What to eat for… PMS
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.