9 Foods to Reduce PMS Bloating

PMS Bloating normally occurs in the premenstrual or pms stage, follicular and period stages. What is called period bloating is actually fluid retention and results in a feeling of being overly full or being swollen around the waist area. It is quite often very uncomfortable, annoying and bothersome.

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.

Usually by the third day of the period the excess water, blood and waste have been flushed from the system and the woman no longer experiences bloat. For those short 2 to 3 days however, life can be pretty miserable for women dealing with this water retention and bloat. When estrogen levels rise, bloating increases and when estrogen levels fall, it also falls.

1. Low-Fat Milk and Yogurt

Unless you’re lactose intolerant, which can cause or worsen bloating, low-fat milk and yogurt may do your premenstrual abdomen good. Calcium-rich foods can help minimize PMS symptoms overall, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, and dairy products are top providers. Avoid high-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, which contain fats that stimulate inflammation. Rather than eating high-fat ice cream, make a smoothie with low-fat milk or yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit. Nondairy, calcium-rich alternatives include fortified soy, rice and almond milk.

2. More Water

Drinking water helps flush the body, which may help water retention and overall bloating. Water can also help with constipation, which can increase bloating. Keep a bottle of water handy during your period to keep your body hydrated and flushed. Fruits and vegetables contain high water content so you can add them to your PMS diet for additional water consumption.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Use up to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day for bloat. There is acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar and it will balance out the hydrochloric acid that your stomach makes. Also if you do not have enough hydrochloric acid to digest your food, you can also get bloat. Apple cider vinegar will help with that as well as it assists food in being digested easily and quickly. Your best choice with apple cider vinegar is to use an organic type.

4. Celery

Over the years this green crunchy stalk has been used as a digestive aid to regulate bowel movements and to control intestinal gas because its chemicals are known to decrease fluid retention. Other top picks for veggies that will help reduce fluid retention include cucumber, summer squashes, parsley, and any other kind of leafy greens. When it comes to eating vegetables in general, lean toward cooked over raw. The fiber structure is broken down once they’re cooked, making them easier to digest. Even if the raw vegetables have a high water content, it can result in more bloating for some people.

5. Water with Lemon

Since lemons are a natural diuretic and a gentle laxative when added to warm water, consuming the liquid can help reduce the amount of salt retained in the body. Just make sure you drink from the glass and not through a straw, so you don’t take in any extra air.

6. Rosemary and Turmeric

Rosemary has been used to treat everything from heartburn and headaches to toothaches and high blood pressure. But it also treats intestinal gas and helps digestion, says Jackie Newgent, RD, culinary nutritionist. She suggests steeping it in your tea or combining it with celery or parsley to make your own cooking broth. Valued in Asia for its ability to fight pain and inflammation, turmeric is also key in aiding upset stomach and bloat reduction. Use the bright yellow spice in a curry dish or to flavor your favorite foods.

7. Watermelon for PMS Bloating

All kinds of melons are beneficial to your health, but watermelon is known as one of the juiciest fruits on the stand. That’s probably because it consists of 92 percent water. According to Grotto, RD, a Fitness advisory board member and author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and The Best Things You Can Eat, it also has a natural diuretic property and is a great source of potassium. “The balance between sodium and potassium is important when it comes to controlling bloat,” he says.

8. Beans and Lentils

The majority of Grotto’s patients with bloated bellies are taking in too much sodium and not enough potassium and fiber. “Ramping down your sodium and increasing your potassium will have an almost immediate effect of reducing bloat,” he says. Lentils, with their high amount of fiber, are a good choice for aiding with digestion. Potassium-rich foods include white beans, soybeans, and lima beans — and they are also the highest-fiber vegetables you can get. Beans are naturally high in both estrogen and protein and can relieve period-induced bloat.

9. Pick Potassium-Rich Foods

This mineral helps regulate the fluid balance in your body, keeping bloat at bay. High-potassium foods include bananas, cantaloupe, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, nuts, and asparagus — which contains an amino acid called asparagine that acts as a diuretic to flush excess liquid out of your system.