What Are the Culprits in Your Diet?

If you started your day with a bagel and cream cheese, followed by a tall latte, no sugar; or a cup of cottage cheese, canned peaches, and a glass of orange juice; or even a bowl of instant oatmeal and some tea with milk, you've already had several of the biggest problem foods for women with PMS— and that's just breakfast! The cream cheese, bagel, and oatmeal contain sodium; the latte and tea are high in caffeine; and the peaches and orange juice are high in sugar.

Of course, there is an upside to most of these foods as well: cream cheese, cottage cheese, and milk are dairy products that provide calcium (which can alleviate your PMS symptoms), while peaches and orange juice provide a vitamin boost. Instant oatmeal, while not as healthful as the long-cooking kind, is still a whole grain and contains needed fiber for your diet; and the bagel can be a healthful option if it's whole wheat.

This pro and con snapshot illustrates that making PMS-friendly food choices is not altogether simple. However, it is possible. You just have to be aware of the diet culprits and the diet boosters: Sodium, caffeine, and sugar worsen some PMS symptoms, while dairy or soy can improve them.

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