The Healthy Cure to PMS Cravings

By Sarah Goughnour

During PMS, we all want to eat foods that are bad for us, but choosing the right ones can do more than satisfy a craving. Everyone from your mother to Oprah has a cure for PMS, but there is some science behind how to eat to alleviate your symptoms, and get your body the nourishment it needs. These tips for nourishment will help your mind, body, and diet, make it through PMS.

Omega 3s

Craving fatty foods during PMS is common, but eating the rights fats may help to curb your snacking. Omega-3 fatty acids can help get a handle on your tension, inflammation, and even depression.

When omega-3s build prostaglandins, hormone-like messengers that balance inflammation and repair, those prostaglandins tend to have weaker inflammatory effects. This is particularly important because the inflammation caused by prostaglandins can increase menstrual cramps. More omega-3s in your food mean less pain in your period. Make sure you eat lots of flaxseeds, nuts, and fish. Don’t rely just on beef and dairy for your omega-3s either, since most beef and dairy products consumed in the U.S. come from cow that haven’t been able to eat enough plants containing omega-3s.

Calcium

Getting enough calcium and magnesium can help tone down the effects of sodium, that can cause weight gain and bloating. Calcium has even been shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS as a whole. Don’t disregard milk and yogurt just because they may not give you your omega-3s, since they’re very important calcium intake. Tofu and spinach are also high in calcium, which can make excellent additions to your diet.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B can helps create the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter serotonin, which will keep you feel emotionally balanced during your period. Especially important for taming your PMS mood-swings is vitamin B6, which can be found in complex carbs and whole grains like brown rice. Brown rice also contains magnesium, which is important for hormone production, and will help combat bloating.

Beat your carb cravings by boosting serotonin:

Your carb cravings may be coming from low levels of serotonin, which is common during PMS. High intake of saturated fats and animal proteins can lead to increased cravings for carbohydrates, and fruit carbohydrates won’t help your serotonin, so eating healthy can be hard. To give your serotonin levels a kickstart, try eating a couple starch or sweet carb-heavy snacks each day. PsychologyToday recommends you keep your snack under 2 grams of fat and under 2 grams of protein for the best effect.

Iron

Keeping up iron intake while on your period can help rejuvenate your energy levels after your cycle is finished. On average, you could be losing about ¼ cup of blood each menstrual cycle, and since iron is in your blood, you’re losing it, too. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, and even heavier flow during your period, so make sure you bulk up with foods like lentils, spinach, and garbanzo beans to stay strong.

Works Cited

Psychology Today: “You Can Prevent PMS from Destroying Your Diet”
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/201008/you-can-prevent-pms-destroying-your-diet

Image Credit

http://www.bubblews.com/news/915002-10-healthy-foods-one-should-eat-part-1

Categories: Your Nutrition

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