Sheet and Dietary Recommendations
For Premenstrual Symptoms
By Jodie Lea Salter
(PMS) affects many women throughout their reproductive
years with a range of troublesome symptoms such as lethargy,
tension, irritability, depression, abdominal bloating
and breast pain which typically begin 7-14 days before
menstruation. The cause of this syndrome remains a mystery
and may be complex. Imbalance of ovarian hormones and
the endocrine system in the second half of a women's cycle
is involved. Dietary and lifestyle modifications can help
to manage symptoms and nutritional supplements and herbal
medicines offer benefit.
It is important to regulate blood sugar levels. Many symptoms
of PMS are similar to those of hypoglyceamia and can often
be improved by following a hypoglycaemic diet.
an abnormally low level of glucose or sugar in the blood,
which is caused by inadequate diet that is too high in
refined carbohydrates or that results in impaired absorption
and simulation of food ingested.
A diet of too much
sugar, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and hydrogenated
oils, being dehydrated and skipping meals will create
hormonal imbalance. A fiber rich low fat, low salt and
low sugar diet is suggested for women who suffer from
the symptoms of PMS.
- Sugar (sucrose) is a simple carbohydrate and although
we need simple sugars for fuel or energy, too many sugars
can increase the blood sugar level quickly and cause a
strain on the blood sugar controls. Some natural
simple sugars such as those found in fruits and vegetables
have an advantage over sucrose as they contain other nutrients
that aid in the utilization, as such, naturally occurring
sugars can be eaten, however too many of these simple
sugar can be harmful for blood sugar regulation.
Best to avoid all
together anything containing white sugar. Read labels
carefully for clues on sugar content. If the words:-
sucrose, glucose, maltose, lactose, fructose, corn syrup
or white grape juice concentrate appear on the label,
extra sugar has been added. Remember fruit is ok to eat,
however a small piece of protein such as a small piece
of cheese or a few nuts with the fruit will help the body's
response to the rise in blood sugar.
Avoid as much sugar
as possible in all forms ie: jam, malt, white/brown sugar,
molasses, artificial sugars, sugared tinned food and frozen
dinners, any junk food, (candy, lollies, cakes, sugared
biscuits, sugared snacks, refined cereals, pretzels, bottled
drinks with sugar, date sugar, tapioca, chocolate, most
health snacks have sugar, fruits.
Limit refined Carbohydrates
- such as white flours and products made with such, breads/flours,
white rice and pasta. Instead choose brown rice, pasta
and breads made from whole meal flour, rye, seeds, and
Increase Complex Carbohydrates e.g.; Brown rice, Whole
meals breads, Potatoes, Whole meal pasta, Legumes (lentils,
chickpeas) Grains, nuts and seeds.
Decrease stimulants - coffee, tea and tobacco too much
caffeine affects liver and blood sugar levels and can
make you feel anxious and irritable. Caffeine consumption
has been associated with increased symptoms of PMS.
Decrease alcohol - alcohol causes hypoglycaemic symptoms
by attacking the liver and contains simple sugars. Alcohol
also strips the body of vitamins and minerals and can
make you feel dehydrated, tired and washed out. Alcohol
also affects quality of sleep.
Avoid Dairy Products Dairy products are high in sodium
and can interfere with magnesium absorption. Magnesium
can help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS like fluid
retention, bloating, mood swings and depression.
Magnesium is high in fresh green vegetables, wheat germ,
soybeans and whole grains.
Frequent Meals - It is best to eat frequent meals, every
4 hours (even 2 hours) to help with blood sugar level
regulation and weight control.
Decrease Saturated Fats- such as animal fats (red meats)
coconut and vegetable oils. Instead cook with cold pressed
olive oil. Increase fish consumption. Fish contains EFA's
essential fatty acids (omega 3) which are anti-inflammatory
oils and can help symptoms of PMS. Flaxseed oil is a good
source of omega 3 oil and can be added to vegetables or
on cereal in the morning.
Increase good quality proteins such as fish, yoghurt,
tahini, nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes. These will help with
carbohydrate (sugar) cravings associated with PMS. If
you eat chicken - best to make sure it is organic due
to possible hormone contamination.
Increase vegetables - all colours and varieties.
Increase water intake, water intake should be around 2
litres daily, this can consist of herbal teas as well
water. Dandelion tea tastes a bit like coffee and
is a blood cleanser, is great for the liver detoxification
and contains diuretic properties, which helps with excess
fluid build up.
Always eat breakfast. Best to start the day with a good
wholesome breakfast, which will help keep up energy levels.
Restrict Sodium intake: - foods high in sodium are mainly
canned and processed foods.
Increase exercise such as walking, yoga, and swimming.
Anything you like, get out and move. Fresh air, exercise
and sunshine will help alleviate stress and anxiety. Try
some relaxation techniques like meditation and relaxing
music to wind down after a stressful day.
Keep a symptom diary to chart symptoms throughout the
month. This will help you to identify optimal times for
implementing behavioral and other changes to manage symptom
exacerbations. It can help you to manage PMS
In a nutshell Keep diet as clean and fresh as possible.
Regulate blood sugar levels. Eat lots of fresh vegetables
and fruits, quality proteins, essential fatty acids -
such as fish. Decrease dairy products and red meats, coffee
and alcohol. Get plenty of rest and regular exercise.
Drink lots of water and relax. Your partner will love
you for it.
that can be affective for PMS include:-
complex + 50-100mg B6 daily with food
Flaxseed oil 1 tablespoon daily
Fish oil/EPO 1000 3000mg daily
Magnesium 200-400mg day
Calcium 1200mg-1600mg daily
Antioxidants formula - A,C, E and Zinc
Helpful Herbal Medicines are Chaste Tree, Chamomile, St
Johns Wort, Dandelion
It is best to consult
a qualified Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist for
individual treatment plan and correct administration of
vitamins/minerals and herbs.
