The week before our period doesn’t always have to turn us into a moody, emotional, unreasonable alter-ego who will do anything for some chocolate. Not to mention the bloating, cramps and fatigue that make us less-than-fun to be around on a Friday night. Thankfully, Joy Bauer recently discussed her top power foods on the Today Show to cure common health ailments, including PMS.
Most women know how important yogurt is in a healthy diet, because it’s packed with calcium that our bones need. What many people don’t know though, is that women who struggle with PMS tend to have lower levels of calcium in the week or two leading up to their period. This not only puts our bone health in jeopardy, but our overall well-being too. Yogurt can help balance our emotions and relieve bloating during that time.
Almonds are the next best thing, according to Bauer. They are rich in magnesium, which has been shown to alleviate PMS-related headaches. And pineapple is another important food before our period. It has been proven to reduce PMS symptoms and, because it’s so juicy, that fluid will help flush out excess water (i.e., bloating) from your body. The sweetness of this fruit also helps curb cravings for sugary foods around this time of the month.
Salmon is also another key food for PMS. It can fight emotional highs and lows because it’s loaded with Omega-3 fats and Vitamin D–both of which have been linked to better moods. Oranges are also recommended because the folate in them is “involved in making special brain chemicals to keep our regulation intact”.
But the number one food for PMS according to Bauer is, surprisingly enough, lentils:
That’s because when we have volatile swings in our blood sugar , we’re cranky, we’re irritable and we’re tired. And lentils has this winning duality of fiber and protein which smooths out blood sugars and essentially keeps us feeling happy.
By making a few simple switches in our diet, we can incorporate more of these foods during that dreaded “week before”. Try making a smoothie with almonds, yogurt and pineapple. Or how about some salmon topped with a pineapple and orange salsa and a side of lentils? Or try a simple bowl of yogurt for dessert–topped with some fresh berries, it can curb those cravings without the guilt of cookies, cake and candy. Although, sometimes nothing else will do quite like a nice square of dark chocolate–and that’s OK too.