What should I eat to ease PMS?

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Trigger foods: Chocolate, pasta

Healing foods: Unsalted nuts, seeds, cheese

Many women runners find it tough to stick to their training plans when struck by monthly bouts of cramps, bloating and fogginess. The clichéd PMS-driven food craving is chocolate, but you’d be advised to abstain. Researchers have found that chocolate can aggravate the mood swings that often accompany

PMS. The sugar in chocolate can also heighten PMS symptoms, says health and nutrition coach Marissa Vicario. ‘Sugar causes inflammation, which leads to more cramps and bloating.’

Nutritional therapist Vicki Lee also recommends staying away from high-sugar foods because they cause your blood sugar levels to spike and fall. ‘Imbalanced blood sugar levels worsen PMS symptoms, so stay away from white bread, pasta and rice, and opt instead for foods high in protein, such as lean meats and cheese.’ These foods fill you up, are slower to digest and will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

A handful of almonds, pistachios or sunflower seeds is another PMS-friendly snack. These nuts and seeds are all high in B vitamins, particularly B6 and riboflavin, which have been found to reduce many common PMS symptoms. But stick to the unsalted varieties, as salty foods cause your body to retain fluids, further worsening the dreaded PMS bloat.