Check out our diet and
fitness tips to help keep
you feeling your best
and limit any discomfort
experienced as a result of
PMS or menopause.
PMS symptoms can often be relieved through eating the right foods and in particular by keeping the blood sugar balanced. Try to make sure there are no long gaps between meals or snacks so you don’t get too hungry.
Try to make sure that each meal and snack contains some form of starch to fill you up and give you lasting energy. You may find you crave starchy carbohydrate in the run up to your period, and some experts believe they can help relieve some of the symptoms of PMS.
However, it is now thought that the type of starch you eat can make a difference, as those that release their sugars quickly cause a temporary lift in blood sugar levels but they then plummet, causing an energy crash an hour later. These foods include refined foods such as white bread, cakes and biscuits, rice cakes, crackers and most crisp breads, and also very sweet fruits such as melon and bananas.
Instead try to stick to starches that do not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. These include wholegrains such as granary or seeded bread, wholewheat pasta, brown rice and fruits such as apples, berries and oranges.
Try to limit sugar intake. It encourages weight gain and the more fat cells you have the more oestrogen is in your body. Dietary sugar also plays havoc with blood sugar levels, giving you a spike of energy but causing a crash soon after.
Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart problems, and also contributes to water retention, increasing the chances of bloating. It is important to eat as much fresh food as possible as there is a lot of hidden salt in products such as canned soups, ready meals, crisps and processed cheese.
Make sure you stay hydrated. When the body is dehydrated it thinks there is a drought and holds on to any excess water, causing bloating. Drink eight glasses of water per day, not sugary drinks as they cause artificial spikes in energy.