What if I told you there is a holistic way to relieve the PMS that so joyfully visits us each month? I am not sure about you Pretty Birds, but when my time of the month comes I am crying on the couch watching X Factor with a token huge period pimple and an extremely bloated abdomen. The thing is, we all experience these symptoms, but nobody really talks about it or offers an alternative to just popping ibuprofen. Some doctors now say that PMS is not something to ignore just because is occurs regularly; it can be an indication of hormonal imbalances in the body that need to be addressed. So, how do we stop the cycle of pill-popping? Let me share with you a few holistic cures I have found to help right the balance.
1. Charge up with Magnesium
The truth is, most of us are not getting enough magnesium in our daily lives, or our bodies are just not absorbing enough from what we consume. Stress or dietary choices (think caffeine or alcohol) can inhibit our ability to absorb this essential mineral. When our bodies are preparing to menstruate, estrogen and progesterone are elevated, which in turn depletes our magnesium intake. When are magnesium deficient, pesky PMS symptoms like migraines, bloating, sugar cravings and fluid retention run rampant.
Just a little change in diet can give us the extra magnesium to boost us up to the levels we need. Try adding these foods to your diet: dark leafy greens (kale and spinach), Omega 3 fatty acids found in wild fish (salmon and tuna), artichokes and avocados, dark chocolate, and nuts (almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts).
2. An anti-inflammatory diet
Previously, I touched on a hormone-balanced diet, but following an anti-inflammatory diet can also help ease the pain. When cells in the body are inflamed, we are subjected to a surge in aromatase activity – aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen – thus increasing our estrogen levels and by domino effect causing more intense PMS symptoms. Adding cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) to your diet can help ease inflammation and break down estrogen.
3. Herbal remedies to combat the bloat
My time of the month brings an onset of seemingly neverending bloating, and I already naturally battle bloat on the daily, even outside my period. Rest assured, when I have my period strangers in passing are likely to assume I am 3 months pregnant. If the body has an imbalance of estrogen, specifically estrogen dominance (too much), it can trigger bloating. Trying to balance the levels of progesterone and estrogen can help reduce many hormonal symptoms of PMS. Easier said than done – aren’t we always battling with trying to balance our hormones?
A little boost to our endocrine system helps us combat the bloat. Drink some red raspberry leaf or chasteberry tea to harmonize your hormones during this increase of progesterone production. Craving anything and everything salty? We all know salt bloats, so if you need that savory snack pre-menstruation, use Himalayan or sea salt, whose minerals are more balanced and will not cause as much of a bloat.
4. Put down the alcohol
Do you find that a glass of wine (or two) helps take the edge off of your PMS funk? Studies have actually shown that alcohol can increase your PMS symptoms. In a study covered by Newsweek, it is stated, “Heavy drinking, categorized as consuming more than one average-sized drink a day, was associated with a 79 percent heightened risk of PMS. Moderate drinking, or consuming between 10g of ethanol and the average alcohol content of one drink a day, was associated with a heightened risk of 45 percent.” Try abstaining for a few cycles and see if your symptoms are affected.
Certain detoxification plans can be made to help improve your PMS over time, but these are some quick relief tips for when those pesky symptoms come your way. Your liver is majorly involved in detoxification, even eliminating the excess estrogen produced by your body during your cycle. Trying to balance your hormones seems to be the only answer I found to try deal with PMS, and while everyone is different in their hormone journey, these are small steps in the right direction. So let’s put this discussion on the table, and let me know what helps you during this time of them month.