4 Simple Ways to Reduce PMS the Natural Way
22 February 2016
PMS is honestly the pits! I know how unpleasant it can be, but I also know that there are very simple and effective ways to control these symptoms, the natural way! No need to load up on pain killers, there are plenty of things you can do to ease the discomfort without turning to meds.
So what causes PMS?
The real cause for PMS is simply this: Your hormones become unbalanced, your estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels decrease, either relatively or absolutely. There are many things that promote these hormone imbalances, such as a high-sugar intake, eating too many refined carbohydrates, caffeine, stress, dairy, hormones in dairy products and meat, and estrogen-like toxins from pesticides and pollution. Alcohol also contributes to problems because it damages the liver and prevents it from excreting excess estrogen.
Constipation and imbalances in the gut bacteria can worsen the situation, because they lead to the reabsorption of estrogen from the gut back into your blood, even after your liver has tried to get rid of it.
Your body also needs exercise to help balance hormones. So if you aren’t moving your body enough, it’s likely this is part of the problem as well.
Fortunately, there many ways to get hormones back in balance — without drugs. Here’s my plan for preventing PMS. Give them a try and you will see in just one or two cycles how much better you feel.
Clean up your diet.
- We all know that nutrition is EVERYTHING! So a clean, healthy, balanced diet is essential to balance hormones. This means:
- Cut refined flour, sugar, and processed foods.
- Cut out caffeine
- Drinking ginger tea – a slice of fresh ginger in warm water will do the trick. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory, so it is especially helpful in reducing PMS related bloating and cramps
- Avoid all alcohol
- Balance your blood sugar by eating protein, such as a protein shake, eggs, and nut butters, for breakfast.
- Eat evenly throughout the day and don’t skip meals
- Eat raw sweet potatoes - these are fantastic for regulating hormones – I like to grate mine up, and add a little olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and cinnamon tossed altogether with a few microgreens. Delicious!
- Don’t eat within three hours of bedtime.
- Limit your dairy intake, as dairy causes inflammation
- Try to avoid gluten
- Increase fibre in your diet from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day is especially helpful in correcting constipation and balancing hormones. Add to shakes soups or salads.
- Increase omega-3 fats by eating more wild fish like sardines, herring, and wild salmon, as well as omega-3 eggs and walnuts.
- Where possible, try to eat organic food, especially animal products, to avoid environmental oestrogens from pesticides.
A number of supplements have been shown to help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Here are some superstars that I find really work well:
- Magnesium citrate or glycinate
- Calcium citrate
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12.
- Evening primrose oil
- Omega 3 fats
- Taurine (helps with liver detoxification)
- A good daily multivitamin
- Daily Probiotic – to assist with digestion and food assimilation
Exercise is very important for balancing hormones. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 4 to 5 times a week. Yoga is also particularly effective in soothing cramps, assisting with digestion, and promoting regular bowel movements. If you are feeling lethargic, a light and gentle yoga or Pilates session will really help get blood flowing, improve your breathing, alleviate stress and of course reduce those nasty PMS symptoms.
Dealing with stress is also critical. Stress causes a lot of tension in the body, which translates into more severe cramps during that time of the month. So Take a hot bath at night, get a massage, try yoga, learn deep breathing or meditation. These techniques and others can really help balance hormones and reduce cortisol build up.
Look after your body and help it to help you.
Yours in Health Always,