Use nutrition & diet to tackle PMS symptoms

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Grrrrr. If PMT is getting you down, altering your diet could be the natural remedy...

Bowl of chips

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Why should women have to grin and bear the frustrating symptoms of PMS? In an act of defiant foot stamping, we went on the hunt to find a natural way to tackle the root causes of PMT.

Natalie Braithwaite, a Nutritional Therapist at Nuffield Health, explained simply altering what you eat could have a huge affect on those pesky premenstrual annoyances.

'When it comes to PMS and other menstrual disorders, women are often frustrated with the lack of understanding and proper care they receive from conventional sources. Oral contraceptives seem to be the treatment of choice for many of these complaints and although artificial stabilisation of hormones can bring relief for the issues of PMS, it does not help to find the cause of the problem

Nutrition Therapy has much to offer for PMS sufferers as it targets the root of the problem, helping women unravel the cause of their PMS.

Hormonal Balance
Low blood sugar is common prior to a period and once blood sugar levels are balanced the symptoms often disappear.

Foods to avoid
Reduce animal fats, fast foods, and heavy, rich processed meats like sausages or burgers.

All high-salt foods (crisps, salted peanuts, processed meat) as they can contribute to water retention associated with PMS.

Stimulants such as alcohol, sugar, tea, and coffee, caffeine in any form, fizzy drinks, chocolate, cakes and pastries can all cause imbalanced blood sugar levels.

Foods to help balance hormones:
Eat breakfast – oat based cereal such as oats porridge with some berries, a small handful of sunflower seeds, cinnamon and a little manuka honey may help balance blood sugar levels until lunch time.

Drink more water and calming teas such as chamomile.

Choose good quality protein such as eggs, chicken, turkey , cottage cheese and cooked tofu.

Fiber slows down the release of sugar from your food, so include lots of brightly coloured vegetables (e.g. sweet potato) and dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. broccoli), along with lentils, pulses, beans (like hummus or 3 bean salad) nuts and seeds.

Snack on healthy foods between meals such as fruit, oat cakes, raw vegetable sticks and hummus.

Exercise and stress reduction have been clearly documented for reducing symptoms of PMS.'

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