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Don't let the word "diet" scare you off: the diet for PMS and PMDD isn't about counting calories or stepping on a scale or starving yourself. Diet is a word that simply means "what you eat." It's about feeding your body right so your hormones and your menstrual cycle can get, and stay in balance. That old saying, "You are what you eat" was never more true than when talking about how food can help cure PMS and PMDD.
We're often asked, "What does food have to do with hormones, PMS, and PMDD?" In fact, every hormone and cell in your body is made out of what you eat, and is constantly responding to changes in your body as a result of what you eat. So diet has everything to do with keeping you balanced and feeling like yourself all month long. What's more, a diet that supports healthy hormonal balance, and that helps relieve PMDD and PMS offers the added benefit of keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy, your weight more manageable, and your complexion youthful and clear.
Our PMS Balance Diet is simple. Healthy plant foods, high-quality proteins, good fats, and very little junk food will do wonders for your cycle and your hormonal balance. Several of our other articles discuss food and diet for PMS and PMDD symptoms, but the PMS Comfort Balance Diet is the blueprint for an optimal health diet. It's based on two foundations: our many years of experience helping thousands of women with premenstrual symptoms get back in balance and feeling well again, using healthy diet; and hundreds of hours poring through old and new scientific research so we could find out exactly what is the healthiest way to eat. No fad diets here, and no confusion about what to eat and what is good for you. We've sorted through all that for you. And the PMS Comfort Diet lays the foundation of a healthy diet for everyone, not just women with premenstrual symptoms.
What to Eat to Prevent and Relieve PMS
The PMS Balance Diet is a plant-based diet: nutrition researchers are now largely in agreement, after decades of controversy, that the best health comes from a diet rich in healthy plant foods, high-quality protein, healthy fats, and minimal junk food. We've made it as simple and portable as possible:
Veggie Tip: Go French-fry-free. Choose colorful, low-starch vegetables like leafy greens and cabbage family vegetables over starchy vegetables like potatoes. Also, don't forget, corn is a grain and peas are a legume or bean: they don't count as vegetables. The best starchy vegetables are root vegetables like parsnip, yam, and carrots.
Fruit Tip: Limit your fruit juice. Fruit juice is mostly sugar and water, and doesn't have the fiber of whole fruit. We recommend enjoying it in moderation, four times per week maximum, for most people.
Grain Tip: When it comes to whole-grain breads, the buyer must beware. Many breads marketed as whole-grain contain whole wheat flour but are made, in reality, from mostly white flour (also labeled unbleached or enriched wheat flour). The first ingredient in whole-grain bread should be whole-grain flour. The best whole-grain breads contain no white flour, and are hardy and toothsome. If you're used to very light white bread, whole-grain bread may take some getting used to—but it's worth it.
Gluten-Free Tip: More and more people are going gluten-free these days, and if you have reason to believe you're sensitive to gluten or prone to celiac disease, you'll need to avoid wheat, oats, barley, rye, and triticale. Superlative substitutes include rice, wild rice, corn, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat, all of which are gluten free and have all the benefits of the other whole grains. Beans are another great source alternative to gluten-containing grains.
Bean Tip: Soybeans, unlike most other beans, are high in protein and low in starch.
Tips for Nuts: One reason it's so easy to overeat nuts is because salted, fried nuts keep you wanting more. Instead, choose unsalted nuts that don't list oil in the ingredients—dry-roasted or raw nuts, in other words. We recommend you buy your nuts at a store that sells plenty of them; that way they're more likely to be fresh. You can roast raw nuts yourself in the oven or toaster oven. Sweeter nuts, like pecans and cashews, cook more quickly, so set a timer or watch closely, so they don't burn.
Tips for Fats:If you can develop a taste for olive oil, try using it in place of butter. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil is much healthier than saturated butterfat. Think of butter as a treat—occasional use is fine, but not a good choice for everyday use.
Oil is easily damaged by light, so look for oils packaged in green glass or metal containers.
While organic oil ideal, it isn't always available or affordable, so choose the best you can find.
Fresh herbs, when available and affordable, are preferable to dried herbs.
Fresh or dried herbs are preferable to seasoning salts. The extra salt isn't necessary: you can salt to taste, on your own.
We confess that we love cooking with fresh garlic, shallots, and onions. They're among the healthiest foods for you, and even small amounts can add a lot of flavor. So enjoy their flavor, and enjoy their benefits!
If you're wondering when this article on a healthy, balanced diet for PMS is going to start telling you what not to eat—we've got that too! When it comes to resolving PMS symptoms with diet, we feel most strongly that it's what you do every day that counts, not what you do once in a while. That's why we suggest you needn't worry overmuch about the occasional dietary misstep or indulgence—after all, enjoying yourself is part of balance and health, and we support that!
Real, Natural Relief—You Can Feel Great
PMS and PMDD misery aren't always taken seriously enough by doctors, family, and friends. At PMS Comfort, our purpose is to empower and educate you, and to provide real, natural relief so that you can feel great all month long. Our all-natural doctor-designed PMS Comfort is based on decades of experience helping thousands of women recover from what you've been going through.
We’re here to support and want to help. Start feeling better for as little as 87 cents per day. Give us a call at 1-800-731-6327, drop us an e-mail, or send us your question.