It’s About What you Eat…Period.

Sade Meeks

What if we were able to just eat our problems away? Well, when it comes to that time of the month and PMS symptoms, you can possibly minimize the irritability and bloating associated with that time of the month just by eating certain foods. Studies have shown that some women have experienced decreased symptoms of PMS from supplementation.

But first… What is PMS? For 40% of women, it involves 1-5 symptoms in at least consecutive menstrual cycles. These symptoms include fatigue, abdominal bloating, swelling of the hands or feet, headache, tender breasts, nausea, craving for sweet or salty foods, depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and social withdrawal. These symptoms can take a toll on a woman’s daily routine. Let’s face it when mother nature arrives, most women don’t embrace it with open arms. But that monthly visit doesn’t have to be a bad experience.

Some studies have shown that magnesium and calcium can reduce symptoms related to PMS. In regards to magnesium, it has been shown to decrease swelling, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating. Two hundred mg (Note that the upper intake level (UL) is 350 mg) a day in two consecutive menstrual cycles was shown to decrease the symptoms by the second cycle. You could go to the store and buy magnesium supplements, but there is a more fun way to increase your magnesium, and that is by eating! Dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, whole grains, and low fat dairy are packed with magnesium! Craving chocolate during that time of the month? Go for the dark chocolate next time, it has approximately 165 grams in one bar!

Perhaps you are the irritable girlfriend suffering from bad cramps during that time of the month. Food can be your tool as well! Calcium supplements have been shown to help decrease irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and cramps. In one study 1200 mg of calcium supplements were consumed for three consecutive cycles and there was a 48 % reduction in these symptoms. A similar study involved the consumption of 500 mg of calcium twice daily, yielding another decrease in symptoms.

Once again good news, you don’t have to go out and buy supplements, you can just eat! There are plenty foods packed with calcium. Lactose intolerant? Don’t worry, milk isn’t the only source of calcium. Dark greens, almonds, and edamame, are just a few of calcium packed foods.

Below are just some foods you can try adding in your diet during that time of the month!

Magnesium:

  • 1 cup cooked spinach: 100g o 1 cup almonds: 143 g
  • 3 oz salmon: 85 g
  • 1 cup soy beans: 172 g
  • 1 cup brown rice: 195 g
  • 1 avocado: 201 g
  • 1 cup plain non fat yogurt: 245 g o Medium banana: 33g
  • 1⁄2 fig: 75g
  • Dark chocolate bar : 162 g

Calcium:

  • 1 cup Milk: 305 mg
  • 1 cup kale: 101 mg
  • 1 cup edamame: 98 mg
  • Figs: 121 mg
  • 3.75 ounce can salmon: 232 mg o Half cup tofu: 434 mg
  • 1 ounce almonds: 75 mg

 

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