The dos and don’ts of PSM, strategies to help curve your symptoms and cravings
- Calcium and Vitamin D. High calcium foods and a high intake of calcium, about 1200 milligrams a day (recommended intake for a woman between 19-50 years is 1000 mg). To get this, aim for at least three servings of calcium rich foods a day; low fat milk, cheese, yoghurt, fortified orange juice or soy milk. Studies showed intake of 700mg of vitamin D (RDI is 600 IU), also reduced symptoms of PMS. Adequate intake of Vitamin D from diet alone is difficult, salmon and fortified milk are good sources, women can increase this intake with a multivitamin or supplement. Many calcium supplemts also contain vitamin D. Calcium is suspected to work with neurotransmitters to relieve symptoms of depression, while Vitamin D may also influence emotional change.
- Dont skip breakfast or meals. Eating regular meals and snacking throughout the day will stabilise blood so gar level and reduce irritability.
- Include whole grains: lean protein, fruits and vegetables. Research shows that women with higher intakes of thiamine (Vitamin B-1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) have significantly lower symptoms and occurrence of PMS. This was true for women who got B-vitamins from food, but not from supplements.
- Limit sugar intake: Shifting levels of oestrogen and progesterone decrease levels of serotonin in the brain. The changes affect mood and trigger PMS symptoms. Research shows that women with PMS symptoms may intake 200-500 more calories a day. Additional calories typically come from fats, carbohydrates or sweet food. Eating sugar will release endorphins that mimic serotonin, naturopaths suggest eating whole grains instead.
- PMDD and PMS. Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS, affecting fewer women, it is characterised by more predominant emotional symptoms.
- Don’t overlook salt. Reducing processed foods or heavily processed foods will reduce bloating and fluid retention. Drinking plenty of water will help to rid the body of excess sodium.
- Consider supplements like multivitamins, vitamin B-6, Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium.
- Lifestyle habits. Being physical helps reduce PMS symptoms, exercise, walking, or activities that relax the mind like yoga , deep breathing or sitting outdoors.