While I’m off gallivanting and taking in the CHFA West in the beautiful city that is Vancouver; I thought I would be remiss to leave you with nothing to whet your natural health appetites. So I’ve lined up some guest posts, to keep you entertained.

~Bianca

Has that time of the month come to call again? If you’re like most women, you have learned to grin and bear through your symptoms of PMS until the pain, bloating and fatigue subside. However, not all women are able to simply endure their PMS symptoms, and some may experience cramps and bloating to the extent that the pain makes it difficult to get up and function throughout the day. Not to mention the intense mood swings so common in that crazy pre-period week. Luckily, if your PMS symptoms are becoming difficult to handle, or if you simply want to alleviate as much pain as possible, there are ways to naturally reduce symptoms of PMS by adding extra amounts of specific nutrients to your diet. While these foods are not a cure-all for PMS, enriching your diet with these three essential nutrients can help take symptoms from unbearable to so unnoticeable you might be left with nothing more than a big, wide grin.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been part of a huge health fad recently, widely touted for their benefits as healthy sources of fat. Foods such as nuts, olive oil, salmon, fish oil, and avocado that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, improve immune function, and reduce inflammation. But studies have found that this essential nutrient can also alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Because inflammation is such a large part of PMS symptoms, like cramps and bloating, the effects of omega-3 fatty acids work wonders. Try adding some extra avocado and olive oil to your salads or sandwiches the week prior to your period for added anti-inflammation benefits.

2. Vitamin B

Making sure your diet includes a healthy amount of Vitamin B will go very far to reduce the amount of PMS symptoms you experience regularly. While vitamin B does not work as an antidote for symptoms upon consumption, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with a diet rich in vitamin B reduced their PMS symptoms by about 25%, compared to women without consistent vitamin B in their diets. Foods like spinach, whole grain breads and cereals, beans, and lean beef are great sources of vitamin B. Supplements work, as well, but eating a rich diet is always better.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is known as a natural relaxant. It is often used to alleviate anxiety and help with sleep. Magnesium helps regulate the levels of serotonin, which is a mood regulator in the brain. Magnesium in supplement form can be taken as an instant mood enhancer to help the emotional sensitivity caused by PMS. Magnesium also helps to reduce water retention, which will alleviate bloating and fatigue. Foods high in magnesium include whole grains, beans, brown rice, peanut butter, spinach, salmon and cashews.