Each month two weeks before your period starts women have an increase in the sex hormone progesterone which can lead to various premenstrual symptoms. A common symptom is the pre-period bloat, a heavy feeling in the abdomen and a sudden increase of waist circumference usually beginning a week before your period and ending a week after your period starts. When the monthly shift of hormones occur the bloating can be caused by water retention, constipation and an increase in appetite.
1. Reduce salt intake and processed sugary foods – foods high in sodium and refined carbohydrates, such as sugars and white flours, can lead to bloating by increasing the levels of insulin in your body causing your kidneys to retain sodium. Instead eat more complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, spelt, brown rice, chickpeas, sweet potato and butternut squash.
2. Eat healthy fats and protein – adding fats and proteins to each meal will help to balance blood sugar levels and in return reduce your appetite for sugary high calorie foods. It can be as simple as adding the following to your meals: ½ an avocado, add a handful of nuts and seeds, a hard-boiled egg, grilled chicken breast, drizzle an organic seed oil over your meal or take an Omega 3 supplement.
3. Eat more fibre – increasing the amount of soluble and insoluble fibre found in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and wholegrains will help make you feel fuller for longer therefore reducing your appetite and will also bulk up stools encouraging daily bowel movements to reduce constipation.
4. Increase Magnesium – magnesium is nature’s relaxant and it not only relaxing the nervous system but also relaxes the muscles around the colon to help encourage bowel movements and reduce constipation.
5. Drink more water – drinking more water may actually help to flush out the system therefore reduce fluid retention and bloating