Don’t you just hate when “that time of the month” is approaching? If you experience severe or even just moderate PMS (or premenstrual syndrome) like I did in the past, then you probably dread the approaching of your menses.
You just don’t feel like your normal self: you may be feeling irritable, bloated, cramping – how fun is that?
Nobody knows exactly what causes PMS, but most experts believe that it has something to do with changes in hormone levels that occur during the normal course of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The reason behind this theory is that PMS symptoms are absent during pregnancy and menopause. The bad news is that premenstrual syndrome affects almost 80% of all women with PMS symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The good news is there are some things that you can do to make yourself feel better during that time of the month and beyond. Especially if you suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome, you need to make DRAMATIC changes to your diet and lifestyle if you want to restore good health. Don’t postpone it. Don’t just resort to pills and hormones – just because it’s easier. Start taking good care of your body today! Because you are worth it! What is premenstrual syndrome and what are common PMS symptoms?
The PMS symptoms coy may commonly include: – See more at:
- Abdominal fullness, feeling gaseous
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Breast tenderness
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Food cravings
- Less tolerance for noises and lights
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness (See also: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder)
- Feelings of tension, anxiety, or edginess
- Irritable, hostile, or aggressive behavior, with outbursts of anger toward self or others
- Loss of sex drive (may be increased in some women)
- Mood swings
- Poor judgment
- Poor self-image, feelings of guilt, or increased fears
- Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
PMS Conventional Treatments
You may have tried various treatments and remedies to feel better during “those days,” such as:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers for cramps and breast tenderness
Various prescription medications that treat depression, sleep disorders, food cravings and fatigue (anti-depressants), water retention (diuretics) and mood swings (birth control pills)
However, the best remedy is prevention. Experiencing extreme fluctuations in how you feel before and after your period is not normal and most likely due to hormonal imbalances in your body. You can dramatically improve how you feel if you make drastic changes to you diet and lifestyle.
PMS Natural Remedies: What You Can Do
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and leafy greens. Drink freshly made green smoothies and juices. Buy organic produce to avoid pesticides and herbicides.
- Replace processed carbohydrates with whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.
- Eliminate all processed foods, fast foods, fatty foods and avoid or limit animal protein. It’s best to switch completely to vegetarian diet. If you decide to eat animal protein, do it sporadically and buy organic.
- Eliminate coffee, tea, sodas, soft drinks, and other foods that contain caffeine and sugar. You may find it hard to implement this adjustment, so do it gradually.
- Limit salt: this includes table salt, sea salt and soy sauce. Watch for salt hiding in prepared foods.
- Avoid plastics, pesticides and other chemicals that increase estrogen levels.
- Supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin E. Not only to ease PMS symptoms, due to many reasons nutritional health supplements should be a part of everybody’s healthy nutrition anyhow.
- Drink herbal teas. Herbal remedies such as chamomile, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, basil, parsley and mint are used in different forms to ease cramps and other symptoms associated with menstruation. Mint, ginger and chamomile can be used to make soothing teas which can be taken a few times a day.
- Keep your body moving. Light exercises done regularly will help you stay active and increase the stamina. Walking and yoga are two excellent choices, but do anything that you enjoy.
- Yoga or meditation can be very beneficial in the treatment of painful menstrual periods. Breathing exercises, meditation, aromatherapy, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many women feel more assertive and attuned to their needs in the weeks before menses. This can be used constructively by allowing for personal time to relax, expressing emotions, and giving priority to your needs and what nourishes you.
- Acupressure is also said to be a wonderful way to relieve menstrual cramps.
- Take a warm bath. A warm bath or a warm shower is soothing and helps you relax. It also aids in easing off the pain.
- Hot Water Bottle: Apply a hot water bottle or a heat pad on the lower abdominal area where the cramps are occurring. Be careful not to apply the bottle too hot for it can damage the skin and cause burns.
- Use a menstrual cup. Many women (including me) find heavy flow and even cramping are reduced when they switch to a menstrual cup.
PMDD and PMS Prevention Diet: Foods To Avoid or Eliminate Completely
I strongly believe that to get permanent relief from the symptoms, you need to follow the guidelines below for optimum diet and healthy lifestyle. The hormone drugs, although may be effective for short-term improvement, may be causing a lot of problems as PMDD at its root is a hormonal disorder.
The following foods cause increased levels of estrogen and other hormone imbalance in woman’s body:
- All animal-based foods: meats and dairy products
- All processed foods: white flour products, fast foods, foods containing preservatives, colorants, sugary foods, fatty foods.
- Caffeine, tea, alcohol, sugar.
A diet that is high in animal products and highly processed food products has been show to:
- Lower the age of the first menstrual period
- Raise the age of menopause
- Raise the levels of female hormones in the bloodstream
- Increase blood cholesterol levels
Women who eat a diet that is rich in animal-based products, with a low amount of unprocessed, plant-based foods, on average start menstruating earlier and reach menopause later, therefore causing excessive exposure to female hormones during their reproductive lives.
PMDD and PMS Prevention Diet: Foods To Eat
Eat a diet that is based on the following foods:
- Whole Foods – You need to be eating food in its purest form – unprocessed, without artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives. That is the optimal food for ensuring a healthy body and balance hormones. It’s also most nutritious food available – so you will not need any nutritional supplements or vitamins. Eat Whole, Unprocessed Foods!
- Plant Based. Whatever type of diet you follow and whether you include dairy, meat or seafood; you need to reconfigure your plate so the majority of each meal is abundant in raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, seeds, nuts or whole grains. Eat a colorful variety of plants!
- Healthy Fats – Eliminate “bad” fats and get healthy fats from whole plant sources, such as nuts, seeds and avocados. These are rich in micronutrients as well. Try to eliminate (or minimize) extracted oils and processed fats. Eat Healthy Fats!
- Nutrient Dense – Choose foods that are rich in micronutrients when compared to their total caloric content. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods!
- Fresh, raw vegetables
- Fresh, raw dark leafy greens
- Fresh, raw fruits
- Whole grains
- Raw nuts and seeds
These foods are high in fiber, which reduces excess estrogen in your body and prevents constipation and toxin buildup, both of which contribute to various health issues, including hormonal imbalance.
Replace unhealthy fats with essential fatty acids – flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil, and focus on foods that are high in antioxidants – vegetables, greens, fruits, raw nuts, raw sees, whole grains and legumes – as they can help your body get rid of excess estrogen.
Foods high in sulfur-containing amino acids, such as garlic, onions and beans are also considered beneficial.
Another tip is to avoid storing foods in plastic containers, as this has been show to increase estrogen in the body.
PMS Prevention Secret Weapon: Green Smoothies and Green Juices
To make it easier for you to transition to a mostly plant based diet, start drinking green smoothies and freshly made green juices. Green smoothies are simply smoothies made from fresh fruits and greens. They make it super easy to increase your fruit and vegetables intake. They are satisfying and a great way to satisfy your cravings for sweets and unhealthy foods.
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