You can tell when you have PMS (premenstrual syndrome) because you will go through hell and high water for some sweetness on your tongue. You finally get your hands on a chocolate candy bar that you so desperately think you need and tear bite into it like a raving, mad woman.
You take your first bite and you are immediately soothed by the sweet, creamy, smoothness of the chocolate candy bar. It is at this time when you are finally calm.
Does the above sound familiar? Sure, it does. If you are a woman, you have had the cravings for sweetness in your mouth and dared someone to stand in the way of you getting your sweet fix.
Did you know that you can stop the PMS cravings as well as other symptoms that effect you during that time of the month? Yes, you can. You can do it by making simple diet changes.
My Battle with PMS Symptoms
It all started in my teen years. I would get sick, have major cramps (I popped Advil or Tylenol like a drug addict), vomit, have hot and cold sweats and a week or so before my dreaded visitor arrived, I had to have the sweets.
I thought PMS symptoms were normal and no one told me otherwise. Let’s fast forward to my 20’s. I still had the symptoms and dealt with it the best that I could. It was not until I reached my early 30’s, when I discovered that I can stop PMS symptoms, by changing my diet.
Today, I do not have PMS symptoms. I do not have cravings, cramping, bloating, irritability, moodiness, hot and cold sweats, or vomiting. Most of the time my period sneaks up on me. I no longer dread that time of the month, because it comes and goes without any problems.
The longer I eat a plant-based diet the less PMS symptoms I have. My diet consists of fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, grains and a small amount of seeds and nuts. I eat a low-fat, vegan (plant-based) diet. It is a very simple diet, but sometimes challenging. When I am faced with challenges, I focus on the benefits and that is what keeps me going.
Estrogen Triggers Cravings
During the monthly cycle, estrogen levels rise because of the possibility of pregnancy, but when pregnancy does not occur, the estrogen levels decrease. The drop in estrogen levels might cause you to feel bloated, moody and crave chocolate.
Food Helps Control Estrogen
You can control your estrogen levels with simple diet changes. You read my experience and how things changed because of dietary changes that I made. I had no idea that I was controlling my estrogen levels with food, but now I understand the science.
“If we keep fat intake low, estrogen stays at a more modest level throughout the month. It won’t ever climb too high – and there will be no drop at the end of the month. That helps tame PMS, cramps – and cravings.” Dr. Neal Barnard
Fiber Helps Your Body’s Estrogen-Disposal System
Eating foods that are high in fiber helps absorb the waste estrogen. Fiber acts like a sponge and carries the estrogen out of your body.
Animal foods are devoid of fiber and you get fiber from plants foods. Eating a diet low in fiber slows the process of estrogen being carried out of the body.
The liver removes estrogen from your blood and sends it to the intestinal tract for disposal.
However, a diet that has low to no fiber does not help with the estrogen-disposal system.
The estrogen ends up circulating back into your bloodstream, resulting in a higher level of estrogen your body than needed.
You get fiber from eating plant foods. The fiber helps move things out of your body. Begin today increasing the amount of plant foods you eat. Eat foods such as: vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. The fiber in these foods help trap estrogen in the digestive tract and carry it out with the wastes.
Steps That Help Control Estrogen
You want to stop estrogen from rising too high early in the month so that it does not fall too much at the end of the month.
- Start your diet change on the first day of your monthly cycle (the first day of your period) and follow the diet for the entire month.
- Eliminate animal products and added vegetable oils.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber (beans, vegetables, fruit and grains).
- Pay attention during the last week of the month to your cravings, PMS symptoms, and cramps. It is likely that you will notice the benefits of changing your diet in the very first month, and the effects become increasingly noticeable with each new cycle.
If you are interested in weight loss, you will probably notice that you lose weight as a result of your diet change.
The changes that I made in my diet eliminated PMS symptoms. I no longer have cramps, vomit, hot and cold sweats, mood swings and the cravings. I am thankful that I do not have any PMS symptoms. It is a miracle and you can have that miracle too.
Changing your diet is a simple answer to PMS, yet challenging, because you are used to eating what you eat. If you have PMS symptoms and they are kicking your butt, make the commitment to eating more plant foods. Better yet, eat a plant-based diet and reap the benefits of not having PMS symptoms.
Men, if you read this article and know a woman who has PMS, please share this article with her. You’ll be glad you did.
Once you go plants, it’s hard to go back!
Information source for this article obtained from Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally written by Neal Barnard, MD. I encourage you to read this book, especially if you crave sugar, cheese and meat.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles (1) and Marin (2) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net