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The Best Natural Remedies for PMS Symptoms

March 12, 2013

Mood swings, bloating, irritability, food-cravings, and depression—these are just a few of the common premenstrual syndrome symptoms that women suffer from each month. But the good news is that there are tons of natural options that have proven to be very effective in beating PMS.

According to guest speaker Dr. Mark Hyman, PMS occurs when hormones become unbalanced. Estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels decrease, either relatively or absolutely. Many things can promote these unbalances, such as too much sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and stress. However, turning to a whole-foods diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly can help get your hormones back in balance.

Best Foods to Eat

Eating foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals such as B1, B2, B6, calcium, and magnesium can help balance hormones, increase energy, and improve mood.

B vitamins – B vitamins can help increase serotonin levels, boost energy, and aid in healthy muscle function. Some of the best sources of B vitamins are leafy green vegetables, bananas, quinoa, beans like chickpeas and kidney beans, almonds, pecans and whole grains.

Calcium – Women who experience symptoms of PMS have lower levels of calcium of and vitamin D (which is needed to absorb calcium.) Research shows that increasing levels of calcium can result in less PMS and can help prevent the development of osteoporosis later in life. Good sources of calcium are: kale, nuts, seeds, canned or dried beans, broccoli and spinach.

Magnesium Including this essential mineral in your diet can help treat a wide range PMS symptoms. Magnesium is a good muscle relaxant and is important for your nerves as well as your immune system. Foods rich in magnesium are: avocado, leafy greens, dark chocolate, seaweed, and pumpkin seeds.

Drink Herbal Tea

Caffeine can increase levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to food cravings, anxiety, and irritability. Instead sip on de-caffeinated herbal teas to help relax and relieve common physical and emotional symptoms of PMS.

Chamomile tea – Because it contains properties that relieve muscles spasms, chamomile tea is an ideal choice for someone who suffers from menstrual cramps. Drinking this tea also helps reduce tension that may lead to anxiety and irritability.

Dandelion tea – Drinking a cup or two of this tea a day can help relieve bloating, water retention, and menstrual cramps.

Red Raspberry Leaf Full of naturally occurring calcium, raspberry tea can help regulate hormones in your body and ease common symptoms of PMS such as cramping and depression.

Get Moving

Exercise is vital for balancing hormones and reducing stress. It’s best to aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to fives times a week, as well as practicing stress-relieving techniques daily.

Cardio exercise In addition to other benefits, aerobic or cardio exercises helps speed up metabolism, control cravings, increase circulation, reduce stress, and increase endorphins to improve your mood.

Resistance trainingWomen who suffer from PMS tend to have lower levels of calcium and vitamin D, which makes them more likely develop osteoporosis later in life. Weight-bearing exercise such as weight lifting and Pilates is essential for maintaining muscle and bone health.

Meditation – Women who practice mediation or other relaxation methods are able to reduce many PMS symptoms.  Relaxation decreases cortisol levels, helps to balance your biochemistry, and reduces inflammation in the body.

What natural method do you find effective for relieving PMS symptoms?

About the author

Alexis D’Alba is as a contributing writer to Wellness Today and a 2012 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She enjoys spinning and kick-boxing classes, and loves experimenting with different smoothie recipes in her Vitamix blender.