«There’s a scientific reason women jones for junk food in the days preceding and during that time of the month. Estrogen, testosterone and progesterone—the main reproductive hormones—plummet in the days leading up to your period and remain low for the first few days of it, according to gynecologist Rebecca Booth, M.D., author of “The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle…at Any Age.”
“This sharp decline in hormones results in falling levels of mood-supporting brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, causing cravings for foods that elevate them, like chocolate (dopamine) and starchy foods (serotonin),” explains Dr. Booth.»
Avoid PMS in the first place
Women who consume adequate amounts of B vitamins riboflavin and thiamine have significantly lower risk of experiencing PMS.
- Add leafy greens and dairy to your diet for good sources of riboflavin.
- Load up on thiamine with whole grains such as oats, wheat and brown rice, as well as beans, peas and lentils.
- Calcium and vitamin D provide extra benefits for women with PMS. Find calcium in low-fat sources such as yogurt, milk and cheese, and vitamin D in wild salmon, tuna and sardines.
What to eat during PMS?
- Kick start your day with a hearty breakfast rich in fiber and protein, such as yogurt with fiber cereal, which will keep you feeling full for longer and less likely to reach for a sugar-filled
- , start snacking. Keep healthy, nutrient-dense snacks prepped and at your fingertips. You can make your own trail mix by combining unsweetened whole-grain cereal, sunflower seeds and dried
Go for some:
mealtime, boost your consumption of essential fatty acids, which may improve the brain’s processing of dopamine and serotonin.
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- fatty fish such as salmon, or fish oil supplements
—all of which are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Make an effort to eat foods that contain iron to help replace the loss of this nutrient during menstruation, plant proteins to stabilize blood sugar and B vitamins and polyphenols to help offset hormonal and mood changes caused by menstruation.
Try the following:
- Nuts, nut butters, seeds and soybeans to stabilize your blood sugar.
- Spinach, lentils and chickpeas to boost your iron level.
- Blueberries and raspberries to help offset the symptoms of low estrogen.
- Dark chocolate, packed with polyphenols, to elevate mood.
Video: 5 Foods that fight PMS (Dr. Oz • Popsugar Fitness)
What do you usually crave? Do you have other tips for these days?
Let us know!