- Choose complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, brown rice, barley, beans and lentils. Choose whole wheat over white flour.
- Reduce fat, salt and sugar – all of which can leave you craving more.
- Minimize or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat more calcium-rich foods, including green leafy vegetables and dairy. One study showed women who consumed milk, cheese and yogurt had less abdominal bloating, cramps, appetite and cravings for some foods, possibly because the calcium they contain helped reverse an imbalance of feel-good serotonin. Women who are sensitive to dairy can take a calcium supplement of 1200 mg daily.
- Try magnesium supplements. This mineral can help reduce water retention and bloating, breast tenderness and mood symptoms.
- Vitamin B6 (50 mg daily), in addition to magnesium, may have some benefit as well.
- Vitamin E (150-300 IU daily) may be helpful to reduce cravings.