Diet is an important factor when it comes to premenstrual syndrome.
Everything that you typically crave during PMS i.e. fried foods, sugary treats and salty snacks are really poor choices for this particular time of the month. Refined sugar has been identified as a factor in the severity of premenstrual syndrome.
Refined sugars cause a rapid increase in insulin which causes retention of sodium and water which causes edema of the hands and feet as well as abdominal bloating. A high intake of sugar is detrimental to hormonal balance as well. Sugar impairs estrogen metabolism. For this reason, it is best to avoid overly sweet treats such as cupcakes, candies and soda.
A low fat-high complex carbohydrate diet is effective in alleviating breast tenderness which is a symptom of premenstrual syndrome.
Women who consume a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates and fiber and low in fat especially saturated fat have fewer symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. I the weeks leading up to menses it might be worth it to adapt the diet to have more fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods.
Vegetarian women who consume a diet that is high in fiber have been shown to excrete three times more estrogen in their feces and have 50% lower levels of free estrogen in their blood than their omnivorous counterparts. For this reason, it is necessary to decrease the amount of sugar in the diet and to increase the amount of dietary fiber.
For further reading . . .
Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (2012). Textbook of natural medicine. Paradise Valley: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Rossignol, A., & Bonnlander, H. (1991). Prevalence and severity of the premenstrual syndrome. Effects of foods and beverages that are sweet or high in sugar content. . The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 131-136