If you find yourself popping handfuls of Midol, scouring the office for chocolate and tearing a strip off of your poor, unsuspecting man every time PMS hits, read on. There are plenty of healthier, less destructive ways to deal with that dreaded premenstrual syndrome. They may even save you your relationship, job, friendship, etc.
Increase your calcium
Studies have found that women with calcium-rich diets (around 1200 milligrams per day) tend to experience fewer PMS symptoms such as bloating and cramps. In addition to milk, yogurt and cheese, try adding salmon, sardines, tofu, almonds, kale or figs to your diet during PMS.
Get your fibre
Fibre-rich foods like All-Bran cereal, whole-wheat bread and beans and lentils actually help remove excess estrogen from the body, thereby helping to eliminate symptoms. So stock up on those Fibre One bars (they even come in chocolate!) the next time PMS hits!
Limit your salt intake
If your abdominal region tends to inflate like a balloon at the best of times, PMS has probably got you feeling pretty bloated. To avoid retaining excess fluid, limit your intake of sodium. Salty foods can increase fluid retention and make fitting into those skinny jeans a near-impossible feat.
Skip the coffee
Caffeine can increase the breast tenderness that many women experience during PMS so skip the lattes and the double-doubles. Instead, try a cup of chamomile tea, which is said to actually relax muscles and relieve cramps. Also, while coffee can create feelings of tension and anxiety, chamomile tea can have soothing, relaxing effects.
Eat smaller meals
To avoid feeling bloated and full during PMS, eat four to six smaller meals throughout the day. Mini-meals that are light but high in protein are ideal for keeping you full without feeling like a house. Try a leafy salad with grilled chicken strips.
Although PMS shouldn’t control your life, scheduling stressful events for before or after your period whenever possible can help avoid emotional breakdowns. If that means putting off that parent-teacher interview and downright skipping your annoying co-worker’s last minute baby shower, so be it.
Remember to exercise
Laying in bed all day watching back-to-back Friends episodes may sound like paradise when you’ve got PMS, but it’s one of the worst things you can do. Instead, drag your butt out of bed and hit the gym, go for a run or visit the local tennis courts. Physical activity can give you a much needed endorphin boost and counteract some of those PMS mood swings.
Strike a yoga pose
When you’re PMS-ing, an hour on the stationary bike may not sound like your idea of an awesome workout. Instead, visit your local yoga studio or try a video series online. If you are feeling a little cranky, try Child’s Pose with lots of deep breathing. To combat cravings and lessen painful cramps, try Bridge Pose, which can stimulate blood flow to the abdominal and pelvic area and help regulate your metabolism. And to reduce weight gain, bloating and cramps, open up the pelvic area with Modified Wide Angled Pose.
Try a B6 vitamin
If you still find that you’re faced with unbearable PMS symptoms every month, talk to your doctor about a B6 supplement. Studies have shown that women who took between 50 and 300 mg of B6 found some relief from the symptoms of PMS.