Updated 29 March 2016

Quick PMS busters

Weird cravings, mood swings and weight gain? It's PMS-time again. Here's how to beat it.

Feeling as if you could hit someone? Or as if you could eat anchovies and strawberry jam on one sandwich? Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects one in three women a couple of days before the onset of a period. You could be one of them.

Here are some quick and simple things you can do to make things better - for yourself, and all those around you:

  • Make sure you eat at least three portions of fruit and vegetables (preferably green leafy ones) every day. More would be better, but three is better than nothing.
  • Avoid eating large amounts of refined sugar (sweets, cakes and biscuits) Rather stick to dried or fresh fruit.

  • Keep salt consumption to a minimum as salt makes your body water-retentive. Check labels for the salt content of foods - salt often lurks where you least expect it.

  • Make sure you eat a diet rich in magnesium, iron, zinc and chromium, essential fatty acids and vitamins B, C and E. Eat fish at least twice during this time. Some liver or lentils could only do you good.

  • Never skip meals. To maintain your blood sugar levels, it is better to eat small amounts more often. When you are premenstrual, your calorie requirements increase by 500 Calories a day.

  • Eat two snacks per day in addition to your usual three meals. Plan ahead for these by taking some fruit to work.

  • Eat protein at both lunch and supper. These could include eggs, chicken, meat, fish or legumes.

  • Avoid caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate. Switch to rooibos tea for a few days.

(Information from Every Woman's Health Guide by Maryon Stewart and Dr Alan Stewart)


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