Integrative Nutrition Blog

7 Natural Ways to Treat and Prevent PMS

July 8, 2015

Image via Shutterstock

The female monthly cycle is a beautiful cleansing process for women and key to optimal health. It’s important to support your body to have comfortable periods, both physically and emotionally. 

Many women dread the week before their period because of the inevitable cramping, mood swings, bloating, and skin blemishes.

What those women don’t know is that there are many food and lifestyle tools you can use to treat and prevent PMS naturally.

1. Reduce stress through exercise and meditation. Many women are already stressed out to begin with due to superwoman syndrome – the compulsion to do everything and be everything to everyone – and pre-period emotions add to that stress. 

To reduce your stress levels, especially around the time of your period, meditate daily and emphasize exercise. 

When you do these practices, your body releases happy hormones like serotonin that support hormone balance, reduce cramping, boost immunity, reboot the nervous system, and balance mood. 

2. Reduce caffeine. A lot of people don’t realize that caffeine causes mood swings, and just adds more fuel to the fire when you’re already dealing with hormone-related highs and lows. IIN visiting teacher Dr. Mark Hyman agrees.

Since caffeine is an upper, there’s always a crash in energy and mood after drinking it. To maintain a balanced mood before your period, reduce caffeine consumption. Coffee is the biggest offender, but go easy on caffeinated teas too.

3. Add in more green juice. Green juice gives you authentic energy and nourishment rather than the artificial energy boost – and real crash – that coffee leads to. 

By replacing coffee with green juice leading up to your period, you’ll maintain your energy levels and be less likely to experience bloating and mood swings. 

4. Cut down on sugar. Sugar is one of the primary causes of mood swings, bloating, skin outbreaks, and so much more. Just like caffeine, sugar is an upper and always leads to a crash in energy, usually accompanied by an irritable mood. 

5. Eat more sweet vegetables. Instead of reaching for candy to appease period cravings, increase your consumption of sweet vegetables like carrots, onions, squash, and sweet potatoes. 

Chocolate is not bad and can actually help with PMS symptoms, but just make sure you’re going for high-quality dark chocolate with low or no sugar. 

6. Replace alcohol with kombucha. Alcohol, just like caffeine and sugar, is an upper, and it leads to low mood and even depression over time, in many cases. 

When you combine alcohol with period-related hormone surges, you have a cocktail for irritability and rage. Try bubbly kombucha to feel like you’re having a cocktail without the alcohol. 

Kombucha even has a negligible alcohol level – about 0.5% – due to the fermentation process, so you’ll really feel like you’re partying.

7. Have sex. This might be unexpected, but sex is actually one of the best things you can do while you’re PMSing, because it relaxes your sex organs and eases cramps. 

Sex and specifically orgasms cause your body to release serotonin and other feel-good hormones that wipe out the stress hormone cortisol and help you maintain a positive outlook, rather than sinking into hormone-related sadness and irritability. 

What PMS symptoms do you experience? What have you already tried to reduce them? Which of these tips will you implement this month? Share in the comments below. 

Knowledge is only powerful if you share what you know. Use the social media tools to share what you just learned.

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