scarypsychoPMS: It effects all women. Ok, well – maybe not all women – but a whopping 85% of ladies experience at least one of the uncomfortable symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) that include bloating, back pain, cramps and the cramping, bloating, weight gain and general foul demeanor and mood swings. And – studies show that men undergo a similar monthly hormonal shift each month as well.

Of course, there’s no ‘cure’ for PMS, although ibuprofen and and other pain medications (brands like Midol) seem to really help reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms. We’ve arranged our top 5 natural tips to reduce the symptoms of PMS – to help you feel better, faster.

1. Eat Better!
And you already knew this: sugar destabilizes your blood sugar and can cause high-highs and low-lows, salt can cause bloating, caffeine can contributes to anxiousness and anxiety…. need we say more? If you sense PMS sneaking up, try not to exacerbate the symptoms with poor food choices. Load up on fruits, veggies and whole grains!

2. Get Moving!
Exercise is good for you – any way you slice it. Whether it be yoga, jogging – or even a brisk walk – your body and psyche benefit from moving and shaking. For PMS, The National Women’s Health Information Center recommends two and a half hours of moderately intense activity, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two each week, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions.

3. Reduce stress.
Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and make an effort to reduce your stress level. Say ‘no’ if you are overloaded, and try not to over-commit to too many tasks or responsibilities. Listen to your body – take a little break during the day – to just relax, meditate or ‘be still’.

4. Take a chill pill!
Or, a vitamin. Studies show that some of the PMS symptoms ladies experience are due to a certain deficiency during the cycle. Add calcium, Vitamin E, Magnesium and B-6 (or a great B Complex!) to your supplement routine to help combat the symptoms of PMS.

5. Don’t drink or smoke…
Alcohol worsens depression, and smoking causes an increase in blood pressure and can cause a world of health problems. Quitting smoking and refraining from drinking alcohol will help lighten the load on your body during this busy time – and alleviate the nasty symptoms of PMS.