Eating foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, along with too much caffeine and alcohol can trigger premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in many women. PMS is controlled by the hormone estrogen – too much or too little causes moods to fluctuate, depression, anxiety, food cravings and bloating about a week before a period begins.
To help keep estrogen levels balanced, avoid cravings for sweet and salty foods since they will magnify PMS symptoms, notes Sam Graci, nutritional researcher and author of the new book – The Food Connection: The Right Food at the Right Time. Stay away from dairy products and meats that are high in saturated fats, as well as caffeinated beverages, which raise the blood levels of estrogen and cause headaches, irritability and anxiety.
To help reduce symptoms of PMS and balance estrogen levels, eat at least two to three servings of colorful fruit and a large leafy green salad, along with whole grains such as oatmeal or seven-grain cereal. These foods are high in fiber, which helps keep estrogen levels balanced. In addition, start each day with a nutritional supplement such as greens+™, a balanced formula of 23 vitamins, minerals, organic and nutrient-rich foods. One serving of greens+ is the equivalent of six organic salads. The nutritional supplement also packs plenty of natural soy ingredients, which contain phytoestrogens to keep estrogen levels balanced.
In addition to fiber and soy, eat plenty of “good” fats – Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). Fish such as salmon or tuna are the best source of these EFAs, which are said to help reduce headaches, irritability and anxiety.