About every 28 days, evil strikes. Cramps, crankiness, bizarre cravings and a whole set of other symptoms roll in and reap havoc on our lives. Luckily, there are ways to naturally combat the natural disaster that is PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome). Here are 10 natural cures for PMS to help you be less miserable this month and every month to come:
10 Natural Cures For PMS
Head to the gym or walk outside and get some aerobic exercise. Breaking a sweat will help to release mood-boosting endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals will lift your spirits, giving you that “runner’s high” to battle off your mood swings.
2. Herbs and Spices
Herbs like chaste berry, evening primrose, valerian root and cinnamon may fight off some of the worst PMS symptoms. Turn to chasteberry extract if you’re suffering from bloating, irritability or sore breasts. Primrose battles your cramps and curbs anxiety. Valerian root, which you can find in some tea blends or take as a supplement, can ease muscular tension and fight off cramps. Finally, there’s cinnamon. This spice has been said to help with sleep and even fight off the common cold. It’s the sleep that will ease PMS symptoms — sip a cinnamon blend before bed to get enough quality rest.
3. Drink Tea
Drink tea for better health. Different varieties can carry tons of benefits. Some can help with insomnia, cancer prevention and more. When it comes to chai tea, the power lies in its anti-inflammatory properties. It also offers an abundance of antioxidants, which are good for your overall health. Drink chai tea if you’re experiencing insufferable cramps or bloating.
You don’t have to find a professional to reap the benefits of a massage. Climb into a hot bath and start massaging reflexology points — your big toe and heel will be best — using deep pressure. Use essential oils like lavender or geranium to calm your mind and muscles. Deep, pressured massages will increase blood flow and ease muscle tension, lessening your cramps.
5. Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats
Incorporate steel cut oats into your diet for a calmer bout of PMS. Not only will oats keep you fuller longer, but it will also ease your sugar cravings — a good thing, because overeating sugar during PMS is a bad idea. As it breaks down in your system, gluten free steel cut oats will slowly release natural sugar into your bloodstream.
Foods loaded with magnesium — like green veggies— help to regulate hormones. Chomping away on these choices will assist with mood swings and cramping.
Ever heard that eating a banana before a workout can help to keep the cramps away? The same goes for PMS. Potassium can also fight off bloating, swelling and water retention. If you don’t like bananas, choose from potassium-rich options like broccoli, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and figs.
8. Omega-3 and 6
Women with PMS may lack omega-6 in their diets. At the same time, Mark Hyman, MD, writer of “How to Eliminate PMS in 5 Simple Steps,” suggests that women boost omega-3 intake if suffering from PMS symptoms. Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds are loaded with omega-6. You can find omega-3 fats in walnuts, too.
9. Vitamin B6
Again, women suffering from PMS may lack this vitamin in their intake. Boost consumption in order to experience increased levels of mood-enhancing serotonin. Combat crankiness with foods like beans, walnuts, leafy greens and gluten-free brown rice.
Suffering from cramps? Do some stretches or light yoga for added benefits. These movements can enhance blood flow to your agonizing uterine, lower-back and abdominal muscles. Back and hip stretches are particularly helpful and can really ease your cramps.
Why opt to be miserable when it can be avoided? Incorporate these foods and exercises into your life to make “that time of the month” more tolerable.
Contributing Author: Ali Lawrence is a content specialist for multiple health companies. She enjoys blogging at Homey Improvements, cooking healthy meals in her apple red kitchen, and reading by the pool (with sunscreen on, of course). Follow her on Twitter @Ali_MarCom.