It’s something I’ll never experience as a man, but having grown up with three sisters in the house I know that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is not for the faint hearted — especially if you are one of the unlucky ladies suffering with severe symptoms including breast tenderness, bloating, weight gain, clumsiness, headaches, mood swings, depression, tiredness, fatigue, anxiety, feeling out of control and anger, to mention but a few.
It’s no wonder that for some women, that time of the month can be so bad it triggers a complete emotional and physical meltdown.
The magic seven
According to digestive health expert and founder of the health and well-being website Just for Tummies, Linda Booth, eating certain foods can help ease PMS symptoms, from bloating to those unpleasant mood swings.
And just in case you wondered, chocolate is definitely on the list.
Here are Linda Booth’s top 7 PMS-busting foods:
- Brown rice: Packed with soluble fibre, brown rice will help to keep your bowels regular and remove any excess toxins and hormones from building up and recirculating around the body.
- Hummus: Made with chickpeas, olive oil, lemon and garlic, hummus acts as an anti-inflammatory and can help relieve pain associated with PMS.
- Leafy Greens: Spinach and kale are rich in magnesium, which is a natural painkiller that can help to prevent painful spasms of the uterus and intestines.
- Avocados: This superfood is packed with healthy saturated fats, fibre, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6. According to Booth, the unique combination of nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in avocados can help absorb and eliminate the prostaglandins, or pain chemicals present during PMS. She adds: ‘Fibre absorbs these chemicals like a sponge and carries them out of the body with our wastes.’
- Dark chocolate: Organic dark chocolate with a minimum of 65 per cent cocoa solids contains magnesium to increase energy and endorphins to improve your mood. So, if you’re going to indulge with some comfort food, opt for the dark stuff… not the sugary milk chocolate variety.
- Pineapple: Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which aids in muscle relaxation — making it ideal for those painful cramps that can have you doubling over.
- Watermelon Juice: Fresh juice from fruits and vegetables with high water content can help relieve pre-menstrual bloating and water retention. The key here is ‘fresh’… be careful of juices made from concentrate or that are laden with added sugar and preservatives.
In addition, you can also snack on watermelon seeds, which are naturally rich in fibre, magnesium and potassium.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Just for tummies by Linda Booth, justfortummies.co.uk
Revealed: The foods to eat to beat PMS, published online 23.01.17, dailymail.co.uk