No matter how ‘under control’ you think your Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, there is one person guaranteed to throw all your hard efforts to the wind: Mother Nature, of course. And don’t we love her for it? Not really.
Unbalanced hormones are a common IBS trigger. The point of ovulation – roughly the fourteenth day of a woman’s cycle – can cause the digestive system to behave in an even more dysfunctional and sluggish fashion than usual.
Balance hormones through food. The good news is that there is so much you can do to help yourself in your battle against the great PMS/IBS duo! The challenge for IBS sufferers is getting these essential nutrients on a restricted, IBS-friendly diet. Today I am going to share with you my favorite hormone-balancing foods that have changed my life.
1. B Vitamins: These are fantastic for balancing hormones, but particularly helpful is vitamin B6 which is easily sourced through diet.
1. Brown rice contains excellent levels of B6 and can be eaten as rice pudding, in salads, with curries, or baked into sweet treats using brown rice flour. You can even eat brown rice flakes as part of a delicious gluten-free porridge.
2. Fish, poultry, spinach & nuts are also good sources of B6. Try munching on pecans when you feel hungry, and add spinach to pasta sauces.
2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for fighting PMS as it is believed to be linked to maintaining the balance of the hormone oestradiol (estradiol) within the body.
1. Oily fish is a fantastic provider of vitamin D and is easily incorporated into daily or weekly eating. One of my favourite breakfasts is smoked salmon with eggs (egg yolk being another source of vitamin D). Throughout the week I enjoy oily fish such as mackerel for lunches.
2. Cheese is another good source of vitamin D and is easily added to meals.
3. Magnesium: Low levels of Magnesium are thought to trigger PMS by leaving hormones unbalanced. Magnesium is perhaps my favourite nutrient to focus on in my diet, as it is found in such delicious foods!
1. Greens: Add magnesium-rich greens kale and spinach to any meal. Breakfast is an excellent opportunity to consume good levels of magnesium.
2. Bananas & nuts: I add a banana to my breakfast every day, along with almonds and pecans (both of which contain excellent levels of magnesium).
3. Cocoa: Add a heaped teaspoon of raw cacao powder to make your porridge irresistibly chocolatey, and top with raw cacao nibs!
4. Good Fats:
1. Coconut oil is being hailed as a ‘PMS Cure’ by many women. This is obviously based on personal experience, but I have found that including coconut oil in my diet has helped to reduce my PMS bloating. Raw, virgin coconut oil has the best health qualities (and the best taste) and it makes an excellent replacement for butter in baking. You can also include it in your diet by using it to stir-fry.
2. Oily fish and extra virgin olive oil are also excellent sources of healthy fats.
I include these nutrients in my diet every day to keep my hormones balanced throughout the month and the positive effects are astonishing. Not only does balancing my hormones keep my IBS at bay, but it has also done wonders in improving my PMS in general. It is vital to eat these foods regularly, and they are all essential components of a healthy diet.
Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.