As a woman, I know first hand all about the cramping, headaches and bloating that is often associated with menstruation. That dreaded week before getting your period could have you feeling exhausted, cranky and irritable; and boy did I used to feel irritable!
I learned over time that certain foods could have a positive or negative effect on my cycle. The more and more I paid attention to this and followed through with eating a cleaner, more organic diet, my PMS symptoms subsided, hormones became balanced and irritability vanished.
I learned about certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and foods that helped to nourish my cycle and body. Here are a few simple foods and herbal remedies you can start including in your diet to help balance your hormones and ease those pesky PMS symptoms:
1. Maca – This tuber is known as Peruvian ginseng. It can help to balance hormones, increase libido and fertility and nourish the adrenal glands due to its high mineral and fatty acid content. You can find it in capsule, powder or liquid form. It’s a great addition to add to your morning smoothie. Plus, it will help to give you an energy boost.
2. Red Raspberry Leaf – A herb known to increase fertility and help ease PMS cramping. It contains a ton of minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, which are great for relieving muscle soreness and tightness. You can find this in the form of a tea, or capsule.
3. Chasteberry – Also known as vitex. This is a popular supplement you can find in most health food stores. Its great for normalizing blood flow and regulating a woman’s cycle. Plus, it’s great for reducing bloating and breast tenderness.
4. Cacao – The super food of all super foods. Who doesn’t want a little bit of chocolate during their period? Cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium. This is an important mineral to load up on 2 weeks prior to your period as it can help reduce water retention, ease cramping and help with sleep. Plus, it contains a ton of antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage that can cause premature aging. Bonus!
5. Coconut Oil – I’m sure we all know and love coconut oil. Due to its incredible fat content (healthy fat that is!), coconut oil is great for balancing hormones. It also contains anti-bacterial properties, which make it great for using on your face and body for any period-related breakouts.
6. Chickpeas – These yummy beans contain a ton of magnesium, Vitamin B6 and manganese; important nutrients that help to combat bloating, reduce water retention, decrease estrogen dominance, and reduce breast tenderness. They can even help with irritability and depression. How about whipping up some homemade hummus and veggies? The perfect PMS snack!
Start including these herbs and super foods into your diet to help balance your hormones and ease your menstrual symptoms. It’s amazing what healing benefits we can gain from eating the foods that nature intended and sourcing out herbal remedies that have been used for years to help women deal with PMS.
Samantha graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition; is a Hatha Yoga Instructor, Qualitarian Pioneer & holds a Bachelor Degree in World Religion and Arts.