Eating foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, along with too much caffeine and alcohol can trigger premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in many women. PMS is controlled by the hormone estrogen – too much or too little causes moods to fluctuate, depression, anxiety, food cravings and bloating about a week before a period begins.
To help keep estrogen levels balanced, avoid cravings for sweet and salty foods since they will magnify PMS symptoms, notes Sam Graci, nutritional researcher and author of the new book – The Food Connection: The Right Food at the Right Time. Stay away from dairy products and meats that are high in saturated fats, as well as caffeinated beverages, which raise the blood levels of estrogen and cause headaches, irritability and anxiety.
Everyone knows that, for instance, hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils are highly unhealthy. Tons of studies and informative material have been published, yet there is a population segment that still falls into traps saying that margarine is a “healthier alternative for butter, full of vitamins”, when in fact the trans-fatty acids it contains surpass the “healthy benefits” it offers. For this particular case, all foods containing hydrogentated oils (if the law allows their production, though it shouldn’t) should have a health hazard warning (like those on the cigarette packs), saying something like “This product contains trans-fatty acids that increase the risk of heart disease”. Thus, people would be constantly reminded of the bad effects of such products on health.
Generally, when it comes to foods and dieting, people should be advised of the potential inconvenience that might occur due to some ingredients or the way the food is prepared.
Take for instance the case of the release of so many diets that are not documented, not officially controlled and approved, promissing great things but not being explicit about the great problems they generate. Such as the very popular Atkins, for instance, which is a real danger to health.
The excess accumulation of cholesterol can lead to a stroke or heart attack. This happens because the build-up of excess cholesterol begins to clog the blood vessels leading to arteriosclerosis. It is believed that the overall incidence of strokes and heart attacks could be reduced by as much as 50% if Americans could reduce their cholesterol level by 25%. In fact, for every 1% of lowered blood cholesterol, the chances of having a heart attack are reduced by 2%.
However, all cholesterol is not bad, as most know by now. There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL helps to remove excess fats from your blood while high LDL is known to lead to a higher incidence of strokes and heart attacks.
In our house, snacks are almost a way of life. Particularly in the summer, while we travel to the creek by day and out of town on the weekends, snacks take a central roll in getting us where we want to go in a healthy way. A good snack can help alleviate the afternoon blahs as well as prevent low blood sugar after a meal that was hours ago.
When it’s hot outside, whole fresh fruit is an excellent option. Fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals as well as water and electrolytes. Most people tolerate fruit well, especially when it is coupled with some protein. An apple or pear, halved and cored, filled with almond, peanut, or macadamia nut butter tastes great and is filling. Softer fruits like apricots or plums are great the same way, or filled with chopped walnuts.
If vegetables are your favorites, try the old standby, celery filled with nut butter. Baby carrots meet their match when dipped in a puree of black-eyed peas, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Add some sesame butter (tahini) to this mix for a great hummus alternative. Any veggie tastes great with feta cheese crumbled on top or packed inside.
Here are the grains you should be eating:
* Brown rice – contain many amino acids that help rebuild skin tissue
* Whole grains – contain folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin E, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber
* Oats – use them in the morning with honey or raisins. Oats have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and help to keep you regular.
Seeds and nuts
* Almonds – Almonds contain protein, the B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Use them as a snack. These small nuts help to build muscles and tissue.
* Flax seeds – These seeds are known for containing plenty of omega 3 oil, an essential oil for life. They also contain fiber when used ground up and put into smoothies. Omega 3 is also an anti-inflammatory oil, which is good for acne.
* Pecans – This is one of the good nuts to eat. It contains Vitamin A, B’s, C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Use them as a snack.
* Pine nuts – these nuts also one of the best to eat. They contain vitamin A, C, B’s, protein and iron.
* Sesame seeds – They are high in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They are helpful in relieving various skin diseases such as acne by reducing the swelling.
* Sunflower seeds – These seeds should be used as a snack. They are high in protein, calcium and vitamin A. They provide nutrients for building the whole body and are good for dry skin.
All of these nuts and seeds should be eaten raw. Heating and other processing will kill the life force of the nut or seed and also reduce the quantity of the vitamins and minerals.