In part I we talked about a diet related approach to PMS. In part II, I want to continue with this theme of food and offer a list of things to consider limiting or eliminating all together to reduce or in some cases completely rid symptoms of PMS. As I mentioned in part I of this post, diet trumps all when it comes to combating PMS.
Here are my top 3 things to avoid if you suffer from PMS and are looking to improve your condition:
2. Refined Sugar
Yes, you read that right. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you! I know, I know shoot me now! This is the part everyone hates, but I promise you well worth it in the long term. Eliminate coffee or have coffee as a treat occasionally. Most of my clients will agree that this is the hardest dietary restriction of all for hormone balance, estrogen dominance and PMS. Most people love their morning cup of java and the short term boost of energy it gives them.
The long term effects of coffee consumption on women’s health is still not completely known. That being said, many women report feelings of irritability, digestive distress, headaches breast tenderness and so much more.
Caffeine and in particular coffee, can contribute to emotional highs and lows, feelings of anger, a short fuse, anxiety and even depression. Those who are prone to anxiety and depression in particular in their premenstrual state are best to completely eliminate coffee.
Coffee also depletes good bacteria (all those probiotics you hear about on tv), B-vitamins, B-6 (especially important for flushing out excess water retention) magnesium, leaches calcium from teeth and bones and creates high acidity in the body. All of this can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency, and exasperate symptoms of hormone imbalance and especially PMS.
Try instead drinking herbal/caffeine free teas as a replacement to coffee. Alternatives such as roasted chicory and barley, green tea, matcha tea, peppermint tea or oolong tea are much healthier options and can still provide a natural boost of energy for those looking for a morning kick-start. Though most of of us don’t think of it as such, coffee is a drug and seriously messes with your hormones and brain chemistry.
Reduce or Avoid Refined Sugar & Carbohydrates
Next to eliminating coffee, this is probably one of the most effective dietary tips in treating PMS. Studies have shown that reducing refined sugars and carbohydrates can have a profound effect on reducing symptoms of PMS including sugar cravings. High sugar consumption can affect blood sugar levels and cause major insulin fluctuation leading to hormone imbalance.
Anxiety, irritability, depression, anger and fatigue are just a few of the negative side effects that sugar consumption can create in the PMS-prone woman. For some women, even the smallest amount of refined sugars in the diet can worsen and aggravate symptoms.
Try reducing or completing eliminating refined sugars and carbohydrates including: baked goods and products made with white flour and sugar, high fructose corn syrup, chocolate, etc. When those sugar cravings hit go for natural sources of sugar such as fruits (frozen bananas) and toasted nuts and seeds are a great way to curb cravings.
What female doesn’t love a good piece of chocolate! I’m guilty as charged! Chocolate full of sugar and caffeine wreaks havoc on our pretty little bodies and kills hormone balance. If you suffer from swollen painful breasts leading up to your period cut out the chocolate completely. Chocolate consumption can elevate estrogen levels and increase water retention within the breasts stretching the tissue and causing pain.
Stay posted next week for the #1 and most effective way to reduce and eliminate PMS.