Suffer with PMS?
You’re certainly not alone! One of the topics I’ve been asked most frequently about by female friends and clients is how to control or lessen their pre-menstrual symptoms using simple dietary changes.
Some women barely notice a thing in the lead up to their period, while for others it can be up to two weeks of tiredness, unstable moods and spotty break-outs. It’s estimated that three out of every four women experience PMS to some extent, with symptoms including irritability, increased hunger, food cravings, headache, fluid retention, bloating and breast tenderness.
Generally women will experience only a few of these symptoms, which can begin up to 14 days before a period and typically go away when it starts.
Interactions between your hormones and neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), plus stress and poor diet and food choices are generally thought to trigger or worsen PMS. But certain food choices can help ease symptoms, and chocolate is one of those foods… great news for chocoholics!
Indulge in Chocolate
Ever wondered why so many women crave chocolate just before and during their period? It can help to distract us from painful cramps and boost our energy, but chocolate can actually be helpful in easing symptoms. However, it’s the chocolate in its raw and unprocessed form that can help the most. Raw cacao powder is loaded with magnesium, plus other essential minerals including calcium, sulphur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese, as well as antioxidant flavonoids to protect our cells, and a range of the B vitamins, protein and fibre.
More Magnesium Please
Magnesium is known as nature’s sedating nutrient, as it helps to calm a stressed nervous system, relax muscles, regulate blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels, maintain nerve function and ease PMS.
Ever wonder why you crave chocolate just before your period? Ounce for ounce, dark chocolate contains more magnesium than any other type of food. Magnesium levels may fluctuate throughout a woman’s cycle, with higher levels of oestrogen or progesterone leading to lowered magnesium levels. A magnesium-rich diet can help relieve PMS-related symptoms, such as headaches, bloating, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings.
Apart from chocolate, good food sources of magnesium include leafy green veggies, almonds, cashews, avocado, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and buckwheat.
Need some chocolate recipe inspo? My 4-3-2-1 Clean Chocolate has rescued the day on many occasions! 😉