“Let food be thy medicine, medicine be thy food” quoted Hippocrates in 460 BC. Nothing can be truer than this adage – while unhealthy and unregulated consumption of food can wreak havoc on the body, when consumed properly, it can also have a healing effect. This is true for conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) too. We give you a lowdown on some foods which have components that can help combat and deal with PMS symptoms.
An Apple a day keeps the doctor away – and even the PMS symptoms! This antioxidant-rich fruit has numerous health benefits. It has a special nutrient called Quercetin which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the symptoms of PMS, keeping women relaxed during this phase. Quercetin acts as an antidepressant and avoids mood swings.
Cucumbers do not just cool your eyes! Composed of 80% water, consuming them regularly helps prevent bloating and water retention. When the body is hydrated, the uterine muscles become more relaxed and help reduce PMS symptoms and associated pain. Cucumbers also contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Manganese, Flavonoids, Triterpenes, and Lignans which reduce free radicals in the body and protect women through the menstrual cycle.
The benefits of this magic herb go beyond its fresh fragrance. Mint also has a calming effect on the body, relaxes the muscles, and helps avoid PMS symptoms. Mint also relieves PMS discomfort by increasing bile secretion, which hastens digestion and reduces gas formation, water retention or any bloating.
Papaya is not just a favorite with weight watchers. This nutrient-rich fruit has latex which stimulates uterine contraction and reduces pain associated with PMS. Another component called Choline helps in comfortable muscle movement and nerve impulse transmission, reduces chronic inflammation, and other PMS symptoms.
These citrusy fruits have excellent antioxidant and Phenolic compounds especially Flavonoids which are anti-inflammatory in nature. Hesperidin (a citrus Flavonoid) and Anthocyanins (red flesh agents) in Oranges help reduce PMS symptoms such as pain.
How many of us remember cartoons showing rabbits with a Carrot in their mouth? Well, not for nothing! Carrots are rich in nutrients and minerals. It has Potassium which is an important cellular fluid and maintains the fluid balance in the cell. This further helps in reducing any fluid retention experienced during PMS.
The next time around you experience the telltale PMS symptoms, try eating some of the foods suggested above – and you may find food healing you, naturally!
Co-authored by research expert Nutrition Tattva
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