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Women > Reproduction > PMS and You

An Affliction Caused by Malnourishment and Poor Health

From about the the age of about twelve to fifty, women experience their menstrual cycle. In the course of a healthy woman's life, this cycle rarely causes problem or discomfort, unfortunately today many women find the process difficult or even distressing as many physical and emotional symptoms collectively known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS),  [premenstrual tension (PMT) or stress (PMS)], appear in the days prior to bleeding.

PMS may include abdominal cramps, constipation, painful joints, backaches, bloating, breast tenderness, craving, moodiness, headaches, migraines, water retention, fatigue, acne, decreased work or social performance, altered libido, anxiety, depression and other symptoms.

PMS is a fact of many women’s lives and is a problem which no medication which can adequately cure or prevent, and there is a growing amount of information that symptoms of PMS can be reduced or even eliminated by altering one's dietary intake.

Herbal medicines and nutritional supplements such as evening primrose, maca, flaxseed oil provide relief supporting the view that PMS may be caused by a nutritional imbalance or toxicity.

Symptoms

PMS symptoms can include abdominal cramps, constipation, painful joints, backaches, bloating, breast tenderness, cravings, moodiness, headaches, migraines, water retention, fatigue, acne, decreased work or social performance, altered libido, anxiety, depression and many other symptoms.

A Modern Disease

PMS is a fact of many women’s lives and is a problem which no doctor or medication which can adequately cure or prevent.

There is however a growing body of anecdotal evidence supporting that symptoms of PMS can be reduced or even eliminated by altering one's dietary intake. Herbal medicines and nutritional supplements such as evening primrose, maca and flaxseed oil provide relief supporting the view that PMS may be caused by a nutritional imbalance or toxicity.

Functional Whole foods
Certain foods when eaten can help to relieve the severity of symptoms associated with PMS and some foods when restricted have a positive outcome.

A healthy diet which includes complex carbohydrates - whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, potatoes, beans, rice, and whole grains helps to regulate blood sugars eliminate sugar cravings.

Fresh vegetables such as kale, collards, mustard greens, carrots, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, Brussels sprouts are high in nutrients that reduce PMS-related blood sugar and mood swings, and Fruits such as apples and pears contain fiber and less sugar all help ease heavy menstrual bleeding and premenstrual symptoms.

Calcium:
Abdominal cramping and muscular contractions which can occur as PMS can be relieved by eating high calcium foods such as Broccoli, Black Beans, Navy Beans, whole grain cereals, soybeans, spinach, bok choy, kale, corn, fish, tofu, almonds & oysters.

Magnesium:
Mood swings and food cravings are also known to be alleviated by magnesium which facilitates the absorption of calcium. Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium as are legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole unrefined grains. Try eating spinach, avocados, barley, oysters, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, buckwheat and almonds.

Vitamin B6:
Is often taken as a supplement to reduce depression, relieve cravings, fatigue, mood swings, fluid retention and bloating during periods. Foods rich in vitamin B6, include fish, tuna, chicken, turkey, pork, brown rice, barley, soy foods, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, mangoes, cantaloupe, sunflower seeds, and spinach.

Zinc.
Low zinc levels in women prone to PMS suggest that a diet rich in this important mineral may prevent PMS symptoms. Leading food source of zinc include barley, wheat, crab, oysters, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey.

Vitamin E.
Is often taken as a supplement to reduce breast tenderness, nervousness, depression, headache, fatigue, and insomnia. Vitamin E can be taken as a supplement and is found in broccoli, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, safflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, mangoes, avocadoes, apples, and blackberries.

A healthy diet with a normal eating routine helps overall good health. Besides diet, regular exercise and relaxation decreases premenstrual symptoms. Vitamin supplements or herbal preparations offer relief for many women experiencing menstrual difficulties.

PMS is no fun. It screws with your body and mind, and if you can sail through them without being affected, then you are in a fortunate minority.

Further reading
Menstrual cycle

Girl with a One-track Mind: Confessions of the Seductress Next Door





 

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