The Anti-PMS Diet – Golden Rules
There are a few golden rules to follow and if you observe them six days a week, you will be able to enjoy the occasional indiscretion without problems.
Golden Rules and the Good Effects
Rule: Avoid refined carbohydrates, soft drinks and refined sugars. Get your sugar from fresh fruits.
Effect: This aids weight control and stabilises blood sugar levels.
Rule: Reduce unhealthy fats, e.g. very fatty meats, sausages, preserved meats or deep-fried foods, processed and take away meals, ice cream and processed hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Effect: This aids weight control, reduces hormonal imbalances, reduces cysts in the breasts and ovaries, reduces the risk of cancer and reduces inflammation and pain.
Rule: Reduce caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
Effect: This reduces anxiety and mood changes, fluid retention, headaches, and breast pain and breast cysts.
Rule: Increase foods high in magnesium and iron, eg whole grains, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, unprocessed cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, seafood and lean fresh red meat (not essential if you are vegetarian). Tahini and culinary seaweeds (such as kelp, arame, dulse, wakame) are excellent sources of trace minerals and calcium. These seaweeds or sea vegetables can be used in soups, stir fries or salads.
Effect: This reduces headaches and increases energy levels. Prevents iron deficiency anaemia. Increases bone density. Supports the function of the thyroid gland.
Rule: Eat more frequent meals (ideally 3 meals daily) containing first class protein, e.g. organic eggs, organic poultry, seafood, lean fresh meat, white coloured cheeses, plain acidophilus yoghurt and whey protein powder. Feta or Parmesan cheese provides high quality protein and calcium. An excellent source of first class protein and fibre is obtained by combining three of the following at one meal – grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Effect: This stabilises blood sugar levels, prevents sugar and junk food binges, and increases energy levels. Reduces insulin resistance (Syndrome X) thus aiding weight loss by enhancing fat burning.
Rule: Consume foods high in phyto-estrogens such as seeds, legumes, whole ground flaxseed and sprouts.
Effect: This reduces hormonal imbalances and reduces the risk of hormone dependent cancers.
Rule: Consume foods high in organic sulphur, such as the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel's sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy) and the onion family (onions of all types, leeks), garlic and organic eggs.
Effect: The sulphur in these foods support the detoxification pathways in the liver, which break down excess levels of oestrogens and toxic chemicals that increase hormonal imbalances.
Can Lifestyle Changes Help PMS?
A reasonably healthy lifestyle is a must if you are serious about beating PMS. Let’s check out the benefits of some good habits.
The tools of a healthy diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements will provide relief for the majority of women with mild to moderate PMS. Patience and persistence are vital, as with most types of nutritional medicine, there is a time lapse of six to eight weeks before major improvements are attained.
Lifestyle and the Benefits
Lifestyle: A regular exercise programme, including some aerobic exercise, some muscle building and relaxing exercises.
Benefit: This reduces muscle spasm and tension. Increases brain endorphins, which are natural euphoric substances. Improves the blood supply to the hormonal glands.
Lifestyle: Quit smoking.
Benefit: Nicotine constricts blood vessels and reduces the blood supply to the hormonal glands, brain and the skin. Giving up smoking will increase the hormone output from your ovaries thus slowing down the ageing process. Hypnosis is very effective for quitting smoking.
Lifestyle: Increase water intake to 2 litres daily and make yourself raw vegetable and fruit juices. The best things to include in your juice are ginger, carrot, apple, citrus, cabbage and green leafy herbs such as basil, coriander, mint and parsley.
Benefit: This aids weight control and reduces headaches. Greatly improves the condition of the skin and hair. Reduces breast pain and period pain. Increases energy levels and improves mental clarity.
Lifestyle: Reduce alcohol intake especially during the two premenstrual weeks.
Benefit: This avoids embarrassing moments. There is a reduced tolerance to alcohol premenstrually with higher blood alcohol levels being attained quickly. Your moods will be much better and far more stable bringing greater self control. Tyrosine supplements can help you to quit alcohol – the powder form of tyrosine works better.
Excerpt from How Not To Kill Your Husband by Dr Sandra Cabot