So what should I be eating to ease my symptoms?
But that's not all! Your body needs vitamin D in order to properly absorb the calcium you eat. So healthy foods rich in vitamin D should be eaten with the calcium-rich foods in order to make sure you are getting the benefits. So combine those meals with foods such as salmon, sardines, or eggs... or take a hike outside in the sun! Exercise also increases serotonin and dopamine levels (feel-good chemicals) in the brain, which can help battle depression, too!
Vitamin K helps your body maintain storage of the calcium in your bones and teeth, and inhibits calcium from causing issues in other parts of your body, like your arteries. But, luckily, most of the foods we mentioned earlier that are high in calcium, also contain adequate vitamin K, so you don't have to worry too much about that.
Studies have also found that increases in vitamin B6 may also help with the alleviation of PMS symptoms. Some symptoms, especially anxiety, anger, and tension, can be triggered by high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone (hormones) in the blood. Vitamin B6 helps to reduce blood estrogen and increase progesterone. Good, paleo sources of vitamin B6 include meats, such as tuna, turkey, beef, chicken, or salmon, and even sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach, and bananas.
For those of you that experience breast tenderness, try increasing your vitamin E intakes from foods like almonds, hazelnuts, turnip greens, or swiss chard to help alleviate soreness. Finally, make sure you are getting enough iron! The loss of blood means loss of iron which, unfortunately, means zero energy and feeling tired. Typically, adequate iron isn't an issue if you are eating good sources of protein on a paleo diet, but it is something to be aware of.
Look for the upcoming recipe for proscuitto crusted garden quiche to help you conquer the "crankies"!
Are there any foods that make my PMS symptoms worse?
The answer to that question is absolutely YES. I know that we crave certain foods, but those cravings just point to other deficiencies in the diet, which I will get into next. Studies have shown that women who have worse PMS symptoms typically have diets high in excess dairy products and refined sugars. These foods exacerbate tension symptoms so, even though you may think that your double-fudge brownie chunk ice cream is making you feel better, trust me, it's not.
When you crave certain unhealthy foods, like chocolate or salty snacks, it is usually because your body is deficient in critical nutrients. Craving chocolate typically means your body is deficient in magnesium, so make sure you are eating enough raw nuts/seeds and fruits. Striving for sweets usually means your body needs more chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulphur, or tryptophan, so make sure to eat foods such as broccoli, grapes, chicken, cranberries, cabbage, liver, lamb, or sweet potatoes.
Craving salty foods typically means that you need chloride, so try eating healthy fish, like salmon or tuna, instead. Overall PMS cravings have been attributed to insufficient levels of zinc, so make sure you are eating enough red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, or dark green leafy vegetables.
If you have any questions, send us a message! I would love to help you out.
Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Risk of Incident Premenstrual Syndrome.
Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome.
Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndromes.
The Two Major Causes Of PMS, Plus 11 Ways To Overcome It.