How to reduce PMS by Tweaking Your Diet

Do you have food sensitivities and digestive troubles? Do you sometimes suffer from PMS? Well, if you're looking for answers, Christina Najjar, RHN and Clinical Practitioner is here to help make those issues easy to navigate! The best part? She's doing it right on Meal Garden, and is the latest addition to our Meal Expert program - at your service!

We asked Christina to share some tips about what foods to eat to help reduce PMS's her advice:

You’re out for dinner with your family, when you feel those darn cramps come on and worsen by the second. Then, that splitting headache begins, and you can’t even focus on what’s going on around you anymore. Did mom say something? You try to put together a one word answer so she’ll get off your back and you can go back to suffering in silence. You don’t WANT to be mean, but you can’t help it right now.

If your PMS looks a little like that, there is something you should know. It’s not a normal reaction, and it’s not just “part of being a woman”.

PMS, short for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, is a category of symptoms that includes cramping, mood swings, bloating, acne, headaches, and the list goes on. PMS is the result of imbalances in the body.

Two of the female sexual hormones, estrogen and progesterone, need to be in balance with each other. Many women who suffer from PMS have too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. This can often be the result of a sluggish liver that struggles to regulate hormones as it should.

In some cases, excess estrogen is also the result of slow digestion. When estrogen has fulfilled its purpose in the body, it is “deactivated” by the liver. It then exits the body through the digestive system. If it takes too long to move through your digestive system, some organisms in your gut can reactivate it, and it circulates in your body again.

But don’t despair! Nutrition is your friend.

In order to support your liver, eat cruciferous vegetables. These are vegetables from the cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, kale, radishes, beets and many more. They contain a compound called I3C which assists your liver with detoxification. They also contain some B vitamins that are essential for the health of your reproductive system - to reduce PMS. Combine some of these vegetables with this fibre-rich side dish:

In addition to these foods, it is a good idea to reduce inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar. Inflammation leads to PMS symptoms in many people. Reducing these foods may seem like a big commitment, but it’s much easier to do with fresh ingredients than packaged foods. Try this recipe:

And pair it with this salad:

Or, if you don’t eat meat, try something like this:

While making these changes won’t get rid of your PMS symptoms overnight, they can help reduce symptoms over the long term. If you need relief right away and don’t want to use drugs, download the PMS Survival Guide.

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