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E52: Five Foods For PMS

PMS is common amongst women after pregnancies, or even for some women for as long as they can remember.

It is a real problem that doesn't get nearly enough attention and care.

You can start healing your PMS by implementing some simple strategies to support hormonal balance, an in this episode I share 5 basic foods to include in your diet every day that will help you to recover from the debilitating PMS symptoms.

Book a free call with me here if you would like to discuss the best course of action for you right now to start healing your PMS.


Well hello friends, and welcome to episode 52 of the Beauty In Balance Podcast.

So this week, I wanna talk about a topic that can be sensitive or often used to make derogatory comments towards and about women.

And I’m sure you’ve been in a situation before where a comment was made about your mood and that you likely have PMS.

I think that it’s time to speak out because I truly believe that when we’re educated, it gives us not only a better understanding, but also helps us to move towards solutions instead of making unhelpful comments.

I remember when I was younger, in my teens and 20s, I used to believe that PMS was just an excuse for bad behaviour and that it didn’t exist. But just because I wasn’t suffering from it, didn’t mean that it didn’t exist.

And I believe that PMS is escalating as we are exposed to more processed foods, toxins, less exercise or wrong kinds of exercise etc.

So first of all, let’s first of all look at what PMS is:

And it’s important to note that everybody may experience this differently, but generally it occurs in the days leading up to your menstrual period and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include

  • Cramping and bloating

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Acne

  • Mood swings, specifically irritability and depression

  • Breast tenderness

  • Food cravings and

  • Issues with your sleep.

Now before we can understand how to improve or heal anything, we need to understand why it is happening, or what is the cause.

If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m always focused on finding the root cause , instead of just treating symptoms.

The biggest contributing factor to pms, or pmdd which is pretty much pms on steroids, is hormonal fluctuations in the days leading up to your period.

It is also important to note that some researchers believe that there is a link between serotonin and pms.

So let’s talk about these 2 causes for a second.

Hormonal fluctuations in the days leading up to your period is normal. Our hormones are always fluctuating, day to day and sometimes even from one hour to the next.

What we wanna achieve though, is that there is always balance and we do this by optimising production of all hormones and also elimination of hormones once they have been used by your body.

We know that there is a link between anovulatory cycles and PMS.

This means that if you are not ovulating, you are more likely to experience pms.

And if you are not monitoring ovulation, you probably won’t even know that you have cycles where ovulation does not occur.

So as I always say to my students inside the Hormone Health Academy, we need to embrace our fertility and really make it a priority, even if you don’t want babies.

And we’ll talk about how to do this in a minute.

Secondly, we know there is a link between serotonin production and pms.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, in other words a messenger, and it plays a very important role in mood, appetite, sleep and social behaviour, all the things that we struggle with when we experience pms.

Imbalances in this hormone have been linked to anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.

Now here comes the most important bit of knowledge about serotonin.

Although it mainly works in the brain, 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gut.

And therefore, if you suffer from poor gut health, this will affect your serotonin production.

And therefore, it's so critically important to always start with gut healing!

So with these 2 major contributors in mind, I wanna give you 6 foods to focus on every single day if you are regularly suffering from PMS.

This is not to say food is the only important thing for relieving pms symptoms, of course how you move your body, stress management and sleep are all critically important, but as always, let’s take small manageable steps and focus on one thing for now.

Also important to note, is that your body needs you to be patient.

You need to allow about 3 menstrual cycles for your body to heal and recover. So just do the thing consistently….

So here goes,

the first food to focus on for healing pms, is cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts. These veggies contain a compound called DIM which can help your liver to break down estrogen and promote healthy estrogen metabolism. It is also amazing for gut health. So make sure you include cruciferous veggies in your diet every single day.

I often pan fry cauliflower, onions and other veggies and have with eggs for breakfast. Or make a coleslaw for lunch or dinner or lightly steamed broccoli for dinner.

Secondly, focus on having loads of fibre every single day. You can do this by increasing the intake of fruits, veggies and legumes. So make sure every main meal and snack that you each contains some plant based foods.

Number 3, include flax seeds in your meals every day as they contain lignans that help to balance estrogen. And the easiest way to do this is to add them to your smoothies in the morning. If you include kale, berries and flax seeds in a smoothie every morning, you'll include all 3 foods that I’ve already mentioned. So that might be a practical and easy way for you to incorporate cruciferous veg, lots of fibre and flaxseeds with one single meal.

Number 4, have loads of healthy fats! Healthy fats are part of the building blocks of hormones, they reduce inflammation and also support a healthy insulin response, which is critical for happy and healthy hormones.

So these include avocado, olives, nuts, seeds and fatty fish like salmon.

I love snacking on olives while cooking dinner. They are great for regulating blood glucose and provide loads of these good fats, so by the time dinner is ready, I’m not ravenous. So maybe try this tonight as you cook dinner.

And lastly, number 5, include loads of garlic, onion and ginger

Garlic has been shown to regulate estrogen and also reduce the risk for breast cancer. But note that this is fresh garlic, so don’t supplement but rather include loads of garlic in your cooking.

Ginger, in my opinion, is a superfood that we under utilise. I absolutely love ginger and you should too for a few good reasons:

  1. It reduces inflammation, which supports hormonal balance

  2. It supports the menstrual cycle by regulating progesterone and estrogen

  3. It has a stress lowering effect by lowering cortisol levels, and

  4. It’s even found to help reduce the symptoms of PCOS because of all of the above reasons.

So I love using ginger in stir fries, but I add grated fresh ginger to my kombucha during the second fermentation and during winter time, I have many cups of fresh lemon, honey and ginger tea that I make from scratch at home.

Pms needs to be addressed in a holistic way and not as an isolated problem

It is critical as I said before, to make sure you have healthy sleep habits, you nourish your body through the food that you eat, you move your body every day in a way that respects your cycle, you manage stress effectively by practising good self care and you limit alcohol and caffeine, even maybe avoid it for a period of time to allow your body to heal.

Maybe you’ve listened to this episode and feel validated or heard for the first time. If that’s the case for you, I would love to hear from you

If you are ready to get rid of the debilitating symptoms of PMS or PMDD, I’m ready to support you through that.

So let’s have a free conversation, inside of zoom, so I can help you determine what the best course of action would be.

You can find the link to book a free call with me in the show notes of this episode.

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