If your body rebels just before that time of the month, we've got 8 soothing tips to keep it - and you! - happy.
Rosemary can offer some relief from PMS symptoms. You can either use it as seasoning in meat or bean dishes or prepare a potent rosemary tea. Boil a cup water and add a spoonful of dried rosemary in a teacup or mug and cover. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, then strain and drink up for relief. You can use this tea twice a day until your symptoms subside.
Treat yourself to soothing essentials oils, which are wonderful stress relievers and can help alleviate your PMS-related ickiness. Relaxing scents like lavender, rose, clary sage, and bergamot will calm emotions while also easing aches and pains related to your menstrual cycle. Add water to your favorite oil and use it for a massage, place a few drops in the bathtub for a relaxing soak, or dab it onto a tissue and simply breathe it in. Alternatively, consider buying a diffuser to fill your entire home with the aromas.
Don’t Buy That!
Many women find that taking diuretics (water pills) can reduce the bloating and weight gain associated with PMS. While they’ll definitely make you urinate a lot and help deflate that bloat, diuretics also wash away important vitamins like potassium and magnesium that are essential in keeping PMS symptoms at bay. Instead of spending cash on these pills, adjust your diet to relieve bloating: Reduce your intake of salt and refined sugars, eat more fruits and veggies for their vitamin-packed nutrition and fiber content, and drink plenty of water. Also look for dandelion greens to complement your veggie intake—a natural diuretic, these greens are also loaded with potassium. Money saved: $5-15.
Amp up your magnesium intake with nuts: One serving of almonds offers close to 100 milligrams of the miracle mineral, known to improve a variety of symptoms that come with PMS, including cramps, bloating, breast soreness, and—most notably—mood swings. Snack on a few tablespoons of roasted almonds each day of your period week to prevent those nasty (and exhausting) mood changes.
Not only is oatmeal good for your heart, it’s also packed with fiber and magnesium, which are great for PMS symptoms. Plus, oats contain a mild sedative along with complex carbohydrates that can help ease stress. Make a delicious bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and top with vitamin-rich fruit and cramp-quelling cinnamon for added flavor.
Eliminate PMS Triggers
To reduce symptoms of PMS, consider cutting these three items from your diet: salt, alcohol, and caffeine. Prone to bloating? Salt retains water, so it’ll only make you swell up more. Got mood swings? Alcohol causes dips in blood sugar, resulting in more intense mood changes. Feeling cranky? Caffeine’s effects are amplified during your premenstrual week, increasing irritability and nervousness. Plus, all three of these triggers deplete the magnesium in your body, which will worsen your symptoms across the board.
See Also: Does Eating Meat Make PMS Worse?
You know what goes fabulously with PMS? Chocolate! Many women crave the delicious, sugary stuff during the early days of PMS, and there have been various rumors about chocolate’s effects on premenstrual women: It cures mood swings! It causes mood swings and depression! So, what’s the deal? The truth is, cacao contains sugar and magnesium—the former boosts your energy and the latter is known for boosting mood as well as improving other symptoms of PMS. Conclusion: There might be a biological benefit to noshing on chocolate during PMS! Be sure to stick to high-quality dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar and higher in pure cacao than the processed varieties.
You can make a few small adjustments in your home to deflate irritability and help eliminate stress. For a relaxing ambience, surround yourself with watery blues, pale greens, and soft violets—for example, cuddling up with a cozy blue blanket or dusty-pink bathrobe can help soothe your spirits. For an optimal PMS-taming environment, turn on some calming music and take deep, slow breaths.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.