Food For Thought: Types Of Foods That Alleviate PMS

So ladies, is it that time of the month again? Rollercoaster mood swings, agonizing cramps, pains and weird food cravings? Almost all women know the dreaded feeling when Aunt Flo comes to visit. We've all tried to alleviate the symptoms: painkillers, chocolate, hot water bottles, crap TV and giving out to everybody. Apparently there's an easier way - your diet actually plays a large role in PMS symptoms. Apparently, eating the wrong foods can make your suffering worse, but eating the right foods can seriously improve your hellish existence. The food we eat directly affects our hormones and fluctuating hormones contribute to your PMS systems. So it stands to reason that if we change the foods we eat, we can change from an angry hormonal dragon into an actual human being who isn't suffering from unfair and painful PMS systems. Here are six food types to help you deal with the pain:

1) Whole Grains

If you’re feeling grumpy - which, let's face it, you probably are - why not try reaching for some whole grains? They contain serotonin, your body’s feel-good chemical. Anything from oatmeal to quinoa to brown rice can help get you out of that PMS funk. Plus, they're full of fibre and will help keep things moving down below (in the toilet area), so you should really have included them in your diet anyway.

2) Vegetables Rich In Fluids

Vegetables which are high in fluids help to flush out any extra sodium in your body, and you know what extra sodium causes? Bloating. Broccoli, mushrooms, and artichokes are great examples of fluid-rich vegetables to eat when you feel like you’re carrying a little extra water-weight. Bloating is one of the most unattractive features of a woman's period.

3) Magnesium Rich Foods

Suffering from painful headaches? Magnesium helps decrease the risk of migraines when you’re PMSing. Having lower levels of magnesium in your diet can lead to increased risk of migraines. So fill up on spinach, pumpkin seeds, black beans and quinoa to help get rid of those head pains. Foods that are high in magnesium are an added bonus, and they also decrease bloating. Which, as I have already mentioned, sucks ass - you feel fat and do NOT look your best. Stupid mother nature.

4) Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Oh Omega-3! It seems my mother was right, I should have been taking these all the time. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost your mood when you're feeling crappy. Eggs, chia seeds and nuts are also high in omega-3. Tasty ways to make yourself feel a bit better, mood-wise anyway.

5) Calcium-Rich Foods

Studies show that calcium-rich foods can help reduce PMS symptoms, such as moodiness, food cravings, bloating, and cramping (thanks be to the universe). Eating dairy products is a lot more effective than taking supplements so, unless you have a lactose issue, load up on cheese, yoghurt, milk, ice-cream, chocolate... they all contain dairy right?

6) Water

OK granted, this isn't technically a food, and salt and sodium make our bodies hold onto water and bloat. So eat less salted foods (fast food etc..) and drink plenty of water. Basically, stay hydrated! Avoid too much alcohol (it dehydrates you, sorry!) but if you're willing to drink gallons of water while getting drunk, to counteract the dehydration effect, have all the tequila shots!

7) Whatever You Want!

Give in to your cravings, eat what you like. Your body is in pain and you should listen to your cravings. It might not be pretty, but your body is all you have right now. Binge on TV and eat chocolate, celebrate your love of food and let yourself be gross for a few days. You'll do better next month... maybe.

Orlaith Costello
Article written by
Orlaith is a Creative Writing graduate from NUI Galway. Hailing from the low lying fields of Athenry, or at least what’s left of the low lying fields. She enjoys the internet as a means of living vicariously through others from the safe confines of her own bed. She will initiate a dance off after at least two drinks on any given night out.

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