PMS-Free Diet? What You Eat May Effect PMS (cont.)

Here are a few more diet and lifestyle tips that may help reduce PMS symptoms -- and won't hurt in any case:

  • Keep your blood sugar stable. Given all that's going on in your body during PMS prime time, keeping your blood sugar levels fairly stable should help your mood and energy situation. You can help do this by limiting caffeine, not skipping meals, and eating balanced meals most of the time. It also helps to choose nutritious carbs that contribute fiber, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans.
  • Don't eat a high-fat diet. Some suggest that a high-fat diet may have something to do with cyclic breast pain. One recent study found that women with breast soreness tended to eat more fat throughout their cycles than other women. The way I see it, this is yet another reason to avoid eating a high-fat diet.
  • Move it! It just makes sense to exercise regularly. Exercise can enhance energy and lift mood. And a recent review of the research found substantial evidence that exercise can help with PMS.

What about Herbal Therapies?

Of the various herbal supplements touted as possible PMS remedies, chasteberry (a dried extract of the fruit of the chasteberry tree) is the one researchers tend to give the most credence.

There's some evidence chasteberry may improve PMS symptoms, but more study is needed, according to a review of the research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2003.

(Be sure to see your doctor before taking any herbal supplement, especially if you're taking prescription medications.)

Published April 14, 2005.


SOURCES: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 1997; August 1998; May 2003. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2004. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 4th edition, 2002. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2003; vol 348: pp 433-437. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2000. American Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1998; vol 179: pp 444-452. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecological Reproductive Biology; vol 116: pp 201-206. Nutrients in Food, Elizabeth Hands, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

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