That time of the month can make you feel not only bloated and cranky but craving-prone—especially for sweet or salty snacks like cookies and chips. Before you give in, consider that “simple sugars cause an energy crash, while fats are hard to digest and can make you even more uncomfortable,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, R.d.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics in Cleveland. Instead, she suggests stocking up on these PMS busters, each of which helps manage common premenstrual symptoms.
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1. Turkey. The tryptophan in this protein-rich poultry helps regulate levels of serotonin, a hormone that influences mood. Turkey also contains vitamin B6, which assists in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that eases anger, depression, and breast tenderness.
2. Whole-grain bread. Fight fatigue with the complex carbs and B vitamins found in whole-grain bread—and fill your sandwich with a protein-rich choice like almond butter or a grilled chicken breast to provide steady energy throughout the entire afternoon.
3. Flaxseed. To reduce the severity of cramps, add a tablespoon or two of flax to your morning oatmeal or a smoothie. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and inhibit the production of prostaglandins, chemicals that can intensify muscle contractions.
4. Spinach. Just one cup of this veggie
in a salad or green juice supplies 156mg of magnesium. The mineral aids in eliminating excess fluid from cells, which helps you feel less bloated.