The Best Food for PMS Period

April 12, 2010

PMS known as Premenstrual Syndrome affects about one-third and one half of American Women. Symptoms vary for each individual, there are about 150 symptoms known, some are breast tenderness, anxiety and food cravings. PMS usually occurs about 10 days to 2 weeks before the menstruation.

Many don’t know but food can make a huge difference when it comes to going through the cycle. Calcium has a mood lifting chemistry. Researcher Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD compared women who had PMS and those who had mild symptoms for over a ten year period. Her and her team discovered that women who drank or ate 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D were less likely to develop mood swings, bloating, pre-period cramps and other related symptoms.

The group had about 4 servings of fat-free or low-fat milk, orange juice, low-fat dairy or yogurt. According to research psychologist James G. Penland, PHD says that calcium controls the hormone in the brain that is known to affect the mood. This mineral also relaxes the muscles which contracts when cramping.

Magnesium also controls mood swings during your period. A number of studies have shown that women who lack magnesium in their bodies are the ones with PMS. If you have low levels of this mineral, you probably have low levels of dopamine, it is a brain chemical that affects the mood, says Melvyn Werbach, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Healing Through Nutrition and Nutritional Influencies on Illness.

After doing a study on 28 women for a 2 month period, those who had a serving of 360 milligrams of magnesium a day had less depression, mood swings, bloating, cramps and other symptoms. Vitamin B6 is good for lowering premenstrual syndrome effects such as depression, irritability and fatigue. Vitamin B6 also helps balance hormones by lowering the levels of estrogen says Dr. Werbach.

We tend to have a sweet tooth during PMS because our blood sugar levels tend to be low. No one knows why this happens and when we get the cravings for something sweet it usually isn’t something healthy that comes to mind. Cookies, chocolate, cake, etc are the first to think of. When having these cravings carbohydrates calms the sweet tooth because they absorb more slowly then sugary foods.

Some doctors recommend that we eat whole-grain pasta, whole-grain cereal or bread every 3 hours to control the sugar cravings during PMS. Certain women might not be able to eat wheat because it contains gluten it’s a protein that can increase bloating and weight gain. Good sources of complex carbohydrates are rice cakes topped with a little peanut butter, oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, dried beans, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Carrots, turnips, and parsnips and dark green leafy veggies like collard greens and mustard greens are concentrated sources of calcium and magnesium. Watch out for foods high in saturated fat too. Fatty foods make premenstrual symptoms worse. Eating foods in Omega-3 fatty acids helps control it as well. Salmon, chunk light tuna and Spanish mackerel are loaded with this nutritional mineral. There are vitamins you can take as well like an Omega-3 health supplement which relieves muscle cramps. It is also good for healthy hair and nails.

Categories: Women's Issues.

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