Ebony Crameri is women’s health & fertility Dietitian with over 10 years clinical experience. Ebony created her online nutrition practice, Project Nutrition, to help women take control of their hormonal & reproductive health. Her goal is to help women have healthier menstrual cycles, support their hormone health & improve their fertility using nutrition. We reached out to her to get a few tips and set some facts straight.
Hand’s up for comfy trackpants, pyjama bottoms & stretchy leggings when the monthly bloating sets in. It’s estimated that approximately 85% of people who menstruate will experience one or more symptoms of PMS with bloating being one of the most commonly reported symptoms, but did you know that your diet can help to ease your monthly bloat?
It is thought that period bloating occurs due to changes in our sex hormones progesterone and estrogen. Changes in these hormones cause women to retain more fluid & sodium which contributes to feeling bloated. Progesterone & estrogen also affect our digestion & changes in these hormones can cause our digestion to slow down resulting in constipation, bloating & excess wind.
Here are some of my favourite, bloat busting tips that I use with my clients to help them find relief.
Eat calcium rich foods.Research shows that women who get enough calcium in their diet had a reduction in bloating along with other PMS symptoms. A systematic review showed that calcium supplementation or a diet rich in Vitamin D & calcium, could improve serum levels of these nutrients during the luteal phase, and thus eliminate or improve PMS symptoms.
Stay hydrated.When Progesterone is high in the lead up to our period, this can slow down our digestion & cause constipation which can further contribute to bloating. Drinking enough fluid & eating enough fibre is essential to having regular, healthy bowel movements.
Try Peppermint oil capsulesPeppermint oil capsules have been shown to reduce bloating & excess wind in people with IBS. Peppermint oil capsules are generally well tolerated however long-term studies are yet to be completed so always start these supplements under the guidance of your healthcare professional to ensure that it’s safe & that you’re getting the right dose for you.
Get movingChanges in hormones in the lead up to our period can cause our digestion to slow down, making us feel sluggish, bloated & gassy. Light physical activity such as swimming, walking or yoga can help get your digestion moving & reduce your bloating.
Go easy on the salt.
Excess salt promotes fluid retention, which naturally occurs in the lead up to our period. Avoid processed foods or adding too much salt to your cooking & meals.
Remember if your bloating or PMS symptoms are severe, are causing you distress or are impacting on your daily life please seek help from your doctor.
Author: Ebony Crameri, specialist women’s health & fertility Accredited Practising Dietitian & owner of Project Nutrition