Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

6 Foods to Avoid for PMS Relief

8/6/2010 3:51:00 PM

Tags: natural health, health, women’s health, PMS, pre menstrual syndrome, cramps, bloating, mood swings, meat, dairy, salt, salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, hormones, estrogen, period

Unless you’re in the lucky minority of women who don’t experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), that week before your period is no walk in the park. Our bodies go through a natural cycle of hormone fluctuation each month, but for almost 75 percent of American women, those hormone fluctuations are severe, causing cramps, bloating, fatigue and excessive mood swings.

A number of factors can help minimize PMS symptoms, none more so than what you eat. Changes in your diet can decrease the amount of free-flowing estrogen in your body—the culprit behind all those unpleasant changes you experience a week to two weeks before your period. Consuming the right kinds of food can minimize hormonal fluctuations, while eating the wrong kinds of food can throw your body’s hormonal balance out of whack. If you want to make your PMS symptoms more tolerable, try avoiding these seven foods.

sad woman
Hormone fluctuations before your period can lead to cramps, bloating, fatigue and mood swings. Control your symptoms by changing your diet! Photo By Asturnut/Courtesy Flickr. 

1. Meat

Red meat contains high levels of saturated fat, which can increase estrogen levels. Some meat also contains added hormones, which can enter your bloodstream and mess with your own hormone levels. Keeping your diet low in meat and buying your meat from trusted sources that raise their animals without hormones can reduce hormone fluctuations that cause PMS symptoms.

2. Dairy

Although calcium can actually improve PMS symptoms, dairy products will make it worse. Like red meat, dairy contains high levels of saturated fat.

3. Sugar

Sugar causes blood-sugar levels to rise dramatically, increasing the likelihood of mood swings and worsening fatigue, headaches and the ability to focus. Highly refined sugars can also deplete the body of its natural stores of essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and B vitamins, which the body needs to function properly. Limiting your sugar intake throughout the month and cutting back the two weeks before your period can keep PMS in check.

woman eating ice cream
Ice cream may sound like the perfect comfort food, but the saturated fat in dairy products and the extra sugar can actually make PMS symptoms worse. Photo By Asurroca/Courtesy Flickr. 

4. Salt

If bloating is a common PMS symptom for you, avoid salt, as it will cause you to retain water. Watch your diet carefully to avoid excess sodium intake. High levels of salt are everywhere from the obvious (processed foods) to the not-so-obvious (“natural” chicken).

5. Caffeine

Mood swings and stress will make you want to reach for sugary foods, many of which are high in caffeine. Although chocolate may be yout go-to comfort food during this week, caffeine will actually worsen your PMS symptoms, negatively affecting your mood and increasing breast tenderness.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates the body and wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels, which can make fatigue and mood swings worse.


Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of
Mother Earth Living. Find her on .


Related Content

Natural Remedies for PMS Relief

Premenstrual syndrome can leave you with cramps, bloating and severe mood swings. Tackle your sympto...

How to Press Flowers: Make a Plant Press

Learn how to press flowers and construct a plant press to preserve your favorite herbs for study, di...

Improve Your Mood: 5 Habits to Make You Feel Happier

Banish bad moods by eating right, exercising and changing your daily habits. Follow these five steps...

4 Ways to Naturally Relieve PMS

Reaching for the painkillers every month? Read on for natural ways to relieve PMS symptoms.

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 50%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.