Throughout your cycle, do you
- Feel bloated?
- Crave sugar?
- Crave salt?
- Feel fatigued?
- Feel anxious?
Ladies, we’ve all been there. Post ovulation, we begin to feel the premenstrual symptoms. We don’t want to see anyone, we want to roll-up in a fetal position and god forbid anyone gets in our way. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, experiencing PMS is your body telling you there’s a hormonal imbalance. PMS may be common amongst us all, but it’s not normal. It’s time we listen to our bodies, minimize our symptoms, and live fully 365 days of the year.
“PMS relates to the estrogen-progesterone imbalance, particularly reactions to the increased estradiol levels. During the second half of the cycle, after ovulation, progesterone levels normally rise, while estrogen levels also rise slightly. Low progesterone levels seem to be the main factor in PMS symptoms.” (Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. 2006)
Addressing the root cause of your symptoms requires looking at our lifestyle and habits. What stressors or stimulants should you reduce? What nutrients should you incorporate? There are certain food stressors, irritants and stimulants that may contribute to PMS issues or make them worse.
Limit the following
- Refined foods
- Processed and chemical foods
- High-salt foods
- Red meats
“In Chinese medicine assessment, eating a high amount of sugar in the diet is associated with more menstrual irregularities and PMS symptoms.” (Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. 2006)
“Stress is a huge factor in women’s premenstrual symptoms.”
A balanced and wholesome diet high in nutrients will help reduce symptoms. Ensure you incorporate lots of whole grains, leafy greens, vegetables, fruit, and good sources of protein and fats. The most important nutrients to incorporate are vitamin B6 and magnesium. “Magnesium and Vitamin B6 may be effective in combination in reducing premenstrual stress, and vitamin B6 alone may reduce anxiety effectively in older women.” (McCabe D, Lisy K, Lockwood C, Colbeck M. The impact of essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc supplementation on stress levels in women: a systematic review. 2017.)
Supplement recommendations based on premenstrual symptoms
Anxiety, irritability and mood swings
Extra B vitamins (B complex)
Avoid chocolate, hard cheeses, and bananas
Sugar cravings, fatigue and headaches
Frequent small meals
Bloating, weight gain, and breast swelling and tenderness
Avoid food allergens, particularly wheat
Many women can treat PMS through nutrition, however, should you wish to incorporate supplements into your diet and/or symptoms persist, speak with your natural health care practitioner.
About Justyna Zarzeczny, Nutritionist in training
Justyna is a nutritionist in training whose focus is on seasonal eating and living, as well as personalized nutrition. She truly believes anyone can achieve a fulfilling and healthy life by tuning into their body, immersing themselves in nature and facing challenges with confidence and strength. Justyna founded ThriveWithTheSeasons.com, where she shares recipes, nutrition information and initiates meaningful conversations.