Do you find that your menstrual cycle sometimes gets the best of you? (Or maybe more than sometimes.) It can be difficult to handle good self-care habits if we experience additional doses of fatigue, irritability, gastrointestinal upset, mood swings, or physical pain. Here are a few dietary guidelines to follow to maximize recovery.
5 nutritional guidelines to maximize PMS recovery
1) Get your calcium and vitamin D.
Research in women shows that higher intake of calcium and vitamin D are associated with fewer PMS symptoms. The results were strongest for those who were given calcium in their diet as a supplement. The daily recommendation for calcium is 1
Vitamin D is more difficult to achieve with diet alone (think of fortified products and high-fat fish) because we produce a lot of vitamin D through UV rays. In winter, many of us are vitamin D deficient – ask your doctor and consider supplementing!
2) Do not miss breakfast or other meals.
Hormone changes often have an effect on appetite, which leads to food cravings excessive hunger. To avoid becoming overly hungry, eat meals and snacks throughout the day. Skipping meals can cause irritability and mood swings, as well as a likelihood that you will go beyond what we would normally eat at a meal. If you do not feel hungry due to other symptoms, it is a good rule not to go for more than 4-5 hours without food, with the goal of 3 meals and 1-2 snacks per day.
3) Add whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables daily.
Finding the right balance of nutrient-rich foods will ensure that you have the nutrients your body needs to treat PMS symptoms. Enjoy many colorful, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and rye bread. Grains in particular have proven to be important for PMS symptoms: recent studies have shown that women with higher intakes of thiamine (vitamin B-1) and riboflavin (vitamin B-2) have a significantly lower PMS risk. This applied to women who received B vitamins from food, but not from dietary supplements.
4) Do not overload sugar.
Our bodies usually crave sugar because hormone levels shift, which in turn can lower the level of chemical serotonin in the brain. These changes can affect a woman's mood and trigger PMS symptoms. To reduce the amount of sugar you ingest in one day, you should reach the recommended amount of whole grains your brain needs to maintain serotonin and energy throughout the day.
5) Comparisons with other lifestyle habits
It is particularly important to maintain regular physical activity and stress management, especially in coping with PMS symptoms. If you have a more intense exercise program, consider how to retire at this time of the month to continue exercising without aggravating the symptoms. Look for stress management methods that are comfortable for you, such as breathing exercises, guided meditation, yoga, art projects or journaling. And of course, when you feel tired – let your body rest, recover and sleep more!