Treating PMS naturally

fruits and vegFrom talking to so many women and by reading the stat that PMS affects between 50-70% percent of women, I want to address how the symptoms of PMS can be alleviated naturally…
Most of us women have at some point or another experienced swollen, tender breasts, bloating, cravings for sugar, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fatigue, depressed mood, water retention, and skin outbreaks before the onset of our period.
As a holistic nutritionist, I look at PMS as a symptom of liver stagnation. Poor diet and lack of exercise can also play a role.
Our liver is what processes the hormones in our body. Whether we are getting too much estrogen from our food and environment, or having elevated cortisol levels due to stress, it is our liver that carries the burden of dealing with these hormonal imbalances. Conventional medicine often suggests the birth control pill for the
treatment of PMS, but unfortunately these synthetic hormones can make symptoms worse over time.
Regarding diet, deficiencies in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and E, B-complex,
particularly B6, and essential fatty acids can be a factor in PMS.
Here are my health tips to improve and maybe even eliminate PMS:
– include cruciferous vegetables in the diet often. 6-8 servings/week if possible. These include: brussels

sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. The key ingredient in these veggies is Indole 3 Ca

rbinol (I-3-C), which helps to balance hormones. I-C-3 can also be taken in supplement form
– avoid foods that are high in phytoestrogens. These foods can cause a hormonal imbalance by mimiking estrogen in the body. Foods to avoid are soy products except for those that are fermented (miso & tempeh). Stay away from products with soy isolates in them (snack bars or protein powders). Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts and flax are also high in phytoestrogens so it is important not to eat these foods in excess.

 – eat

anti-inflammatory foods, herbs & spices. These include salmon (or fish oil supplements), black currant oil, ginger, tumeric, and peppermint.
– cleansing and supporting the liver is very important. This can be done through taking milk thistle tincture, drinking lemon water each morning, and by eating plenty (8-12 servings/week) of dark green leafy vegetables.
– vitex is an amazing herb that helps to balance the female hormonal system. It can be taken in tincture form and is wonderful at decreasing symptoms of PMS.
– a high-fibre diet with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables helps to eliminate
excess estrogen. 2 tbsp of chia seeds daily are a great source of fibre and help to keep the bowels moving.
– if you are a meat eater, buying organic is very important, since non organic meats contain many synthetic hormones which can cause extra stress for our liver.
For more information, or to learn more about what specific supplements or dietary changes would be helpful to you, contact me at courtneykath@gmail.com

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