What Is PMS?
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or pre-menstrual tension (PMT) are the descriptive terms given to the unwanted and unwelcome symptoms that accompany the menstrual cycle, usually occurring in the week preceding a period. Pre-menstrual syndrome can begin up to two weeks before a period which means that for some women, half of their life is disturbed by these unpleasant symptoms.
Cause and Effect
Many women find that this time is characterised by mood swings, headaches, irritability, abdominal bloating, carbohydrate cravings, tiredness, difficulty concentrating and general emotionality, experiencing a very disruptive time. In a minority of cases, symptoms are more severe and this is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which has similar (more exaggerated) symptoms of PMS with a greater preponderance of psychological than physical symptoms. www.nhs.uk
A major course of PMS is the drop in hormonal levels, especially those of estrogen and progesterone A shift in these hormones can lead to both physical and emotional symptoms. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also influence serotonin levels. … mood swings are one of the most common and most severe PMS symptoms.
What to Avoid
Consume less salt and fast/processed foods, avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates, as their addictive-like qualities are particularly hard to stop when symptoms are bad.
Stress – Relax as much as possible during the days leading up to a period and set yourself a time to exercise for 20 minutes a day. Choose an exercise that you enjoy as you are more likely to stick with it.
What to Include
A study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University School of Medicine found that women who followed a low-fat, plant-based (vegan) diet for two menstrual cycles saw an improvement in their symptoms. The study asked the women to eat a traditional diet for two months, followed by a plant-based diet and then to return to the standard diet. However, the women felt so much better, that when asked by researchers to go back to their regular diet, several women refused. www.naturalnews.com
Alkalines – Overall, it is useful to maintain an 80 per cent alkaline/20 per cent acidic diet as this will help alleviate symptoms and reduce the likelihood of PMS occurring.
Avocado – Add avocado to juices to provide essential fatty acids which can also reduce the levels of symptoms experienced.
Bananas – These have also been found to help stave off the symptoms of PMS.
Beetroot – An excellent blood builder, beetroot is an excellent boost for women with menstrual disturbances.
Coconut oil – There has been extensive research on coconut oil, with plenty of anecdotal reports of improvements for women who suffer PMS. Add 1-2 tablespoons to your morning juice each day. http://www.coconutwaterlife.com/coconut-water-pms
Fennel – This ingredient is another excellent blood builder.
Leafy greens – Juice from various species of leafy greens, especially the darker greens called Brassica nigra, have been found to be particularly helpful for sufferers from premenstrual headaches and pains.
Phenylalanine – This has been shown to alleviate a variety of emotional and physiological symptoms prior to the onset of menstruation. It is also known that melatonin levels are lower in women suffering from PMS. (The Healing Nutrients Within by Eric Breaverman M.D.)
Raspberry leaf tea – For cramping pains (dysmenorrhea), raspberry leaf tea has been found to be beneficial as it helps to relax the muscles of the uterus
Vitamins and minerals – Foods which are high in zinc, B6, serotonin and magnesium are found to be helpful, as are herbs such as Dong Quai and Agnus Castus. The B vitamins, magnesium and zinc are needed in adequate supply during the pre-menstrual phase and during menstruation itself, so juices including blueberry, nectarines, courgette and fennel will contain the nutrients needed for relief. Use apricots or carrot to sweeten the juice and add beta-carotene for anti-inflammatory action. Clinical studies have found supplementation of vitamins B6, vitamin E and the minerals calcium, and magnesium to be beneficial in the reduction of weight gain, breast tenderness, anxiety, depression, tiredness and in reducing headaches and cravings in women with PMS. All of these can be obtained naturally from our diet.
Yoga – We have already mentioned the importance of avoiding stress and yoga is known to help women with gynaecological problems.
The Juice Recipes
The Beetroot Shot
1 small beetroot
Juice and knock back in one juicy go!
Juice Master’s Super Chute Juice
½ stalk celery
1 large handful mixed greens
1.25cm broccoli stem
1 small handful alfalfa sprouts
Simply juice all the ingredients, pour over ice and enjoy.
Chocolate, Orange Power Blend – taken from Jason Vale’s 5:2 Juice Plan
2 oranges (peeled, white pith left on)
1 banana (ripe)
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp maca powder
1 tsp Manuka honey
Juice the oranges and pour into a blender. Put the banana, cocoa powder, maca powder, Manuka honey and ice into the blender. Blend until smooth, drink and enjoy this ridiculously tasty smoothie!
Please note, it is impossible to give a definitive list as what supports one person can be a trigger food or allergen for another. You must stay your own juice detective at all times and listen to how your own body responds to certain foods and always consult with your healthcare provider when making changes to your diet which may affect your medication. Please be aware that we are not doctors, so it is important to consult with your GP or medical practitioner BEFORE making any changes to your diet. The suggestions above are not meant as an alternative to any current medical treatment so please DO NOT stop taking any medications you are on. They are also not an endorsement of their effectiveness, or a recommendation that they should be followed but instead, are provided for informational purposes. None of the information on the Natural Juice Therapy site is intended or implied to treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease.