digestive disorders during PMS. Many women suffer from digestive problems during PMS and herbs like gentian, ginger, wormwood, orange peel, artichoke leaf and centaury help in correcting such disorders. For women who suffer from anemia and chronic fatigue during PMS, herbs like Dang Gui, Nettles herb and yellow dock root are also very helpful. Liver regulating herbs like Dandelion root, fringe tree bark and root and burdock root help in lowering high levels of estrogen and strengthen and support the liver as it eliminates excess hormones in the body. Even though these herbs are useful in reducing the various symptoms of PMS, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking any such herbs to reduce the risk of possible side effects.
Submitted on July 22, 2011