Cramps, bloating, fatigue, mood swings and acne. These are all common PMS symptoms and they make women dread that time of the month. What’s worse, women have come to believe that having a painful and emotionally difficult cycle is normal. And even though many women suffer on a monthly basis, that doesn’t mean they have to. In fact, with some smart dietary changes, you can reduce PMS symptoms and even have a pain-free period. Learn more about how to reduce pms symptoms naturally.

PMS symptoms are actually a signal that the body is out of balance, specifically the hormones. In fact, when we consume too many refined carbs, get stressed out and don’t respect our routine and sleep schedule, we can really throw our hormones out of whack, and this can lead to disruption throughout the delicate endocrine system.

In the weeks leading up to your period, if your body doesn’t produce enough progesterone, there’s likely going to be too much estrogen. And high levels of estrogen are what can leave you with painful PMS symptoms.

To survive, and even thrive, before your period, focus on making your diet as nutrient-dense as possible. So, instead of eating processed foods and carbohydrates, turn to complex carbs, whole foods and lots of leafy greens, such as spinach, collard and Mustard greens.

Healthy fats, such as eggs, avocado, coconut and olive oil can keep you feeling satiated and satisfied in between meals to prevent junk food snacking and mid-afternoon food cravings.

You can help to reduce PMS symptoms by nourishing yourself with a nutrient-dense foods in the weeks leading up to your period.