5 wonder foods to fight pre-menstrual syndrome

Nidhi Tayal
Nidhi TayalJan 10, 2016 | 18:18

5 wonder foods to fight pre-menstrual syndrome

Depression, anxiety, mood swings, bloating, cramps, acne (pimples) and that’s not all one must go through each month, year after year. Phew!

PMS - premenstrual syndrome - is a term that sends a shiver down the spines of women who suffer it and those around them, who bear the brunt of her warring hormones. Not a pleasant experience at all. The flip side is both sufferer and supporter don't know how to deal with it.


Simple lifestyle changes, and, of course, a healthy diet can help you tide through this ordeal, provided you know how to choose and tweak both.

Why PMS?

The interplay of hormones during a woman's productive years that helps prepare her body every month to bear pregnancy is the sole reason for this physical and emotional riot. Some women start building these symptoms right in the middle of their menstrual cycles, soon after ovulation, meaning they might have to fight the symptoms for as long as a fortnight - not an easy task at all.

How can choice of food change this pathetic scene for good? Easily.

Keeping in mind that most of the women today are time-crunched, eat out mostly, travel a lot and are not kitchen buffs, the remedial food on the platter in this write-up needs no cooking or minimal, if at all. 

Making these suggested foods part of your daily diet will go a long way in keeping PMS in check.

Breakfast cereal

Start your day with the super combo of complex carbs that are high in fibre, have a low GI and a ready-to-eat, easy-to-cook miracle. Once the PMS starts setting in, do away with all your diet fads of no carbs - they are doing you more harm than good. Apart from giving satiety, complex carbs boost the release of serotonin (a feel good hormone) to help you combat depression, anxiety and anger.


At the same time, a low GI (low glycemic index) makes sure that sugar is released slowly and steadily into the blood stream to save you from a sugar rush and help maintain the coveted energy levels.

The goodness doesn't end here; high fibre content eases bloating, puffiness and gas by pushing the body waste and toxins out of the system.

Not only this, make sure all your other meals of the day too contain complex carbs and dietary fibre. Eat rotis or multigrain breads as a staple source of energy.

Chia seeds

Sadly, during PMS, depression and sadness are inevitable. Not to worry, Chia seeds are here to rescue you. Much celebrated and for all the right reasons. They are protein rich, contain dietary fibre and are packed with tons of anti-oxidants, giving you no chance to leave them out of your daily diet.


Myricetin, Quercetin and Kaempferol are anti-oxidants to name a few, which enrich the goodness of chia seeds making assimilation of minerals and vitamins in food worthwhile. The best part being that you don’t even have to do more than lifting a spoon and sprinkling some chia on your food. They are also super rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the world’s best anti-depressants. The goodness doesn't end here - chia is anti-inflammatory too and helps you relieve those aches and soreness experienced before and during the periods. Its anti-cancer properties are indeed the cherry on the cake. 



They are undoubtedly easiest to snack on the go, available everywhere, taste good and a great source of ready energy. That is not all. Women like me relate to the condition where you are aware of changing your position frequently while sleeping, worrying about staining through the night, constantly pushing the legs against a pillow to ease the stiffness leading to sleeplessness.


Eat bananas to help release Melatonin, a sleep aid hormone that helps fight those cramps and help you sleep better. The presence of potassium in bananas rids you off of that bloating and water retention.


A delicious, high quality protein source that needs no cooking, is easy to carry and probiotic - I can go on about this favourite snack. The biggest apathy women face during menstruation is hormonal acne. Touched a raw nerve? The ugly blisters and uglier scars take forever to vanish and by the time they do, the period is back.


Tackle this horrible cycle by including yogurt in your daily diet. We all know that Vitamin A helps clear skin and aids healthy vision. Corroborate that knowledge with the fact that yogurt is rich in Retinol, a form of Vitamin A and your (in the face) answer to acne.

Not only this, PMS also plagues women with lethargy, headaches, flatulence (gas) and persistent heaviness. The vitamin B12 present in yogurts help you battle lethargy effectively and magnesium in yogurts, on the other hand, helps in relaxing blood vessels taking care of those unwanted headaches leading to irritability.

The probiotic nature of yogurt helps you retain an alkaline gut, ridding one off regurgitation, acidity, gas and abdominal heaviness. That's what we call "the superfood". What say?


Here, take note of more options that require no cooking, can be sourced easily and help you fight the PMS blues.

Nuts (omega 3), sweet potatoes (Vitamin A, complex carbs and fibre) - remember the roadside “Shakarkandi chaat", avocado (low GI carb) - guacamole as a sandwich spread on multigrain bread or with baked corn tortilla chips. Easy and delicious!

And you could only think dark chocolate.

These simple food choices have made my life a lot easier and today I advise more from experience. Give these foods a chance to lessen your physical issues and brighten up your life.

Like I always say, “Diet is your therapy and after knowing the right choices, all you need to do is ingest them!”

Last updated: November 13, 2017 | 19:08
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