Just as eating the wrong kinds of foods can worsen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), eating the right kinds of food can prevent them. Eating a proper diet will enable your liver to metabolize estrogen better and supply nutrients that can ease cramps, bloating, fatigue and mood swings. Make that week before your period more tolerable by incorporating these five foods into your diet throughout the month.
Prevent PMS symptoms—and put a smile on your face—by eating these five foods! Photo By Grazie Davvero/Courtesy Flickr.
1. Fruits, Vegetables and High-Fiber Foods
Eating a diet high in fiber can deter PMS symptoms in several ways. First, fiber can balance your blood sugar, which will help control mood swings and fatigue. Second, fiber takes stress off your liver, which plays an important role in metabolizing hormones, including estrogen. If the liver becomes stressed or overworked, it will fail to properly process estrogen, leading to excess estrogen in the body. Third, fiber can carry excess estrogen out of the body. After estrogen leaves the liver, it goes into the digestive track where fiber absorbs the estrogen like a sponge and removes it from the body. Without fiber in the digestive track, the body can reabsorb the excess estrogen.
2. Soy products
Soy contains phytoestrogens, hormone-balancing nutrients derived from plants. Sometimes called dietary estrogen, phytoestrogens act in two ways. At low doses, they mimic estrogen. At higher doses, they attach to estrogen and block its effects on the body, including creating the symptoms associated with PMS. Soy products include tofu, miso, tempeh and “dairy” products such as soy milk and soy yogurt.
3. Leafy green vegetables
Not only do leafy greens contain fiber, they’re also high in calcium and magnesium, two minerals that have been shown to improve PMS symptoms. Try to get at least two servings a day.
Soy products such as edamame, miso and tofu contain phytoestrogens, hormone-balancing nutrients derived from plants. Photo By Sharyn Morrow/Courtesy Flickr.
4. Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids help produce prostaglandins, which regulate hormones, reduce inflammation and control the constriction and dilation of smooth muscles. Getting a balance of all the essential fatty acids can reduce PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings and cramps.
5. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 not only reduces pain, it can also alleviate some symptoms of PMS by helping the liver remove excess estrogen. This vitamin has also been shown to help reduce depression and irritability. B vitamins can be found in whole grains, beans, bananas and nuts.
Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on Google+.