PMTFeeling tense? Irritable? Resentful? Tearful? It could well be your time of the month, when your hormones and your emotions are all over the place.
Many women have to deal with the symptoms of PMT (pre-menstrual tension) once a month and according to recent research, at least 85% of menstruating women experience at least one symptom of PMT during their monthly cycle.
Often, the emotional symptoms of PMT are just as disruptive as the physical symptoms of PMT – but luckily, you can help to control some of the emotional symptoms of PMT by eating a healthy diet containing certain vitamins and minerals. Some of these vitamins and the foods they are found in are listed below – and in the Healthy Mummy Smoothies.

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Omega-3s are fatty acids that are essential for general health – but also for emotional health. You’ll find omega-3s in all sorts of foods, including oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, nuts and seeds such as walnuts and flaxseeds and even in some types of vegetables.
Omega-3s are known to boost brain power, sharpening your thinking skills (very useful for if you get a little irrational around your time of the month) and to trigger the production of serotonin.
Serotonin regulates your mood, so eating foods that boost this hormone will improve your mood.
The benefits of fish oils are far and wide and include helping to lose fat from the tummy, improving hair and skin and they are beneficial to the brain development of breastfed babies – to name but a few!


Serotonin is super important when it comes to regulating your mood – but your body also needs an additional vitamin, magnesium, to regulate your serotonin levels. Including magnesium-rich foods in your diet means that you’ll get just enough serotonin – not too much, and not too little.
The symptoms of PMT can actually lower the levels of magnesium in your bloodstream so it’s important that you include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet during this time of the month so that you can regulate your serotonin levels. Magnesium rich foods include beans, spinach, peanuts, cashew nuts, bananas, artichokes, pumpkin seeds and tofu.

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Including more calcium in your diet can relieve many of the symptoms of PMT, including menstrual pain, water retention, bloating and mood swings – particularly if you include plenty of magnesium in your diet, as this boosts the absorption of calcium.
Calcium rich foods include dairy products, such as milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt (low fat and low calorie options are ideal if you’re watching what you eat as they still contain the same amount of calcium), dark leafy greens such as kale, bok choi and spinach, and tofu.


We all know that wholegrain foods are good for us, but during your time of the month, wholegrains can play a really important part in regulating your mood and preventing cravings of sugary foods.
Eating a small portion of wholegrains as a snack every 2-3 hours will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady and stable, reducing your cravings for sugary or fatty foods. Wholegrains also boost serotonin levels, meaning that they’ll kick you out of your bad mood – and they also contain lots and lots of vitamins, including vitamin B6, which is an essential vitamin for reducing depression and irritability.


Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but when you’re menstruating, caffeine in any form can play havoc with your mood.
Switch to decaf coffee and tea during your time of the month to prevent mood swings, or try an herbal tea – for example, chamomile tea is known reduce tension and reduce anxiety, while green tea is also known to improve mood.

What If I Want Chocolate?

Although we often say “a little bit of what you fancy does you good”, during your period, it’s more important that you choose foods that will boost vitamin levels and that will heal your body.
Vast quantities of chocolate and ice cream will only leave you feeling sluggish and bloated and will undo all of the hard work you put in by eating the right foods – so if you fancy some chocolate, make it a couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate

What about bloating

It can be very uncomfortable, annoying and just put you in a dam bad mood. During the menstrual cycle there is a major fluctuation of hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, and this causes fluid retention, swelling and the uncomfortable feeling of bloating.
Women actually gain pounds of water during this time due to the ability of estrogen to cause fluid to be retained.
Women experiencing PMS symptoms may crave high-fat and high-sugar foods like chocolate, biscuits and ice cream and may consequently increase their food intake significantly. You can manage your weight and help reduce your PMS symptoms by making a some better food choices,

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Top Tips To Ease Bloating

  • Eat smaller meals more often – for example, have six ‘mini-meals’ instead of three main meals.
  • Reduce your intake of salty foods.
  • Include more fresh fruits and vegetables and wholegrain foods in your daily diet, not only are  these foods good for you they will keep you fuller for longer. Stopping the bad snacking!
  • Boost your dairy food intake
  • Don’t keep high-fat and high-sugar foods in the house.
  • Make sure you always have tasty and healthy snack alternatives on hand. Like apples, berries cucumber, hommus dip!
  • Increase foods high in magnesium to help cramping like wheat bran, almonds, wheat germ, cashews, spinach, rice, brazil nuts, walnuts, yoghurt, sunflower seeds.
  • Record your food choices in a diary – charting your food intake may help you become more aware of high-fat and high-sugar snacking.
  • Essential oils can be a great way to always yourself to relax and uplift your mood during this difficult time. The use of a vaporizer, a few drops in a bath, or mixed with oil for a massage.  Some of the following could be mixed or used alone.  For calming and balancing hormones – Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Rose and Sandalwood; Emotionally uplifting – Bergamot, Jasmine, Juniper and Sage; Fluid retention and cramps – Fennel, Laurel, Tarragon and Cypress; Energizing – Peppermint

There are many things we can do to reduce PMT and belly bloating, but the key to good health is a healthy nutritious diet, full of fresh organic foods.
Reproductive health is no different. To avoid and reduce problems with PMS, painful periods, mood swings, bloating a balanced diet is essential and ALWAYS the first place to start.

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