We have known for a long time that inflammation within the body can trigger and influence a very unwelcome visitor.....PMS and period pain! However, now science is turning its attention to this possibility and a study from May 2016 has made advances towards proving the connection.
"Premenstrual mood symptoms, abdominal cramps/back pain, appetite cravings/weight gain/bloating, and breast pain, but not headache, appear to be significantly and positively related to elevated hs-CRP levels, a biomarker of inflammation. These results suggest that inflammation may play a mechanistic role in most PMS symptoms, although further longitudinal study of these relationships is needed. However, recommending to women to avoid behaviours that are associated with inflammation may be helpful for prevention, and anti-inflammatory agents may be useful for treatment of these symptoms."
If you do suffer from PMS and severe period pain, it may pay to start looking at ways to tackle inflammation through diet, some easy to implement suggestions include:
- Adopt a primarily vegetarian diet, plant-based proteins are high in anti-inflammatory compounds compared to animal-based proteins
- Legumes, tofu/tempeh, sprouted grain bread, quinoa, nuts/seeds, tahini paste, soy beans/milk and almond milk
- Fill your diet with vibrant, colourful fruits and vegetables – aim for ½ plate of vegetables each meal and try for some vegetables at snack time eg carrot/capsicum + avocado mash
- Enjoy omega-3 rich fatty fish 2-3 x weekly alongside chia seeds and walnuts
- Add turmeric to the diet – marinades, curries/soup, ‘golden’ milk
- Enjoy anti-inflammatory foods in warming ways eg ginger, onion and rosemary
- Eat foods rich in Resveratrol – pick grapes and berries as your fruit of choice
- Eat more nuts! Study here has found that a greater intake of nuts is associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation, especially when replaced with animal proteins
- Steam, poach and bake food as opposed to frying and browning to reduce the formation of inflammatory compounds
- Limit refined sugars and carbohydrates which can spike blood sugar, instead opt for soothing carbohydrates such as whole rolled oats, brown rice, sourdough/rye bread, quinoa and sweet potato
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance