6 Foods That Help With PMS When Literally Every Symptom Is Hitting You At Once
If you're a person who gets a period, chances are, you've experienced some not-so-great side effects about every 28 days. From binge-watching Parks and Recreation in bed to treating yourself to the most luxurious bath you've ever taken, there are plenty of self-care rituals that could make that time of the month a little less miserable. But if you, like me, love an excuse to eat something delicious, you may be able to ease some of those awful period symptoms and nourish your stomach at the same time. Luckily, these six foods that can help with PMS symptoms are not only great for soothing your mind and your body, but they're pretty tasty, too.
Before I understood some of the science behind eating for period relief, I simply reached for whatever I was craving most (usually vegan mac and cheese, if I'm being totally honest) whenever I was dealing with PMS. While listening to your cravings can sometimes be helpful in understanding your body, there's a certain power to understanding exactly how to address your worst symptoms, so you can live your life to the fullest, period symptoms be damned. These delicious recommendations from experts will help you take charge when you're not feeling so great.
Beat Nausea With Ginger
One of the most annoying PMS symptoms that I, and many other women deal with, is nausea. One day, I'll be so hungry that I feel like I could eat an entire pizza, and the next, even the mere thought of food will make my stomach turn.
If you're dealing with a queasy stomach during your period, stock up on Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps, which are both delicious and good for settling a somersaulting tummy. A study published in the journal Integrative Medicine Insights found that ginger can be a safe and effective treatment for nausea and vomiting.
Reduce Stress With Peanut Butter
Whenever I feel super stressed on my period, I almost always find myself reaching for whatever jar of nut butter I happen to have in my fridge (cashew butter is currently my favorite). While I always assumed my body was just being weird when it came to this, it turns out that craving nuts could actually be my body's way of trying to calm my nerves.
Reach For The Spice To Combat Bloating
Finding a hormonal birth control pill that works for my body has almost entirely eliminated my severe period bloat, but if a swollen stomach is making it harder for you to get things done, try eating some spicy food. “The capsaicin in cayenne pepper reduces gas and bloating because it increases the flow of digestive enzymes through your intestines,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, told Women's Health.
Reduce Constipation With Chocolate
I hereby declare a ban on making fun of people for snacking on chocolate during their periods. Not only does almost everyone in the world love chocolate, regardless of whether they have a uterus, but according to Sandy Kanuf, a U by Kotex partner and family nurse practitioner, the sweet treat can relieve constipation during your period. Back in January, she told Elite Daily, “Eating non-processed dark chocolate or adding a magnesium supplement to your diet can help decrease bloating and help keep you regular.”
Soothe Cramps With Pumpkin Seeds
Period cramps are the absolute worst, and no matter how many hot water bottles you use, it can feel downright impossible to soothe the pain. If you find yourself doubled over in agony during your period, try snacking on some roasted pumpkin seeds. "These foods are high in manganese, which aids in muscle relaxation and can help lessen the severity of cramping," Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN, suggested to Bustle.
Also, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, pumpkin seed chocolate bark is a thing, and it is delicious.
Snack on Fresh Cherries to Sleep Better
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, having trouble sleeping during your period is pretty common. So if PMS has you tossing and turning all night, try to snack on some fresh summer cherries before bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation says "tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin," which is a hormone in your body that helps you sleep. Plus, come on, those little guys are just plain delicious.