About a week ago, a fellow blogger asked about natural solutions for pms (premenstrual) symptoms. PMS typically start during the second half of the menstrual cycle, which is 14 days or more after the first day of your last menstrual period and go away 1-2 days after your cycle starts. Some common physical symptoms include: Bloating or feeling gaseous, breast tenderness, clumsiness, constipation or diarrhea, food cravings, headache, and less tolerance for noises and lights.
Other symptoms that women have reported include: confusion, difficulty concentrating, or forgetfulness, fatigue and feeling slow or sluggish, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, feelings of tension, anxiety, or edginess, irritable, hostile, or aggressive behavior, with outbursts of anger toward self or others, loss of sex drive, mood swings, poor judgment, poor self-image, feelings of guilt, or increased fears, and sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little).
Wow…that is a lot to experience. But your cycle shouldn’t have to be a culmination of all these emotions and irritants. It is a great time to detox and give your body a break as it cleanses.
Here are 5 ways you can lessen the effects of pms naturally.
Experiencing those cravings for the salty chips and the sweet candies will eventually increase your symptoms. While I encourage you to have a whole foods plant-based diet most of the time, it is especially helpful at least 1 week before your pms symptoms arrive. Plant-based just means that most of your meals are comprised of non-animal products and refined foods. So if you do have a protein on your plate, it should be mostly vegetables. Eat lots of good carbs like fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, quinoa and brown rice, and up your intake of raw nuts and seeds. Avoid the refined carbs like white flour, sugar, pasta, and dairy. Too much protein can take a toll on your body, so keep it simple. You will surely get enough protein just in making sure your have enough of the foods listed.
Whether you take a brisk walk, run, or yoga, by increasing the blood flow and working up a sweat, you will not only allow your body to flush excess fluid, you will release endorphins into your body. Endorphins are hormones that act as the body’s natural pain relief and increase the “feel-good” moments. Try incorporating a form of exercise at least 20 minutes a day into your regiment.
Potassium has the ability to reduce bloating and water retention. Some sources of potassium are coconut water, onions, bananas, figs (it is fresh fig season), tomatoes, greens, raisins, dates, strawberries, and melons. About a week before your cycle, coconut water should be your beverage of choice.
Caffeine can add more edge to an already irritable time. Rooibos tea in the day time is a great choice; It has properties that reduce hypertension, anti-spasmodic agents (so eases cramps), is anti-inflammatory, and good for bones since it is rich in minerals, manganese, and calcium. Chamomile before bed will help calm and soothe your for a restful sleep.
I use to use a product called Estroven PMS that worked wonders for cramps. But since changing my diet years ago, I no longer have a need to take a supplement. If you need some extra support as you make transitions, here are three products that have raving reviews from women who experience pms symptoms: Nature’s Way PMS Capsules, Oona PMS Tablets, and Natrol Women’s Pms Control Capsules
Symptoms courtesy of PubMed Health