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IS YOUR DIET A REAL PAIN?

IS YOUR DIET A REAL PAIN?

That moment when your mood breaks over something so simple, you feel lacking in energy with a headache worse than a Sunday morning hangover and your clothes feel so tight from that bloated, cramping feeling you feel like you're wearing someone else's trousers!

Not surprisingly, it only ever seems to be men that find any humour around this subject, whilst 1 in 3 of us women are battling regular symptoms of PMS that can leave us feeling bloated, stressed, depressed and in pain.  

Read our top tips below and find out how you can achieve a calmer, happier and in control YOU and turn your monthly nightmare into the perfect period.....  

1. Eat lots of Iron rich foods to help increased depleted iron levels. If you don't like the sound of spinach, try other foods that are high in iron such as lentils, spinach, beef, tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes.

2. Eat smaller quantities but more regularly to help balance blood sugar levels and help combat that sick feeling. And add cinnamon to your smoothies as this helps to regulate your blood sugar levels naturally whilst a kick of fresh or ground ginger will help with the nausea.

3. Aim to eat salmon 3 times a week to boost your intake of omega 3 which helps to balance your hormones. Or alternatively, if you don't like fish, take a very high dosage , around 1000mg, of good quality fish oil supplements everyday.

4. Chocolate. Yes, we really did just say that! But not the melt in your mouth, creamy kind, sorry! Eating a small amount of dark chocolate, which is high in antioxidants and magnesium, can help reduce mood swings and regulate serotonin, the happy hormone. But go easy, as it does still contain a small amount of refined sugar.

5. Although you may crave them around your period, try to avoid processed and high sugar foods. Whole grains are better than white starchy carbs as they keep you feeling fuller for longer and contain vitamin B & E that help combat fatigue and depression.

6. Yoghurt has high calcium levels that helps relax muscles and contains live cultures that help promote healthy digestion. Or if you follow a dairy free diet, calcium is also found in broccoli and kale so eat that instead. And if you're short on time or not a big fan of these superfoods, just juice it!!

7. Bananas can boost your mood due to high levels of potassium and will also help to regulate bowel movement, something women can struggle with during their periods.

8. Reduce salty food, as salt can increase fluid retention and bloating that is often increased around this time anyway.

9. Try drinking herbal teas of camomile, peppermint or nettle tea to keep your fluids high and help reduce water retention, reduce caffeine intake (which can increase irritability and anxiety), and help ease your digestion and reduce bloating and cramps.

10. It might be the last thing on your mind when your period strikes, but regular exercise has been proven to help! Exercise increases your bodies natural painkiller, feel good, endorphin chemicals. During the build up to your period these levels in the body tend to decrease and so exercise will help to keep them elevated. Plus, exercise boosts the body's natural detoxification capabilities through helping to clean out the lymph system and rid toxins via sweat. I guarantee, you'll feel better for it!  

And the more you can follow this way of living and eating throughout the whole month, and not just around your period, the better the results.

So next time you're tempted to hit the Ben & Jerry's and crisps for a night in front of the TV, take time to re-consider! Your body (and everyone else that crosses your path this month) will no doubt be very thankful you chose the healthier option.

Kate x