Is your menstrual cycle taking over your life?
You may have noticed that your menstrual cycle influences your mood, energy levels, appetite, digestion, and sleep throughout the month. Using the principles of integrative and functional medicine, here are my top tips to improve PMS symptoms with targeted nutrition, physical activity, and other lifestyle tweaks. Read on to learn more!
? ☕️ Sugar, Salt, Alcohol, and Caffeine
Highly processed foods full of sodium, saturated fat, and sugar can worsen PMS symptoms like bloating, irritability, energy drain, and food cravings. Alcohol and caffeine also can exacerbate symptoms. I recommend reducing intake of these food up to a week ahead of the start of your period. Get plenty of fluids from water, herbal teas, and focus on small balanced meals high in fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Calcium, Vitamin D, and B Vitamins
Increasing calcium and vitamin-rich foods may help reduce or prevent PMS symptoms due to the link between calcium and estrogen. Foods rich in B-vitamins may also lessen PMS severity because of their relationship to the metabolism of happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Focus on whole grains, legumes, nuts, and dark green leafy veggies.
? ☀️ Physical Activity and Stress Management
Movement is proven to better your mood, reduce fatigue, and help with pain management. My favorite yoga poses for PMS include the forward fold, bridge, bow pose, and seated or standing twists, which may stimulate blood flow and oxygen to the abdominal area. Of course, reducing stress is essential during PMS. Try dancing, walking in nature, and doing activities you enjoy for an endorphin boost to lighten your mood, spirit, and bring joy to your body.
Herbal Supplements, Minerals, and More:
For more on the nutrients I recommend to improve PMS, along with my analysis of helpful herbal supplements, check out my latest piece in Health and Wellness Magazine.
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