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Foods for Fighting Premenstrual Syndrome

Most women have some sort of premenstrual syndrome symptoms like bloating or a headache. Other women have severe symptoms like anxiety, insomnia or even depression. But did you know that some foods can help, while others should be avoided?

If acne, cramping and food cravings are an issue for you, registered dietitian Catherine Kruppa said to increase spinach.

“Spinach is high in vitamin A, which is one of the vitamins that's known to help your skin. It also has calcium, it's high in calcium and that calcium can also help reduce cramping, and one study particularly said that the calcium in spinach can actually help reduce your food cravings,” Kruppa said.

If insomnia and irritability are a problem, Kruppa said to try peanut butter.

“Peanut butter is high in magnesium and it's also high in vitamin B6. So that magnesium helps regulate serotonin which is a mood-stabilizing hormone… and then B6 works with melatonin which helps your sleep and so then you're more likely to sleep a little better.”

For another option to help mood and energy, Kruppa suggested salmon.

“It's really your best protein option because it's kind of a one-stop shop. It's great for your skin, fish is known to help with depression, any type of fish. It also has vitamins and minerals that increase your energy level so it's a great protein source during that time of the month,” Kruppa said.

However, she said you do not want to give in to sweet cravings because giving in once will have you craving more.

There is one cheat: Dark chocolate!

“More is not better, so just a small little square of dark chocolate but it's also high in magnesium,” Kruppa said. “Go for the most bitter so, 80+ percent dark chocolate, not such a sweet one to give you that little sweet fix and a little magnesium.”

Even though drinking water sounds awful on top of bloating, consider this: When you drink more water your body realizes that has plenty and it will let go of the water that you're holding on to. Plus water helps with skin, fatigue and headaches!

If you’re susceptible to migraines, Kruppa said to avoid foods with tyramine. That includes red meat, soy, aged cheeses and chocolate.

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