Diet Tips To Ease PMS Symptoms

To a certain degree, making changes to what you eat and drink could help in easing the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson of the University of Massachusetts suggests that diet might even play a role in the development of symptoms. 

And whether these symptoms involve aches or mood swings, here are a few dietary tips that are worth considering.

1. Eat more of leafy greens

While greens should always have a significant place in your diet, this becomes even more of a priority when you are on your period. The rich iron content can help boost energy levels, especially if you do not consume meat.

Baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard are among your options. You can get up to 40 percent of your recommended daily magnesium intake in a cup of these greens — a deficiency of this mineral has been tied to migraine headaches, a common occurrence for many women before their periods.

2. Reduce the salt and sugar

"If you're craving sugar, you're craving it for a reason," Elizabeth Somer, an Oregon-based dietitian, told WebMD. The reason being fluctuations in hormone levels which could make you consume more calories than usual, typically in the form of fats, carbs, or sweet foods.

Rather than using sugar to satisfy cravings, Somer advised women to eat more whole grains instead. It is also a good idea to cut down on salt if you are prone to symptoms like bloating, tenderness of the breasts, or swelling of the hands and fingers.

3. Try some low-fat dairy

If your symptoms largely involve mood problems, you may want to pick up some low-fat yogurt. There have been a number of studies suggesting that calcium could decrease the severity of this in addition to easing other PMS symptoms.

While you could ask a doctor about supplements, the benefits appear to be the highest when the nutrient comes from food sources. Aside from yogurt, you may also choose from low-fat milk, cheese, fortified orange juice, or soy milk to get your recommended intake for the day.

4. Limit alcohol and caffeine

"Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration which can leave people more susceptible to cramps," sexologist Dr. Marie Stubbs told Elite Daily. In 2018, a study from Spain also suggested that common PMS symptoms may be eased by reducing how much you drink. This was attributed to alcohol possibly altering hormones like gonadotropin.

While you are at it, try going easy on the coffee as well. Too much caffeine, especially later in the day, could lead to reduced sleep quality. This, in turn, can make you tired and worsen existing PMS symptoms.