You’re tired, you’re bloated, your face is breaking out with acne, your stomach is cramping, your head is hammering, your back is breaking, you’re sad and mad and then suddenly sugary-smiley and all the chocolate and french fries in the world doesn't seem enough. You’re “PMSing.”
PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, is common, but different for different women: Some ladies don’t get it at all, some get hit like a hurricane; sometimes it lasts 2 days, sometimes it lasts 7.
Below, are some of the top natural remedies (nutrition and lifestyle based) that will help you lessen your PMS woes—maybe even eliminate them completely.
Why do we PMS?
PMS usually shows up the week before menstruation, and evolves often into a painful menstrual cycle. This is mostly due to dropping estrogen and progesterone levels. In order to reduce PMS, we want to keep hormone levels at a moderately balanced level all month long.
Top 5 Natural Remedies for Reducing PMS Symptoms
1. Consume the right fats: Healthy fats such as those from nuts and seeds are ESSENTIAL for good hormonal health. But do not go overboard with the quantity! 3 Tablespoons a day is the ideal upper limit, which can be split between meals or consumed together in one (such as in a dry fruit smoothie). Prioritize Omega-3 fats the most in your diet (sources: flax, chia, hemp, walnuts, fish). Omega-3s are not only anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy, but they have been shown to reduce many physical and psychiatric symptoms of PMS when 2,000 mg were consumed daily.
2. Get more fiber from plant foods: More fibre means ideal hormone levels, better digestion, and powerful immune system. Aim for a serving of veggies with every meal and 1-2 serving of fruits, plus a cup of cooked beans or lentils every day.
3. Take calcium and vitamin D: The best sources are plant milks (e.g., hemp, flax and nut milks – badam milk the commonest in india), kale, chia seeds, and other leafy greens. Sunshine is the richest source of vitamin D.
4. Increase intake of magnesium and vitamin B6: A combination of magnesium (250 mg) and vitamin B6 (40 mg) has been shown to significantly decrease PMS symptoms. Legumes, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli, and leafy greens are the best source.
As for vitamin B6, you probably will need to supplement. Food sources (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach, bananas) only provide about 30% of the recommended 1.7 mg that can relieve moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating and anxiety. Important: If taking B6 supplements, be sure to not exceed the tolerable upper limit of 100 mg per day.
5. Exercise and maintain healthy weight: Cardio exercises have been proven to minimize the physical and emotional changes that happen during PMS. Find an exercise that you like to do—running, power yoga, circuit training or whatever gets your heart pumping for about an hour 3 times a week. You’ll feel a whole lot better during menstruation time. A lower body fat percentage is associated with less PMS due to reduced circulating levels of hormones.
But DURING your periods, go easy on your workouts. Do not tax your body. You can opt for gentle yoga, walking etc.
A SMOOTHIE RECIPE TO REDUCE PERIODS PAIN
½ cup spinach
4 Macademia nuts / cashews (Maca is magical for periods pain)
½ banana (frozen)
¼ avocado 1 Tbsp yogurt
1 Tbsp Raw cocoa powder (available in Hershey's)
½ cup water
½ cup almond milk (made with almonds soaked overnight without adding dairy)
Blend and enjoy!
OPTION 2: THE GRANDMOTHER'S SOLUTION
Mix 2 tea-spoons of ghee in warm water and drink. This works like magic for most women, easing cramps within half an hour.