Jodie Lea Salter N.D
overweight is common in our society and with so many diet
ideas and books it is hard to know what to do. Getting
back to the basics and following a few easy guidelines
will not only leave us feeling better about ourselves
over the long term but it can help us lose weight and
keep it off.
Never starve yourself or miss a meal ,
this only lowers the body's metabolism. Metabolism is
important for long term weight loss as it is the sum total
of all biochemical reactions that occur in the body to
produce energy. The BMR or basal metabolic rate is the
of the body's metabolism, that is, how our bodies use
energy throughout the day. To lose weight effectively
ideally we need to try and increase our BMR and metabolism
so that the body uses our fat stores as the fuel for energy
production. Dieting, skipping meals and not doing enough
exercise usually cause the metabolism to slow down. Missing
meals not only decreases metabolism but also unbalances
our blood sugar levels. Low blood sugars can make us feel
depressed, anxious, low in energy and generally unwell.
Diets that rely just on decreasing calorie intake can
lower the body's BMR and we can enter a cycle whereby
eating less food actually lowers the body's need for food
and therefore we must eat even less food just to avoid
putting on weight. These diets can be effective for the
first 2 weeks, however they are not recommended over the
long term because they can reduce the body's muscle cells
and leave the body feeling tired and lethargic. Regular
eating and increasing exercise can reverse the bodies
metabolism so it can run efficiently and can leave us
feeling toned, strong and full of energy.
Exercise is vital for weight loss but
doesn't necessary have to be boring. Finding something
that we like doing is important. Any form of movement
is good for the body. Try walking, swimming, bike riding,
gardening, dancing, anything that gets you moving. Exercise
increases energy levels and metabolism and helps to decreases
stress. The increase in BMR can last for several hours
after exercise. Movement is good, use your body anyway
you can. Exercise tones your muscles and turns excess
fat into muscle. Muscle tissue burns calories at a higher
rate than fat stores so the extra calories the body needs
for energy will come entirely from the breakdown of fatty
Eat regularly eating smaller meals
more regularly is a good way to manage your weight and
regulates blood sugar levels. Regular blood sugar levels
help increase our energy and can stabilizes the body's
metabolism because the body doesn't feel like it is starving.
Decrease simple carbohydrates, which
are easily digested sugars found in white breads, white
flour products (pasta) and white rice. Stick to whole
meal flours and brown rice. It can be beneficial to stay
clear of carbohydrates after 4pm in the afternoon. Dinners
should be light and simple such as a piece of meat, chicken
or fish with lots of veggies and salads.
Decrease Alcohol. It is nice to have
a glass of red while making dinner as this can help the
body relax and prepare digestion. However, alcohol is
a high calorie substance and high in sugar. Too much alcohol
can deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals,
which are leached from the body in order to break the
alcohol down. It has no nutritional value and can prevent
weight reduction. Too much alcohol can make us feel lethargic,
irritated and bloated. Other reasons to reduce alcohol
consumption is that it is a diuretic, increasing urination
and loss of water causing dehydration and loss of B group
vitamins , zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Alcohol
can act as an appetizer and often results in people over
eating foods that are dense in calories.
Li mit fat intake. Fatty
foods have are high caloric foods. If you eat a surplus
of food, especially fatty foods and do very little activity
to burn the excess the rest will be stored as fat.
Avoid fried foods as much as possible,
steaming, grilling or baking is better.
Use Cold pressed Olive oil for cooking.
Eat plenty of vegetables and 4-5 pieces
of fruit per day. Eating fruit mid meal and as snacks
is a good idea, but a little bit of protein eg/ couple
of almonds or some yoghurt, will help keep our blood sugars
Eat lots of salads, summer is the perfect
time for salads and there is so much you can do with them,
so many different varieties. It doesn't take long to chop
up a few raw vegetables and you can use any left overs
the next day. Add some tinned tuna/salmon/cold meats or
low fat cheese and lunch is served. Quick and healthy.
This helps avoid the lack of time, just get a quick burger
Drink plenty of water . Aim to drink
around 8 glasses a day.
Decrease Coffee. Enjoy a coffee,
but try not to use it as a meal replacement. The positives
of coffee are that it helps us to keep alert, increasing
neurotransmitters, but plays with our blood sugars.
Sudden surges in blood sugars increase our cravings for
sweets and excess sugar easily turns into fat.
Decrease sugar and sugary foods, especially soft
drinks, chocolates, cakes
Add protein foods into the diet. Small
amounts of protein should be added to each meal. 5-6 x
per day. Smaller meals regularly will regulate blood sugar
Avoid takeaway foods - most takeaways
are loaded with hidden fats, that's why they are so yummy.
Takeaways should be minimized if not avoided.
Don't deny yourself your favorite foods.
If we are following the other tips for weight reduction
and lifestyle factors there is no reason not to enjoy
the good things in life as well. It's just that we may
like these things a bit too often. So don't deny yourself,
enjoy your food it is your medicine.
No one else is going to do this for you, only you. You
are in charge of your life, you are responsible for your
health. Losing weight and feeling good are also important
for health in general, you may possibly be saving money
on medical bills later and investing in your future, so
you will be able to enjoy it,
a nutshell don't deny yourself, eat smaller meals more
often, decrease saturated fats and carbohydrates in the
diet, exercise more, preferably an 1hr of brisk walking
per day and drinks plenty of water.
Jodie Lea Salter B.Nat,.AdvDip Nat, Dip Nutr,.Dip
For references and more information:- Please contact
me via email: email@example.com