How does food impact your PMS symptoms?

While experiencing PMS, what you consume can impact your energy and symptoms.

December 13, 2023
How does food impact your PMS symptoms?

The food we intake impacts the way our body functions and feels every day. This should especially be taken into consideration when it comes to your menstrual cycle.

While your body is going through its monthly cycle and changing the way you feel, your diet should give you the nutrients you need to feel your best.While experiencing PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), what you consume can be the difference between having energy and reducing your symptoms, or feeling even more bloated and fatigued than usual.

What you should be eating depends on what your PMS symptoms are. For example, if you experience breast tenderness, bloating, or swollen hands, reducing your sodium intake can help to improve those symptoms. Doctors recommend cooking your own food, as a lot of fast food and takeout can have lots of hidden sodium in it. Specific foods like deli meats, canned soup, pizza, certain breads, and salted nuts can contain high amounts of sodium and should be avoided during your cycle.

To avoid fatigue, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake is highly recommended. This is because both substances can create sleeping problems due to how they affect your energy. Caffeine can cause problems with your sleep schedule by keeping you up when you should be sleeping, or even cause a caffeine crash. Alcohol works in the opposite way by making you sleepy and potentially causing you to sleep more than you need.

A much better alternative is to simply drink plenty of water. As boring as it sounds, water reduces bloating and aids in digestion, which can be an issue during that time of the month. If plain water sounds too mundane, you can add sprigs of mint or rosemary, or even add your favorite fruits to create more flavour.

As for what you should be eating, sticking to the basic food groups is your best option.Eating nutrient-rich foods like low-fat dairy products, fish, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, and unsalted nuts can greatly reduce any kind of bloating, nausea, indigestion, mood swings, and hormone imbalances.

Certain studies have hypothesized that increasing your vitamin D intake can reduce multiple PMS symptoms. Foods rich in vitamin D like oysters, salmon, oranges, egg yolks, and certain cheeses can be implemented into your diet. There are also plenty of vitamin D supplements on the market that can be taken once a day.

While you are experiencing PMS symptoms, taking care of your body should be your first priority. It may not seem like it at the time, but what your body consumes directly affects the severity of your symptoms. If you are frequently having symptoms that affect your day-to-day functioning, please seek help from a medical professional. Your diet is very important to your health but does not account for everything - some PMS symptoms need to be treated with medication or medical intervention.

Original article written by: Mary Bourke on Aug 26, 2021 

Edited by: Rebecca Gouthro on July 14, 2022

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