6 Foods to Avoid for PMS Relief

| 8/6/2010 3:51:00 PM

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