One of the most asked questions I get in my direct messages every week is, what can I eat to help with PMS? I have my period, and the cramps are terrible, are there any foods the can help? To this I always give a few of my favourite anti-inflammatory foods but also suggest incorporating the Perfect PMS Diet all month long. Your period is like a report card for your health, it’s like a monthly check-in that says what’s working and what’s not working for you. What you eat, your lifestyle, your bowel movements, your hydration, your stress levels, all of these play a huge part in your PMS. So, here it is, the perfect PMS diet that will leave you feel balanced and nourished all month long. When your period rolls around, you won’t feel super crappy, bloated, crampy, and/or poopy.
Healthy fats are the foundation of healthy hormones. In order to build healthy sex hormones, we need to be consuming healthy fats. What are healthy fats:
– coconut oil
– olive oil
Foods like salmon and other fatty fish (mackerel, trout, sardines, cod) are also rich in Omega 3. Omega 3 is broken down into two essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are great anti-inflammatory compounds. This means, when you are on your period, these compounds will help mitigate some of the crampy, body aches, and overall soreness, thanks to their anti-inflammatory compounds.
Healthy fats are also filling, satisfying, and blood sugar balancing will also contributes to healthy hormones.
Protein is essential for a healthy diet. One of the key parts to the Perfect PMS Diet is hormone balance. You can’t balance your hormones when you have unstable blood sugar and when the blood sugar hormone insulin is out of whack. Protein is super great at keeping blood sugar balanced, keeping you full, and feeling nourished. Protein is in so many foods, whether you eat meat or not. Meat is typically easier for your body to digest and is less inflammatory that foods like legumes and beans and soy. That is not to say you can’t consume protein from plant sources, it’s just a little note to consider. Another anti-inflammatory, gut healing source of protein is collagen. You can also get collagen in bone broth and gelatin. These sources of protein are super healing for the gut and the entire body.
I love getting as much fibre as possible from veggies, seeds, and nuts. It’s completely do-able. This keeps your diet super anti-inflammatory and whole food based. What’s fibre have to do with PMS? When we don’t consume enough fibre, we don’t excrete hormones effectively. Fibre is key for healthy bowel movements, elimination, and detoxification. Fibre binds to toxins and excess hormones to eliminate them from the body. My favourite sources of fibre:
– Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, coconut)
– Seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia)
– Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
– Fibre rich veggies (asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots)
– Beans & Legumes (lentils, black beans, chickpeas)
What to do when PMS strikes?
Ginger tea and red raspberry leaf tea are my go-to’s. Ginger tea is very soothing. It helps to soothe nausea and is very anti-inflammatory. Meanwhile, Red Raspberry Leaf is a uterine tonic, strengthening the walls of the uterus. It’s also rich in nutrients like magnesium (great for soothing muscle contractions) and is amazing for balancing hormones (perfect for normalizing bleeding and flow).
Magnesium supplementation is also helpful, you can high dose magnesium to get the best benefits, taking 400-600mg is a good place to start and gauge how you feel.
One last note, which may not be a very popular one. Try limiting coffee, especially during your period. Coffee can contribute to inflammation in the body and can cause even more stress on your adrenal glands (which are responsible for secreting cortisol, your stress hormone). Coffee can also exacerbate anxiety, so if you find you get anxious or “moody” during your period, cutting coffee could be a tremendous help for you.
What are your favourite PMS and period hacks?
Leave them in the comments to help a friend out!