National Nutrition Week 2018: Chew on this if you are PMSing

Jaee Khamkar, Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, in her exclusive article to The HealthSite talks about what you should eat to manage pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS better.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a combination of emotional, physical, psychological, and mood disturbances, that occur after a woman's ovulation, typically ending with the onset of her menstrual flow. The most common physical symptoms are fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, constipation, loose motions, headache, acne eruptions, and appetite changes with food cravings. Eating right and exercising can control the bloating, depression, irritability and mood changes associated with premenstrual syndrome. Here are things that you must eat, as penned down by Jaee Khamkar, Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan.

Helpful dietary tips during PMS:

Low Potassium level can cause muscle cramping, so include Potassium-rich food in diet - coconut water, sweet lime, muskmelon, leafy vegetables, pulses, legumes, milk and milk products.

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To prevent constipation have complex carbohydrates and high fiber food in diet - vegetables, fruits, salads, soups, spouts and legumes.

Eat Iron-rich foods - lean meats, garden cress seeds, liver and shellfish. You must increase iron intake before and during your period. A diet that includes Iron-rich foods may help avoid anaemia.

Anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E and Selenium plays important role in decreasing oxidative stress, inflammation, irritability and mood swings, so have lots of antioxidant rich food - fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Muskmelon, Flax), Fish, Egg and dairy products.

Incorporate Calcium-rich food in your diet - milk and milk products, poultry, shellfish, ragi, cauliflower, leafy vegetables, yogurt and soy milk. Calcium helps reduce menstrual pain because it helps maintain muscle tone also it reduces some symptoms like bloating and fatigue.

Drink plenty of water to reduce bloating, aids in digestion and has a number of other health benefits. You can also flavor your water with lemons, but avoid carbonated beverages, synthetic syrups, and caffeine; caffeine increases urinary loss of calcium. One is advised to decrease caffeine intake through coffee, black tea, and cold drinks.

Omega-3 rich food like flax seeds, fish oil, almonds, walnuts act as pain relievers, also helping reduce breast soreness.

Reduce salt intake. Cook your own food rather than eating junk or processed food, because of it heavy salt content. Eating lesser salt is particularly recommended for people suffering from bloating, breast tenderness or swollen hands.

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