If you feel like the real life equivalent of a blimp in a bad mood before every period, know that you are not alone. So my snarky (hey, during PMS only) sisters, let’s state this upfront while there are many great things about being a girl, PMS is definitely not part of that list!
So what is the deal? you ask. Well, simply put about a week or so before every period you might experience some shifts on the physical and emotional front. Now, these shifts might be negligible or prominent (to you) or vary in terms of their intensity. You might become a cranky crane or become moody and prickly at the very least (This is a lighthearted lowdown to cheer you up, guys so don’t take offence). According to Dr. David Bull, you could experience a headache or tender breasts. You might also feel bloated. Some experts deem these changes might be linked to falling levels of estrogen and progesterone. While more research needs to be done in this regard, you can make some proactive food choices in order to contain the emotional circus. Remember to always consult with your doctor beforehand.
(The writer is not a medical or health professional and the information contained in this article as well as tips and suggestions are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult with your doctor or health practitioner before embarking on making any changes to your diet or eating regimen.)
Stock your pantry with these items:
When your periods are about to bring on the moody blahs switching to whole grains might help. A fall in serotonin levels due to fluctuating hormones (estrogen and progesterone) might take a toll on your emotional state. Wholegrain cereals boost your serotonin levels pushing your overall mood on the up and up. They provide a simple pick-me-up plan. Go for the raw, unprocessed version of all things white and willowy. Switch from white to whole meal or brown. Whole wheat flour (gluten alert), whole grain pasta, brown rice are some of the examples.
Seeds are a super savior. Remember pals, do eat them in moderation. Sunflower seeds are a superb option. These sunny mood alleviators contain some good stuff called Pyridoxyn which is vitamin B6. According to healwithfood.org pyridoxine has exhibited a beneficial effect on those experiencing anxiety as well as breast tenderness. Other varieties of the good stuff such as pumpkin and flaxseeds bring their own nutritional advantages to the table.
Stock your fridge with these items:
Vitamin D is the bomb when it comes to absorbing calcium as well as exorcising those crazy PMS symptoms.Fish such as mackerel, herrings and salmon are your friends in your fight against PMS, as they are loaded with vitamin D. Tuna (Fresh not canned) is a brilliant source of Omega 3 Fatty acids and magnesium which also alleviate symptoms.
Broccoli This is truly a champ for PMS. It facilitates with the process of keeping your hormones on an even keel and balanced. The miracle ingredient are indoles-compounds which play a pivotal role in this regard. Try your broccoli steamed, stir fried or as a desi sabzi or soup.
Peas These fibre rich wonders work wonderfully to provide relief for cramps. Add a green touch to your soups, use steamed as an accompaniment. Hardcore desis, use them in gravy or saalan.
Beetroot This rad (very retro, we know) root vegetable is full of vitamin C. The vibrant veggie possesses anti- inflammatory properties and helps ease pain. It makes a lovely addition to soups and salads.
Keep in a kitchen basket:
5) Sweet Potatoes
Whip this vitamin C rich delight into mouthwatering baked fries. They are quite filling when eaten baked with a sumptuous dip. Period pain, be gone or at least ease up! (hopefully)
6) Stay away from:
Processed, refined, sugar rich foods. Slash cakes, fizzy drinks, chips and coffee off your list. Cutting down on salt is beneficial when you want to give bloating the boot! Ditto for sugary snacks. It is a good idea to keep your blood sugar levels stable during this period. This might contribute positively to keeping those PMS symptoms in check. Gorging on candies will make your sugar levels go up and down faster than a yo-yo- not a good strategy to combat mood swings!
Bauer, J. 5 FoodsThat Fight PMS
Blumberg, P.O. 16 Foods to Beat cramps, Bloating, and More PMS Symptoms. 18 Nov, 2016.
Lichterman, C. Study: Reduce PMS problems with popcorn.
11 Diet Changes That Help You Fight PMS. 10 Oct 2014.
Qubrossi, V. Best Food for PMS. 27 Aug 2019
Singleton, B. Best Foods to Eat While on Your Period. 18 Dec 2018
Bull, D (Dr.). 1999. What Every Girl Should Know. Great Britain: Element Children’s Books.
2015. 100 Health Boosting Foods. London: Octopus Publishing