“Let food be thy medicine” - Hippocrates
Let’s face it, when that time of month rolls around, most of us girls can turn into monsters. If not that, then at least less-than-nice versions of ourselves. As if the mood swings and sensitivity aren’t enough, there’s also cramping, acne, migraines, nausea, cravings, fluid retention… Known as PMS, or pre-menstrual stress. This is due to your hormones becoming unbalanced, however contrary to popular belief this imbalance is isn’t caused entirely by your menstrual cycle, but a number of other factors such as such as a high-sugar, refined carbohydrate diet, the pill, caffeine, stress, alcohol, dairy, hormones in dairy products and meat, and toxins that mimic estrogen in the body from plastic products, unfermented soy products, pesticides and pollution.
These hinder the process of the excretion of estrogen, causing levels to rise. There are several things you can do to help eliminate these symptoms such as eliminating refined carbohydrates and sugar, dairy, processed foods, preservatives, unfermented soy, trans fats, and caffeine, the use of plastic and chemical-filled cosmetics and “beauty products”.
Make sure your iron levels are topped up, as we girls are especially susceptible to low levels during this time. Consistently low iron may lead to conditions such as anaemia, a blood disorder in which there is a deficiency in the quality or number of red blood cells.
Some symptoms of low iron include:
Dark circles under eyes
*Please consult a liscensed practitioner such as a naturopath if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
To make sure my levels are topped up, I take Fusion Herbal Iron Blood Tonic and make sure I’m getting enough spirulina and leafy greens. But please keep in mind that each person is different and these may not work for you necessarily, and to consult an accredited practitioner before taking any supplements or medications.
I’ve also devised a smoothie that is full of nutrients to not only combat PMS, but any stress you may be experiencing too!
The magnesium in the cacao , coconut water and chia seeds help to dilate blood vessels, which assist in eradicating cramps (dysphemorrea) or headaches. Cacao also contains “bliss chemicals” which act like endorphins within the body, busting you out of pmsy moods and giving you a natural high.
Maca and goji berries are both powerful adaptogens which help to balance the endocrine system – a series of glands responsible for controlling your hormones. This will help eradicate any hormone-related acne, mood swings, as well as other hormone-related symptoms.
The omega 3 essential fatty acids from the chia seeds assist in balancing and regulating moods as well as hormone production.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, a “bliss chemical” that calms your nervous system, encourages the release of happy hormones within the body as well as the production of melanin, a nutrient responsible for encouraging tranquility and sleep.
The iron in the Spirulina assists with any lowered levels, which you are particularly susceptible to at that time of month, which can lead to anaemia. THe vitamin C in the berries assists with the absorption of iron within the body.
The potassium in the banana, avocado and coconut water also assist in balancing fluid retention that occurs commonly during PMS.
PMS & Stress-busting smoothie
1 frozen Banana
1 tablespoon Chia seeds
1 tablespoon Cacao
1 teaspoon Maca powder
handful Goji berries
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup strawberries or raspberries, frozen
Honey, coconut nectar or desired sweetener (to taste)
1/4 of avocado
(I also chuck in some Australian Bush Flowers “women essence” for an extra little bit of self love and worth, which can be pretty low during this time!)
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender except for the banana and berries, until smooth
2. Add banana, berries and extra sweetener if desired
3. Serve and drink immediately