Did you know that PMS affects approximately 75% of women? The severity and management of symptoms differ significantly for every woman. Symptoms can lead to problems carrying out everyday activities and in relationship communications. Naturopath and Endeavour alumni, Tia Meirs shares her top tips and handy hints to help reduce these problematic PMS symptoms.SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: TOP TIPS FOR REDUCING PMS SYMPTOMS Crown yourself the Self-Care Queen- Essential oils, early nights, bubble-baths, boundaries, books- this week is all about nurturing you. Diet- Eat less from a packet and more from the earth! Consume an organic/spray free wholefoods diet. Sleep- When you're experiencing PMS you’ll be craving more sleep, so get to bed earlier and let yourself have a little sleep in. Sweat- It might feel like the last thing you want to do, but a walk in nature or a sweaty yoga class will stimulate the pick-me-up endorphins and provide an emotional release. Space- Simplify your life, slash your to-do list- priorities your self-time. Swap Instagram for a good book- as emotions are high its easy to feel triggered, reduce time on social media where you can.Book recommendations:Guided meditations; download the app 'insight timer' or use podcast and listen to: ‘live awake’- Sarah Blondin Lifestyle is key for rebalancing hormones- our physical and emotional state is intrinsic to our response to emotional or stressful cues. There is a lot of research into the mind-body and emotional links to disease. Therefore, it is so vital to give yourself love and promote positivity towards yourself. SKIP ITSalt - the foods we tend to crave most during our periods- salty chips, sugary treats and fast food parade, unfortunately, cause more harm than good when it comes to relieving cramps and bloat. We may retain excess water during our periods so eating a diet high in salt can exasperate this.Alcohol - as much as we love to relax with a glass of wine after work or a beer with dinner, you may want to skip this ritual when on your period. Alcohol naturally dries out the body, causing you to retain excess fluid.Inflammatory foods - this includes sugar, gluten, processed deep fried foods. Increased levels of inflammation in the body cause issues with the GABA (neurotransmitter) receptors which can exacerbate symptoms such as anxiety, moodiness and irritability. HANDY HINTSEnergetically wearing tampons isn’t supporting your flow of the body- consider investing in a menstrual cup, it is amazing for the environment and also saves money in the long run.A cold green smoothie with frozen banana is not really the best fuel for your body when you have your period. Yes, the nutrients it contains are wonderful, but the temperature is not. Where possible, try to eat warming, slow cooked and nourishing foods.Herbal medicine is one of the most beautiful ways that we can support ourselves! I recommend having a consultation with your local naturopath so they can create the perfect little tonic for you!Relax with magnesium - You may also like to increase your magnesium during this time, to help relax your muscles and reduce pain. Good sources of magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, dark leafy green vegetables and cacao.Keep your gut bacteria in check! healthy gut bacteria is essential for neurotransmitter production and to ensure oestrogen metabolites are removed from the body. Eat fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut. Also consume prebiotic foods (that feed the good bacteria) stewed apples with cinnamon, flaxseeds, oats and legumes.Eat regular healthy meals - maintaining healthy blood sugar levels by eating regular snacks and meals means fewer cravings for sugar and refined carbs, plus your body is getting plenty of essential nutrients to keep the symptoms at bay.Get familiar with B6 - vitamin B6 is found in foods like poultry, fish and nuts (though often you may need to supplement to get the symptoms under control), the activated form of B6 (P5P) is excellent for addressing irritability, teariness and fluid retention. It helps the body metabolise oestrogen and is involved in the manufacture of important neurotransmitters and anti-inflammatory mediators. REDUCE BLOATING + CRAMPINGCastor oil abdominal massage; castor oil massages reduce inflammation + cramping, sheds stagnant tissue and enhances circulation of freshly oxygenated blood. It also promotes a complete bowel motion.Heat pack - hot water bottles or heat packs applied to the abdomen is amazing at reducing acute pain and bloating.Herbal teas - chamomile will calm the body and peppermint will ease bloating and added water consumption will help to stabilise fluid retention.