What to eat for… PMS

Glamour (South Africa) - - Health -

Aching boobs, er­ratic mood swings, cramps and bloat­ing, you know the score. “Women who eat a bal­anced diet, not filled with junk food high in sugar and sat­u­rated fats, are less likely to suf­fer – it’s about run­ning your en­gine on the right fuel,” says Gaynor Bus­sell, a di­eti­cian spe­cial­is­ing in women’s health. “Roughly di­vide your diet into 40% carbs, 30% fats and 30% pro­tein.” Then add these foods:

Dairy Cal­cium is your friend. Many stud­ies have linked high cal­cium to low PMS. Women who con­sumed a combo of 400g cal­cium and 400iu vi­ta­min D have the same re­duc­tion in PMS symp­toms as those tak­ing a con­tra­cep­tive pill. “It seems more ef­fec­tive if the cal­cium and vi­ta­min D come from your diet, so con­sume the equiv­a­lent of 500ml of milk a day – for ex­am­ple, drink 150ml of milk with a matchbox-sized piece of cheese or a small 125g yo­ghurt,” says Gaynor.

Turmeric Re­searchers found those who boosted their in­take of this su­per spice ex­pe­ri­enced less PMS symp­toms within three cy­cles. “More re­search is needed, but re­cent tri­als are ex­cit­ing,” says Gaynor. “It’s be­ing sug­gested that coloured spices and berries, such as turmeric and blue­ber­ries, play a role by fight­ing the in­flam­ma­tion at the root of many ill­nesses.”

Al­co­hol Well, at least cut back: al­co­hol messes with blood sugar lev­els that worsen your monthly mis­ery. “It also low­ers your stores of B vi­ta­mins, which are thought to be in­volved in the pro­duc­tion of neu­ro­trans­mit­ters such as sero­tonin (what you need to reg­u­late your mood) and the proper me­tab­o­lism of pro­ges­terone (the hor­mone that stim­u­lates the uterus to pre­pare for preg­nancy), both fac­tors thought to be in­volved in the pre­ven­tion of PMS,” says Gaynor.

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