Beat PMS At The Table!

CALCIUM COUNTSResearch has shown that women with PMS have lower blood levels of calcium around their time of ovulation compared with women who don’t have PMS symptoms. Mood and bloating has been shown to improve when women take 1,000 – 1,200 mg of calcium daily.  Calcium rich foods include low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified soymilk, low-fat cheese, broccoli, kale, and white beans, tofu, rhubarb, sardines, okra, peas, Brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, and almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

MORE MAGNESIUM Women with PMS tend to have lower blood levels of magnesium. A diet rich in magnesium can improve mood and decrease water retention.  Magnesium also helps regulate serotonin, the so- called-feel-good neurotransmitter. Proper levels of serotonin helps to elevate moods, while decreasing water retention.  Magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, wild salmon, sunflower seeds, cashews, quinoa, potatoes with skin, soybeans, beans (black, white, navy, lima, pinto, kidney), amaranth, peanuts, peanut butter, chick peas, brown rice, and whole grain bread, and whole-grain breads.

VITAMIN B6 MATTERS Vitamin B6 is one of the necessary ingredients required by the body to manufacture dopamine, one of the mood neurotransmitters. Some studies have shown that taking a supplement reduces irritability, depression, and breast tenderness. Taking between 50 mg and 300 mg daily can help in the reduction in symptoms of PMS. Some of the best foods for B6 include fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, garbanzo beans (chick peas), wild salmon, lean beef, pork tenderloin, chicken breast, white potatoes with skin, oatmeal, banana, unsalted pistachio nuts, lentils, spinach, cod, snapper, turkey, and bell peppers.

VITAMIN E - Studies has shown that by taking 400 - 600 IU per day, women can experience a reduction in breast tenderness and cysts within breast.  Vitamin E can be found in sources such as, vegetable oil, leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, and nuts.

LIMIT SALT INTAKE - PMS can cause bloating and water retention. An intake high in salt can increase bloating and water retention. Recommend limiting the use of the salt shaker at the table and use natural sea salt.

AVOID ALCOHOL- Avoid excessive alcohol during PMS to reduced breast tenderness. Alcohol upsets blood sugar levels and interferes with magnesium and zinc absorption.

AVOID CAFFEINE - Research suggests that the effects of caffeine are magnified during PMS, leading to greater breast tenderness, nervousness, & potentially more irritability. Caffeine in coffee, soft drinks & chocolate act as a stimulant which induces irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches & insomnia.  Replace coffee, tea, & caffeinated drinks, with herbal teas & other decaffeinated beverages.  Consider chamomile tea b/c of its properties that relieve muscle spasms & reduce tension to alleviate painful menstrual cramps, anxiety, and irritability.

FIBER FIGHTS CRAVINGS, MOOD SWINGS, & FATIGUE – Great sources of fiber include, berries, pears, apples, beans, peas, spaghetti, oat bran muffins, and spinach.  Complex carbohydrates contain fiber and give energy over a longer period of time. Try not to go more than 3 hours without eating to keep your blood sugar levels even.

HYDRATE - Drinking more water will reduce retention and bloating by diluting the concentration of salt within the body.

GOT SLEEP? - Lack of sleep causes women to feel tired and run down which may increase levels of stress and symptoms of PMS.

ENOUGH EXERCISE - Regular exercise can reduce the additional stress women may feel prior to menstruation by regulating hormone levels.



Fighting Fatigue with Food - Miniseries Part 6 (The Finale!)


Lentils are a super food because they provide carbohydrates, protein, and fiber which translates into a slow release of glucose. Lentils are also packed with B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, and copper.  Sources to consider include navy beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans.

Leafy Greens

Folate can be helpful in reducing the risk of depression.  Folate can be found in dark leafy green vegetables, including spinach and romaine lettuce, legumes, nuts, and citrus fruits!

Fighting Fatigue with Food - Miniseries Part 5

Not All Fats Are Created Equal

Saturated fats tend to make you lethargic by lowering the amount of circulating oxygen in your bloodstream.  Monounsaturated fats such as almonds provide essential omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids which are linked to an alert mental state.  Salmon is rich in omega-3s and has been suggested to help decrease symptoms of depression and improve heart health.  Other healthy fats to include in your diet are avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and wheat germ.

Mighty Magnesium

Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are not only rich in protein, but also magnesium! Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in converting sugar into energy by activating certain enzymes needed to metabolize protein and carbohydrates.  Magnesium can be found in whole grains, especially bran cereals, halibut, dark green leafy vegetables, bananas, dried apricots, peas, legumes, yogurt, and tofu.


Lean Meats

Lean meats, such as pork, lean beef, skinless chicken, and turkey, are healthy sources of protein that also provides your body with an amino acid called tyrosine.  Tyrosine boosts levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are brain chemicals that can help you stay more focused and alert.  Lean meats also contain vitamin B12 which combats insomnia and depression.  Other meat sources to consider: water-packed sardines and eggs.

Fighting Fatigue w/ Food - Miniseries Part 4


Dehydration and fatigue go hand in hand.  Studies suggest that mild dehydration slows the metabolism and reduces your energy.  Water makes it possible to digest, absorb, and transport nutrients.  Water also helps regulate body temperature by allowing your cells to receive nutrients for energy efficiently so your body can properly expend heat through sweating. The solution to dehydration is simple – drink plenty of water at regular intervals!  Aim to drink 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Other sources of fluid include flavored water, sports drinks, and herbal teas.

Begin with Breakfast

Skipping breakfast should no longer be an option.  Studies show that people who eat breakfast every morning enjoy more energy and a better mood throughout the day.  The ideal breakfast will deliver a mixture of fiber through whole grain carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein.