By Sara Bright
Oh well, it's PMS time again. Guess you will just have to suffer through it like a good girl and try not to offend anyone with your womanliness. Right? Wrong! PMS discomfort may be inevitable for most women but that doesn't mean that it's not treatable! Not only can you reduce your PMS cramping, bloating, and general discomfort, you can do it without having to choke down pills.
"PMS, cramping, heavy bleeding and other uncomfortable symptoms are a result of a dietary pattern than causes inflammation and raises estrogen levels," says Pamela Popper, Ph D. of The Wellness Forum."
You have always known that what you eat can have a dramatic impact on your life that goes beyond just how hungry you feel. Certain foods can elevate or depress moods, affect inflammation in the joints, increase or decrease water retention, and much more. Using the power of food and other natural methods, you can reduce or even eliminate some symptoms of PMS.
1 - Eat less meat, eat more veggies. "Consuming a lower-fat plant-based diet has been shown to reduce inflammation, decrease estrogen levels and also increase blood concentrations of sex hormone binding globulin, which deactivates estrogen in the system. These serve to reduce menstrual discomfort within a few cycles without the use of drug," Popper says.
2 - Get more sleep. "If a woman isn't feeling well during menstruation, the body may need more sleep or just rest! It's about honoring your body, eating well, sleeping well, exercising and taking time to rest and recuperate," says Rosalie Moscoe, RHN, RHCP. The loss of blood during PMS and menstruation robs the body of iron, which increases fatigue. Eat right and get some rest!
3 - Try some natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Tumeric and Fish Oil may help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Skip the supplements if you can and go straight for cold water fish like Tuna to get your Omega-3 fat and reduce swelling. There is nothing wrong with Ibuprofen, but we recommend taking OTC drugs only when really needed.
4 - Get moving. When the pain and swelling sets in, there is nothing you want to do more than lay down on the couch. While you should be getting plenty of rest, you also want to get up and do some light exercise. Exercise increases the body's production of endorphins and other "feel good" chemicals in addition to helping you get in better shape overall. 20 minutes of light exercise can reduce the pain perception for 2 or 3 hours afterwards.
5 - Skip the chips. Nothing is worse for PMS pain than junk food. All of those chips and ice creams that are loaded with saturated fats are just making the swelling and bloating even worse, so skip them during PMS.
Premenstrual discomfort is a women's health issue that we all have to endure but that doesn't mean that we have to take it laying down. Next time you feel the cramps and the bloating coming on, remember the five tips outlined above and use them to feel better.
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