Photo by: Peter Wendt
We’ve all been there…the pounding headache, cramps for days, and cravings that can’t be tamed. That time of the month can cause you to be extremely volatile, not to mention saying and eating things that you may later regret. But I’m here to tell you there are actually things you can eat that will help you with your symptoms on even the most painful days. From circulation and cleared skin, to reliving bloating and cramps… you can (and should) use food as fuel to fight the awful effects of PMS. Here are 6 foods that can help with PMS:
Suffering from intense cravings, cramping, and the usual bloating? Try eating the potassium and healthy-fat packed avocado as the electrolyte acts as a natural diuretic which allows you to rid excess sodium and liquid from your system and cells. The fiber in this much-loved fruit also helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels which can help elevate your mood when feeling fatigued and rundown. Lastly, avocado is filling and satisfying so you will (hopefully) be less likely to reach for that tub of Ben and Jerry’s, at least for a little while longer.
#2 Dark Chocolate:
I know, how much to do you love this answer?! No longer should you feel guilty about indulging in a few, ok a lot, of cocoa squares. First, it’s filled with antioxidants which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure which is what your body needs to relieve cramps. It also contains Anandamide, a neurotransmitter naturally found in chocolate which can effectively combat fatigue, irritability, and depression. So the next time you feel like you shouldn’t order dessert, gets some dark chocolate!
Getting flash backs of your mother forcing you to eat these green veggies? Well apparently in this situation, mother knows best. Eating broccoli not only on your period but especially when you’re not can actually help lower estrogen. This is because it contains the nutrient indole-3 that when digested produces Diindolylmethane or DIM which lowers estrogen levels making the entirety of the PMS more bearable. The vegetable is also 91% water, and also high in fiber helping with bloating, puffiness and gas.
Not only are these options healthy and filling, they are also high in vitamin D, as well as Omega-3 oils which helpful in reversing the affects of PMS. A study shows that having ample amounts of vitamin D can relieve cramping while another study shows that women consuming at least six grams of fish oil everyday experienced less menstrual pain than those who didn’t. Omega-3 are also good for your heart and for fighting depression.
While this wont cure your hungry pains, it will do wonders for you mind and body. Tea has been used for centuries thanks to it’s healing abilities from things like cancer, obesity, and reducing cardiovascular diseases. It also was found in a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that drinking tea can really be a positive oxymoron in the fact that it calms and soothes while also allowing the consumer to feel mentally alert and focused. These are the kind of benefits you need when your brain is foggy and your in pain. Also, if you are a person who experiences menstrual migraine’s, the caffeine in green tea can also naturally aid in the passing of those debilitating symptoms.
#6 Leafy Greens:
Lastly, eating plenty of greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach helps when you’re battling PMS. While these greens have a ton of health benefits including warding off osteoporosis, and regulating blood sugar levels, they also contain iron, potassium, and magnesium. These help in a majority of ways including reducing puffiness, feeling light headed, as well as general mood swings. These greens also have Vitamin A which helps combat acne and dry skin from the inside out. If you want to be an all-star, make a kale salad with avocado, and salmon with a side of warm tea for dinner and end with dark chocolate for a truly amazing, nutrient-rich meal that absolutely PMS, and waistline-friendly.
Written for Kali By: Jordyn Kraemer, @TheBlondeVagabond