When it's that time of the month, chocolate might be your go-to staple when it comes to making you feel better—at least mentally. While that rich, chocolaty goodness can certainly boost your spirits and may temporarily ease your irritability, it doesn't do a whole lot to reduce cramps, headaches or bloating. However, certain foods may reduce your pms symptoms.
Here are four to indulge in next time you're about to get your period.
If you're having trouble fitting into your skinny jeans because of bloat, eat beans. They're rich in magnesium, which helps reduce water retention. Studies show that women with PMS symptoms often have low levels of this nutrient. Plus, magnesium helps regulate serotonin levels, which impact mood. Add beans to your salad, eat lentil soup or mash them up into a delicious dip.
2. Greek yogurt
Studies have shown that women with the highest levels of calcium and vitamin D are less likely to develop PMS. While you could take supplements, the results were stronger when the calcium and vitamin D were obtained from foods. Three servings of dairy or fortified foods will help you get the amount you need, and low-fat Greek yogurt is a great choice. It has protein to help you feel full, great flavors and versatile recipe options.
Eggs are full of nutritious vitamins and minerals. Vitamins D, B6 and E have all been proven to help reduce PMS symptoms. Scientists believe that the vitamins help control chemicals in the brain that cause PMS, and some may help regulate the effects of fluctuating hormones. Eat them scrambled, sunny-side up or poached for breakfast, or add hard-boiled eggs to a salad.
4. Chamomile tea
If cramps are your biggest PMS gripe, chamomile tea may help. It has properties that can help relieve muscle spasms and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. It's also soothing, which can reduce anxiousness and irritability that you may experience in the days leading up to your period. Have a cup every night before bed.
If adding these foods doesn't help your symptoms, you may want to try reducing some things including caffeine, salt and sugar. And be sure to stay well hydrated with water and light juices.