The cramps, bloating, and mood swings that accompany PMS are enough to send you running to the ice cream aisle. But often, the foods you crave during that time of the month will only make matters worse. Snacks loaded with salt and sugar may feel good in the moment, but they will only make your symptoms more intense in the long run. Instead of reaching for cookies and pretzels the next time Aunt Flow comes to visit, try noshing on foods to help beat PMS and feel better during your period.
Incorporating the right foods into your diet can make a big difference in how your body responds to the symptoms of PMS. Loading up on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits that have the vitamins and minerals needed to fight off bloating, bad moods, and hormonal breakouts is the key to surviving PMS. But it's not just what you eat, it's also when. As Joanne Piscitelli, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University, told Health women should, "aim to eat at regular intervals to avoid dips and spikes in blood sugar." It may take some time to kick those comfort foods to the curb, but the result is worth your efforts.
The next time you're at the store loading up on tampons, bring along a grocery list of these 15 foods to help beat PMS and see how it feels to beat Mother Nature at her own game.
If it's bloat you're wanting to beat, think cucumbers. As Well + Good reported, cucumbers help stop bloating with silica, caffeic acid, and Vitamin C, which are known to reduce swelling. This is is the same reason they have been used to de-puff tired eyes for all these years.
Full of mood boosting omega-3s, salmon can help with PMS mood swings. Psychology Today recommends stabilizing moods by eating fish — such as salmon — at least three times a week. Looks like you have another reason to chow on sushi before your period.
3. Sweet Potatoes
To avoid hormonal breakouts, try foods high in Vitamin A, like sweet potatoes. Prevention notes that vitamin A is known to promote glowing complexions, and sweet potatoes clock in with 38,433 IUs of skin friendly vitamin A.
I always know my period is on its way when I can't catch a decent night's sleep. If you suffer from the insomnia that can come with PMS, a banana might be what you need to get some shut eye. According to Shape, bananas help to increase melatonin, a hormone that helps promote sleep.
Show those cramps who's boss by adding ginger to your PMS diet. Found in multiple forms, such as tea, candy, and essential oil, Health notes that ginger can be used to alleviate cramps.
Grab some edamame the next time you're crying over videos of baby pandas. Soybeans are full of protein, but it's the omega-3s in edamame, that help with PMS moodiness, according to Women's Health.
If you only add one food to your PMS shopping list, make it avocado. A powerhouse of good fats, Fitness magazine notes that avocados reduce cramps associated with PMS, and are delicious as hell.
Need an energy boost when PMS strikes? Refinery29 recommends cooking up some asparagus to load up on vitamin E and magnesium, which will help to pull you out of a sleepy funk.
If acne is part of your monthly routine, banish the blemish with papaya. Elle magazine reports that noshing on papaya will help your hormonal skin to stay in check and boost your cell turnover.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
PMS headaches can be a b*tch . . . and make you want to act like one as well. To keep those headaches at bay, Women's Health suggests eating pumpkin seeds to up your magnesium.
Whether you like it as a seed or an oil, flax can help with breast tenderness and hormone imbalance. According to Prevention, flax contains lignans, which act as hormone balancers, and can be especially effective during PMS and periods.
When it comes to foods that fight PMS, eggs are no one hit wonder. As Everyday Health reported, eggs are full of nutrients that help with multiple PMS symptoms, like vitamins B6, E, and D.
To stay feeling good during PMS, mix up a salad made from dandelion greens. This herb — which can also be taken in supplement form — was reported by Health to aid in the relief of symptoms related to PMS.
14. Grass Fed Beef
All PMS cravings aren't bad. If you're body's begging for a burger around your period, it could be because of what's in the beef. According to Mayo Clinic, grass fed beef is full of omega-3s and vitamin E which have both been linked to easing PMS symptoms.
Delicious alone, or sprinkled on top of yogurt and salad, almonds are a girl's best friend when it comes to clear skin. Prevention reported that eating almonds help regulate the hormones that can lead to breakouts.