Ladies, this is a safe space… We can talk about hormones, periods, and everything in between. Anyone who has the pleasure of owning a menstrual cycle, knows how much of a hindrance it can be to your fitness consistency… How can we be ‘consistent’ when our bodies are completely different from week to week?!
Let’s talk about possibly one of the largest roadblocks in our cycle… Premenstrual Syndrome. Often referred to as PMS, can make the days leading up to your period a challenging time. Bloating, mood swings, irritability, cramps, and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms that you may be well acquainted with.
While the causes of PMS are vast, one factor that plays a significant role is nutrition. In this blog, we'll explore the part that nutrition plays on premenstrual symptoms and hopefully teach you some ways of making the time of the month slightly easier…
Balancing Blood Sugar Levels
We know that the chocolate cravings may think otherwise… But high-sugar and refined carbohydrate intake can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, exacerbating mood swings. A better option? Reach for more complex carbs like grains and legumes. These will boost energy without that crash back down.
Managing Salt Intake
Oh we all know that period bloat. Am I pregnant?! No it’s just a period baby! Excessive salt intake can lead to water retention and bloating… Reducing sodium-rich processed foods and opting for whole, unprocessed foods can help alleviate this issue.
Boosting Nutrient Intake and fatty acids
Certain vitamins and minerals play essential roles in managing PMS. For example, magnesium can help alleviate mood swings and reduce bloating. Calcium-rich foods can relieve premenstrual breast tenderness. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, nuts, and dairy products can contribute to a more comfortable cycle… Roast dinner anyone?! Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties and can also help reduce PMS symptoms (including reducing headaches!)
Ditch the bottle, reach for the water!
Both caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate PMS symptoms. Caffeine can affect mood and sleep, while alcohol can disrupt hormone balance and exacerbate mood swings. Dehydration will also add to bloating, so it really is a lose-lose.
It’s time to start being mindful! We hope this blog has given you the kick up the glutes you need to start eating more intuitively. Instead of living your life as normal and then suffering the consequences when period time arrives… Make some small changes and hopefully you’ll see some results. Remember… A healthy outside starts from within.