Jewish Journal

Beat PMS Naturally

by Sima Cohen

January 12, 2014 | 6:26 pm

We all know it and most of us will agree... PMS Sucks! 65% of women experience at least one PMS symptom each month. Whether it's cramps, belly bloat, moodiness, insomnia, fatigue, or even anxiety. And 1 out of 25 women experience PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is basically PMS on steroids, which causes persistent depression, anger and irritability, as well as severe aches and pains.

Symptoms may vary from one woman to another. But here are some of the most common physical and emotional signs and symptoms of PMS:

Appetite changes
Breast swelling
Breast tenderness
Crying spells
Difficulty sleeping
Fluid retention
Food cravings
Joint and muscle pain
Memory problems
Mood swings
Swollen hands or feet
Trouble concentrating
Upset stomach
Weight gain

Any of these unfortunate symptoms sound familiar? The good news is that there are ways to beat PMS and they are all natural! Try these 10 tips:

1. Get a good night sleep
Adequate sleep will put you in a better hormonal position to handle the physiological imbalance that comes with PMS.

2. Stop stressing
Take deep breaths and clear your head, if you can. You can even try meditating for a few minutes in the morning, and throughout the day to help reduce stress levels.

3. Get Moving!
Even if you don't feel like it, just like Nike said: "just do it". Get off the couch and get moving. You will release endorphins and the endorphin rush will help relieve cramps and raise seratonin, a happy brain hormone.

4. Cut out alcohol and caffeine
Caffeine can increase irritability and cause breast tenderness, and alcohol is known for contributing to feelings of depression, so take a break from it.

5. No simple sugars
You should eliminate this all year long, but it is especially important to steer clear before your period. They increase inflammation, which makes cramps feel worse.

6. Avoid salty foods
Salty foods cause water retention and will make your usual PMS bloat feel much worse. Avoid the saltiest offenders, including deli and processed meats (like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs), canned soup, pickles, frozen microwave disasters, and salty condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, and bottled salad dressing. And it goes without saying, but lay off the salty snacks like chips, pretzels, and popcorn. Stick to fresh fruit, green vegetables, Greek yogurt, and raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.

7. Consider supplements
Calcium, Magnesium and B-complex vitamins can help eliminate some of your PMS symptoms.

8. Limit sugar alcohols
And not just the ones behind the bar! Sugar-free foods and sugarless gum often contain sorbitol and maltitol, sugar alcohols. They are poorly digested and increase gas, bloating, and discomfort. If you're experiencing PMS, stay away from diet drinks and sugar-free candy and gum.

9. Eat protein for every meal
In addition to just being a general, overall more healthy way to eat (and excellent for weight loss!), including some protein in each of your meals will reduce puffiness. Protein acts as a natural diuretic by helping your body get rid of extra water it may be holding on to. It can be common to focus on carbs at the beginning of the day, but shoot for scrambled egg whites and fruit instead. You can also add things like peanut butter, light cheese, and Greek yogurt throughout the day to each of your meals and snacks.

10. Avoid carbonated beverages and drink water instead!
Bubbly drinks like seltzer water contain carbon dioxide, and can sometimes make us feel gassy and bloated. If you're suffering from PMS bloat, stick to distilled flat water for hydration.

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Sima (which translates “Joy” in Hebrew) is poised to become the next big hit in health and wellness in America. An Israeli immigrant, Sima came to the states 20 years ago...

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