Simple Ways to Relieve PMS Symptoms

When that time of the month rolls around, it’s often difficult to just “go with the flow.” Premenstrual syndrome or PMS affects nearly 35 million women in the United States and about 85 percent experience at least one of the following symptoms: bloating, fatigue, cramping, breast tenderness, backaches, headaches, and mood swings. To make your time of the month a little more bearable, try some of these simple ways to relieve PMS.

Diet

One of the simplest things you can do to lessen the severity of PMS is to change your diet. And while you might think it means depriving yourself of the foods you love, that’s not the case. No one is asking you to give up all your favorite foods, but you will need to cut down on the junk and make more health-conscious choices.

To start, cut down on those salty snacks especially during the week before your period. Salt is notorious for causing bloating. To combat salt cravings, make some healthy substitutions. Try sunflower seeds or pistachios. Adding more spices to your foods can also help you stop the salt.

Watch your caffeine intake as well. Too much caffeine can lead to headaches, breast tenderness, mood swings, and insomnia. Instead of tea and coffee, try some herbal teas. Peppermint can give you an invigorating boost, while chamomile can help with cramps and aid sleep.

When you’re PMS-ing, you’re also likely to crave sugar, which can lead to fatigue and headaches. Again, no one says you need to go cold turkey on sweets, just choose some better options. Have fruit, frozen yogurt, a juice bar or smoothie. Even a few pieces of dark chocolate are helpful.

Supplements

PMS symptoms are often indicative of imbalances within the body. Hormones and nutrient levels often go awry during the various phases of the menstrual cycle. You can ease symptoms with supplements.

Boosting your calcium can alleviate your suffering. Several studies have found that PMS symptoms are lower in women with good calcium levels. In the week before your period, try taking a calcium supplement or simply eat more calcium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, almonds and dairy products.

Adding some more magnesium can ease cramps as it helps muscles to relax. Experts recommend a 400 to 600 mg supplement, but you’re better off eating pumpkin seeds, avocados or figs.

Exercise

The last thing you probably want to do when you’re feeling icky is to exercise, but forcing yourself can actually help your PMS. Go for a walk or better yet—go swimming. Water is both relaxing and therapeutic.

It may sound counterintuitive, but doing ab work or crunches can also help. These exercises help bring blood flow to the affected areas and loosen them up.

Gentle yoga is also an excellent way to relieve PMS. Certain poses can target the abdominal and uterine areas. Yoga also enhances the mind-body connection to help you relax.

So the next time that time of the month rolls around, you’ll find relief!

Photo: Pixabay

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