Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Food Choices to Fight PMS

menstrual cycle calendarWhen watching diet and weight, changes in mood, water retention, and cravings can be distressing. Unfortunately, many women deal with these things on a monthly basis. Women experience the 150 possible symptoms of PMS to varying degrees and in different combinations. These symptoms are physical (bloating, fatigue, cramps), emotional (sadness, irritability, anxiety), and mental (distraction, forgetfulness, confusion).

Common knowledge sometimes tells us that our bodies crave things they need and we should follow our cravings. Cravings for candy bars, fried foods, potato chips, and soda really are not helpful long-term or short-term. The following items are healthy ways to combat PMS symptoms:

Complex carbohydrates can help increase serotonin levels, fighting sadness, irritability, and aggression, while regulating appetite and sleep patterns. Look for complex carbohydrates in vegetables and whole grains. You may be misreading this craving and ingesting simple carbohydrates and sugars instead, which can increase irritability and water retention.

Calcium and vitamin D and their effect on PMS symptoms has been very researched. At least 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 units of vitamin D each day has been shown to diminish PMS symptoms, specifically bloating and moodiness, within just a few months. Low-fat cheese and yogurt are healthy choices rich in calcium.girl eating banana

Magnesium can also help increase your body’s absorption of calcium. Author and pharmacist Maria Ahlgrimm has said that the right combination of calcium and magnesium can reduce cravings for chocolate. Magnesium also helps regulate muscle tension/relaxation and blood sugar levels, encourages sound sleep, and discourages water retention. Potatoes, black beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds have high levels of magnesium.

Vitamin B6 can aid in keeping sadness and irritability at bay. Foods that contain vitamin B6 include bananas, oatmeal, wild salmon, and chicken breast.

Water is always important to flush toxins from your body, but it can also help reduce bloating.

On the other hand, it may be helpful to avoid the following:

Salty foods can increase tendency to retain water.

Caffeine can increase breast tenderness.

Trans-fats and saturated fats have been to shown to increase symptoms of PMS.

Don’t forget that exercise can always help reduce the symptoms of PMS as well.

January 30th, 2009

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